Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur

Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room, KL

Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room, Kuala Lumpur

Words: Stephen Reid
Photos: Monica Tindall

Monica has been fortunate to visit Ultime Atelier and Boulangerie several times previously; however, this was my first opportunity to visit. After reading Monica’s profile of its very talented founder Ken Ng, I was very much looking forward to the event and what a special occasion it proved to be. Billed as a ‘culinary journey that blends flavour and nature, celebrating the harmony of gastronomy and the environment’, the evening served to launch the ‘Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room’, a new space within Ultime which was created to introduce and promote the champagnes of Perrier-Jouët to a wider Malaysian audience.

Monica and I were among 20 diners seated around a beautifully decorated table, with floral arrangements and decorations evocative of the ‘Belle Epoque’ style of Émile Gallé, the French artist and designer who, in 1902, was commissioned to design a new bottle and label for the company capturing the vibrancy and spirit of the era.

Champagne Malaysia Fine Dining
Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room – Ultime Kuala Lumpur

The Perrier-Jouët house of Champagne dates back to 1811, one year after the marriage of Pierre Nicholas Perrier, a masterful winemaker and botanist who married Rose Adélaide Joët, who was the daughter of a Calvados producer. Three years later, they bought a large property in the Épernay region of Champagne in the North East of France, where the company headquarters remain to this day.

Whilst Champagne has been produced in France since the 1730s, Perrier-Jouët was the first Champagne House to appreciate the special merit of the Chardonnay grape in its production, and soon after it was founded purchased a number of Chardonnay vineyards in the area.

At this time, all Champagnes were usually sweet and drunk with dessert (as is common even in the current day with dry Champagnes in France). After his father’s death in 1848, Charles Perrier took over the running of the family business and created the first ‘brut’ Champagne, the term ‘brut’ meaning ‘dry’. A brave and somewhat radical decision was made not to add any sugar to the wines destined for the English market, a gamble, however, that paid off very well, as the drier unsweetened style soon gained in popularity and in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, dry white brut Champagne has become the default, with Perrier-Jouët remaining one of the finest champagne houses in existence today.

We sampled three Perrier-Jouët Champagnes, ‘Grand Brut’, ‘Blason Rosé’ and the truly exceptional ‘Belle Epoque 2013’.

Perrier-Jouët 8-course Tasting Menu (RM 700++ including Champagne pairing)

Ken Ng provided a warm welcome and introduction to the eight-course tasting menu he had created to showcase the Champagnes we would be enjoying over the evening, being a huge Champagne fan himself and particularly his love of Perrier-Jouët, his personal favourite Champagne. The event was a culmination of six months working with Brand Ambassador for Perrier-Jouët here in Malaysia, Jean-Baptise Gourville, who was on hand to guide us through the tastings and answer any questions we had.

Choix de Pain

We began our meal with ‘Choix de Pain, Artisan Boulangerie, Brittany Butter.’ This was a selection from the delicious bread for which Ultime has quite rightly gained much praise. I decided on a plain and charcoal croissant; both were excellent, flaky laminated layers of crisp pastry with a moist centre. They were served with rectangles of white Cognac butter decorated with herring caviar and a vibrant orange bafun uni butter, something I’d not tried previously, but I found the salty umami tang of the sea urchin very moreish. Monica chose the rainbow croissant loaf, a vibrant swirl of colour on her plate as well as a ‘kankori’ a small firm white bread roll and a fragrant truffle croissant.

Ultime Fine Dining Kuala Lumpur
Choix de Pain, Artisan Boulangerie, Brittany Butter – Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room KL

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

This was served together with the Champagne that would accompany our first three courses, Perrier-Jouët’ Grand Brut’, which Jean-Baptiste described as their main cuvée, a very fresh and floral Champagne, delicate and easy to enjoy. It had a very pale yellow hue and is well balanced with a long finish.

Champagne Malaysia Fine Dining
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

In front of our place settings, there were three petite bottles of perfume from local artisanal perfume house Olfac3, which Jean-Baptiste said we could try and discern the closest match with the three Champagnes we would be sampling. Although the fragrances of Honeysuckle, Peony and Freesia were delightful, neither Monica nor myself could identify which was the closest fit with each Champagne. However, it was a fun little game between courses.

Ultime Fine Dining Kuala Lumpur
Some Scent Play – Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur

Our second course was the ‘Amuse Bouche, Charcoal Crab Croquette, Tetê de Moine’, A succulent crab croquette coated in a crisp charcoal shell, accompanied by shaved semi-hard Swiss cheese with a sprinkling of honeycomb. Translated as ‘monk’s head’, it has been known since 1790 but perhaps dates back as far as 1192, being produced by monks who used to offer it as payment for the rent of various plots of land they used. I found the complex, mature flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture went exceptionally well with the crispness of the Grand Brut.

Ultime Fine Dining Kuala Lumpur
Amuse Bouche, Charcoal Crab Croquette, Tetê de Moine

This was followed by our third course of the evening, ‘Oyster Champagne Granita, Basil, and Shallot Vinaigrette’. This was served on a bed of crushed ice and decorated with purple and white edible flowers. It looked perfectly in place amongst the beautiful table decor. The oyster was beautifully creamy, balanced with a slightly sweet champagne basil granita, the sweetness offset by the acidity coming from a shallot vinaigrette.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Malaysia
Oyster Champagne Granita, Basil & Shallot Vinaigrette

Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé’ Champagne

Jean-Baptiste joked that it was now time to ‘move on to serious things’ commenting on the larger glass that had been set before us containing the ‘Blason Rosé’ Champagne, which was to accompany the next two courses – a more gourmet and gastronomic cuvée from Perrier-Juët with more body and on the red fruit side. While some rosé Champagnes are made by leaving the Champagne in contact with the red grape skins for a longer time to take on some colour, at Perrier-Jouët, it is accomplished by adding a little red wine from the Champagne region, which not only provides the colour but also a little more body and different aromatics to the finished wine. We all raised our glasses in a toast, ‘Santé’ as they say in France!

Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur
Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé’ Champagne

This was first served with our fourth dish, ‘Caviar de Ultime, Canadian Lobster, Osetra Caviar’. This was one of my favourite dishes of the evening. Elegantly presented on a pure white porcelain dish, the sweetness of the Canadian lobster was enhanced by the decadent Osetra Caviar, which comes a close second to Beluga Caviar in terms of exclusivity and is renowned for the quality and slightly nutty flavour of the eggs. If we had been in any remaining doubt about the indulgent nature of this dish, the dusting of gold leaf quickly dispelled this, most definitely worthy of its pairing with the more complex ‘Blason Rosé.’

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Malaysia
Caviar de Ultime, Canadian Lobster, Osetra Caviar – Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room KL

We then moved on to our fifth course of the evening, which was the ‘Egg Mollet, Champignon Mushroom and Keonkori Egg.’ Ken lamented jokingly that whilst this dish took a long time to prepare, it usually disappeared in a few minutes. This took the form of fresh truffle and champignon mushroom soup. Beneath the surface was a deep golden yellow and wonderfully unctuous egg yolk that had been slowly cooked sous vide for an hour at 60c. Balancing on top was a delicate flower-shaped charcoal truffle tuille. This was accompanied by a Lavosh cracker as thin as onion skin, which we were encouraged to break and mix with all the elements. This was definitely another favourite of mine and offered a punchy umami hit, although Monica felt it was perhaps just a little rich for her palate.

Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur
Egg Mollet, Champignon Mushroom & Keonkori Egg
Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur
Egg Mollet, Champignon Mushroom & Keonkori Egg

A long-standing favourite of customers, our sixth dish was the ‘Buddha, Morel and Hokkaido Scallop.’ This was served in a double-walled glass bowl sitting on a bed of shining pebbles. On top of a steam-baked chicken roulade was balanced a slice of scallop marinated in Chinese rice wine and a morel mushroom decorated with yellow edible petals. The chicken stock had been prepared by double boiling with morels and goji berries to concentrate the flavour, which also amplified the collagen content in the dish. Finally, the chicken skin around the roulade was torched to add a char. For those who desired (and I did), a pipette was used to add drops of VSOP brandy to the broth. Whilst I’ve lived in Malaysia for almost eleven years now, I’ve still yet to develop a liking for chicken skin, so this was the only dish of the evening I (and Mon, I note) didn’t completely finish. However, the plates of my fellow diners returned to the kitchen clean.

Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur
Buddha, Morel and Hokkaido Scallop – Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur

By this stage of the meal, we were all ready for a palate cleanser, and it appeared in the form of ‘Pear Passion, Passionfruit Sorbet, Passion Foam.’ Served in the hollowed-out shell of a passionfruit, nestling on a bed of crushed ice, Ken said that the juice from the passionfruit was cold pressed the day previously and then used to make a layer of passionfruit custard topped with slow-cooked pear and peach essence, passion fruit foam and sorbet. The experience was like eating an incredibly fruity and refreshing boiled egg. With palates suitably cleansed, we were ready for our final Champagne of the evening and our last two courses.

Perrier-Jouët Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur
Pear Passion, Passionfruit Sorbet, Passion Foam

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2012

This Champagne is so sought after that each year, only as many as 100 bottles make it as far as Malaysia, and this year that number was only an astonishing 50 bottles. Jean-Baptise explained that as only the very best grapes are used to make this Champagne, production is very limited. Initially, when served, ideally at 12c, the Champagne has fresh notes. However, as it warms to 16c over four to six minutes, more yeasty, brioche-like, buttery aromas develop. One of our fellow diners remarked that he did not know how such a rare and precious Champagne could possibly be expected to last in the glass for that long!

Champagne Malaysia Fine Dining
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2013


Our penultimate dish, and the main, was ‘Turbot, Osetra Caviar, Beurre Blanc.’ Turbot, sometimes referred to as the king of fish, was a very fitting pairing with the incredibly special Champagne. Our Spanish Turbot, perfectly prepared and with firm brilliant white flesh and crisped skin, was served alongside heirloom carrots, asparagus and a delicate beurre blanc sauce containing pearls of Osetra caviar and Trout roe. As Ken had promised, it was perfectly complimented by the (now warming!) ‘Belle Epoque 2013.’

Champagne Malaysia Fine Dining
Turbot, Osetra Caviar, Beurre Blanc

Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room – Dessert

We eventually arrived at our last dish of what had been a wonderful evening, the ‘Bluecheese d’Myrtille, Blueberry, Sugar Mint.’ Ken explained that when this dish was created, it had raised some eyebrows since not everyone is a fan of blue cheese, let alone in a dessert. It was undoubtedly the most elegant-looking cheesecake I’ve seen. With an appearance of a slightly squashed ping pong ball, dusted with a sugar frosting, crowned with a little hat of blueberries, each sliced perfectly in half and arranged in concentric circles. Miniscule mint leaves, looking for all intents and purposes, like the feathers in the cap peeking out between the berries.

Champagne Malaysia Fine Dining
Bluecheese d’Myrtille, Blueberry, Sugar Mint

Whilst there were hints of the blue cheese, it was balanced by the almond sponge base, gaining its sweetness from chantilly cream and vanilla pod as well as white chocolate ganache. It was a unique and delicious finish to a splendid meal.

Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room Kuala Lumpur Review

This was undoubtedly an extraordinary evening allowing us to experience the culinary journey of fine French cuisine, created specially by Ken Ng. The French menu provides a beautiful showcase for the delicious Champagnes we sampled from one of the finest houses in the world, Perrier-Jouët.

Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tasting Room KL – Ultime Atelier & Boulangerie
French Restaurant Bukit Bintang
Level 3A Wisma Noble Land
2 Jalan Changkat Ceylon
50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6012858 8016 or +603270 40988
[email protected]

Ultime Opening Hours
Tuesday to Saturday: 12 – 3 pm & 6 – 10:30 pm
Sunday: 12 – 3 pm
Monday: Closed

Find more restaurants for special occasions in KL here and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.

One Comment

  1. Classy! Very impressive!

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