3-D Food Art Extravaganza in Hoi An
29 March 2019 | Anantara Hoi An Resort
This past Friday evening, Chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes took his guests’ palettes on an artistic adventure...
As always, there was an air of mystery to the event as me and my fellow guests didn't know what to expect. On the morning of the dinner, details were revealed to meet at the Mia Coffee shop for 6.45pm. The party of strangers gathered and we were welcomed by our host.
We walked amidst the glowing lanterns of Hoi An’s historic Old Town. Along the way, guests were greeted with a welcome glass of champagne our the night's first taste.
Our host invited to pause at a small poolside pavillion just outside the Secret venue. Here we were served an appertiser, wood-fired Vietnamese-style pizzas, cooked to order. An enticing snack to tease our tastebuds, whilst we pondered what the night could behold.
This is where each of us were given a clue card for our challenge of the night. We were handed a card containing clues describing our individual “mystery person.” Our task for the night would be to find the guest that matched our clues. This was a brilliant conversation starter and divulged some fascinating facts.
After getting to know one another over a cocktail, guests were finally led to their second secret destination. The table was set in the middle of a beautiful art gallery, known as the Art Space at the Anantara Resort.
As we were seated we recieved a warm welcoming from Natalya, manager of SecretEATS Vietnam. We were then introduced to the artist of the evening, Chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes, known for his blending technology and creativity with his dishes. He revealed that he would be creating tonight's food using a 3-D printer, a technique that is nothing short of extraordinary.
We received the first course: Iberico Ham and Foie Gras, garnished with guava, pickled onions, cucumber, miso mayonnaise, and (in true Vietnamese style!) an Arabica coffee crumble. Paired with Fairview 'Goats Do Roam' rosé from South Africa, a food wine with rose water and strawberry notes. The dish was the perfect juxsta position of a creamy buttery texture to a salty sweet taste. The coffee crumble finished off the starter with an unexpected smokey twist merging a fun classic dish with local Vietnamese culture.
This was followed by with fresh Spiny Lobster accompanied with 'Chef's Balls'. Complimented by pressed juicy dragon fruit, locally sourced clams and tomarto jus. The dish was seasoned with Hoi An spices and paired with Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc from Western Cape, South Africa.
Midway through the meal, we were treated to Hokkaido Scallop and Seabass. The seafood was impeccably cooked, and plated with crispy pancetta, white beans, and grilled cauliflower. A drizzle of Ponzu dressing finished off the work of art. We were poured a glass of Nobilo's 'Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris', from New Zealand. That gave off aromas of pear, nectarine and hints of spice.
Next the chef cooked us a charcoal grilled Wagu Tenderloin. The mouthwatering main was combined the refreshing watermelon, sticky rice and asparagus salad topped with Yakiniki sauce. Best with Penfold Max's Shiraz, South Australia. To acquaint your taste buds with dark fruit, licorice and spicy oak flavours.
Dessert was the true masterpiece of the night. Set in the final secret location, a room shrouded in purple neon light with a central long pristine table and music played by DJ Dark. All whilst sipping a glass of Floralis Moscatel Oro, a richly flavoured Spanish desert wine.
The 'Grand Dessert', was grand by name and grand by nature. In assembly-like fashion, several chefs circle the table and began plating up their different components. Constructing the dessert to the beat of the music. Guests errupted with applause and cheering before sitting down. The delicious dessert was a 3-D printed beach scene made up of a chocolate palm tree, crunchy coconut truffle, and tangy passionfruit sorbet.
When dessert was finished, the DJ continued mixing melodies and the group danced the night away. Capping of an amazing fine dining experience.
We’d love to host you at our next event! If an evening of eating delectable food with the charming company of strangers and surprises around every turn, sounds like something you’re interested in then please click here.
Written by Daisy Baker
Edited by Ryan Coles & Cerys Thorne
Photos by Fred Wissink