Creating Memories at The Krug Room: A Private Dinner with Yen Kuok
Veronica Lam, Queenie Mak and Maya Lin were just a few of the girlfriends that gathered for an intimate dinner hosted by Yen Kuok at The Krug Room within the Mandarin Oriental, the fourth in a series of dinners courtesy of Krug Champagne and co-hosted by Hong Kong Tatler. As a child of the 90s, Kuok wanted Chef Robin Zavou to recreate the fun flavours of her youth—from the simple satisfaction of a McDonald’s Happy Meal to streetside curry fishballs and the cool icy treat that is a Milo Dinosaur. To fit the theme, Kuok asked her guests to come dressed in their finest red and yellow outfits to reflect the vibrant colour scheme of America’s most famous fast-food restaurant.
In true Krug Room fashion, the meal kicked off with chilled glasses of champagne—in this case, Krug Grand Cuvée 166ème Édition, which was paired with the opening act of Hong Kong street snacks, fine-dining style. Kuok and her friends delighted over the egg waffle zhuzhed up with truffle and cheese, the lobster curry fish balls, and the siu mai. For the seafood portion of the meal, Zavou presented Gillardeau oysters with peas, wild garlic and nasturtium, as well as cuttlefish served with abalone, liver and lemon—both were served with a magnum of Krug Grand Cuvée 164ème Édition, a formidable blend of 127 wines from 11 different years, from 1990 through to 2008. Other editions of Krug (all four were specially chosen for Kuok’s dinner) included the Krug Rosé 21ème Édition that was chosen to complement the main act—the Happy Meal of beef or chicken katsu sando, served with French fries and onion rings, all served in McDonalds-esque packaging specially sourced by Zavou and his team. Such a tongue-in-cheek dish was perfectly complemented by such a non-conformist champagne; comprising 51% pinot noir, 41% chardonnay and 8% meunier, the Krug Rosé is bold and broad in its aroma and palette, with both finesse and depth carried through in notes of raspberry, stone fruit and spices.
Such whimsical dishes naturally brought back Kuok and her guests to their own childhoods, and soon the conversation was animated with talk of ‘90s boy bands (Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Westlife) and teenage crushes, which carried on over desserts of warm Nutella-filled doughnuts served with Zavou’s version of Milo for dipping—another inspired creation by Zavou that was based on Kuok’s childhood favourite, the Milo Dinosaur (a south-east Asian favourite comprising an iced Milo drink topped with a layer of undissolved Milo powder). The culinary journey for these young women was filled with moments of surprise and delight, thanks to the culinary verve of Zavou and his team and the craftsmanship of Krug—while the meal drew heavily from childhood nostalgia and references from earlier years, it was filled with many moments of joy that will no doubt create new lasting memories to look back on in the future, too.