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Parés Baltà Wines & Spanish Cuisine @ LUMBRE CHIJMES · Umami Mia Meets Organic Penedès Wine & Cava

We had a whale of a time last night at LUMBRE @ CHIJMES with Parés Baltà wines and sparkling wines from Spain paired with authentic Spanish cuisine by chef Jordi from Barcelona 🍷🍾🥂💃🕺👏👏👏

This wine pairing dinner was an event of #EatSpainDrinkSpain (15 Oct - 15 Nov 2023).

LUMBRE is one of only 16 Spanish restaurants in Singapore with the Certified Restaurant from Spain award. Every year Spanish restaurants are assessed for quality of ingredients, authenticity of recipes, overall experience, etc., by an expert panel in Spain.

This is not a once and for all award but winners are reassessed and verified every year. So winners have to stay on their toes and keep up their standards. LUMBRE is on the list of 2023. Once you tried LUMBRE you too can see why.

Our hosts tonight, Juan Carreras, Parés Baltà winery's Asia Pacific Director and Jordi, head chef of LUMBRE.

Parés Baltà is a family winery in Penedès, 30 km from Barcelona and the Mediterranean coast in southeast Spain. Parés Baltà was founded in 1790, when its first vineyards were established. (Decades before Raffles founded Singapore in 1819.)

Today, Parés Baltà is known for their organic wines and cava (Spanish sparkling wines) that capture and express the essence of the land and their centuries old vineyard.

Parés Baltà actually have their own flock of sheep to fertilize and feed the land. They even have their own beehives to pollinate their grape vines. 

Parés Baltà wines are imported to Singapore by Hans Jorn Madsen of Donzere artisan wines.

Juan launched us with Cava Blanca Cusine 2013 🥂

Cava Blanca Cusiné is made with Xarel-lo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The sparkling wine is aged in bottle for 30 months.

Chef Jordi paired it with Iberico ham croquette.

Cava Blanca Cusine 2013 looks alluringly golden yellow and cheerful with fine bubbles. It has a round body, smells subtly of nuts and tastes reminiscent of candied fruit.

Cod fritter.

Then, chef Jordi brought out these super  umami grilled carabinero prawns 🦐 woolala 💃🕺 Compared with local prawns, carabinero has softer meat but is sweeter. It is served shelled but with head on. I was the only one at the party scraping out and enjoying the head butter 🤭 Heavenly Umami Mia that pairs well with the sparkling Cava Blanca Cusine 2013.

Amphora Brisat 2019 is made with Xarel-lo grapes. This light yellowish colour wine is fruity on the nose and palate. Smells like baked apple with subtle apricot and banana. Slightly tannic because of the skins.

I just took an obligatory snap of this plain looking jumble - it was a mistake, I mean my mistake.

This grilled spiced pumpkin with goat cheese and romesco sauce was mind blowing with umami from goat cheese with traces of sweet from the pumpkin and more umami from roasted tomato, red pepper, garlic and nuts in the romesco sauce.

Roasting was going on non stop tonight in the open kitchen. Shot from my table at 10x zoom.

I love my front row view of the frenetic action in the open kitchen and the smell of the first aromas when fire kisses fresh meat.

Another dish to go with Amphora Brisat 2019.

Squid ink Fideua, "Ar de Arte" razor clam and small scallop.

Calcari 2021 served by Lorna, Manager @ LUMBRE. Made from Xarel-lo grapes, the pale yellow wine is medium bodied, smells of fresh pear, green apple, and tastes of citrus fruit.

Calcari 2021 was paired with seabass with salsa verde and cauliflower puree.

Mas Irene 2018 is made with a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes aged for a year in new French oak barrels. Medium bodied, smooth, fruity, toasty, tannic, with mineral savouriness.

Chef Jordi paired the Mas Irene 2018 with suckling pig terrine, apple and pineapple. The meat was soft-tender and juicy, and tasted savoury porcine sweet. The golden skin was crackly and amazingly melts quickly in the mouth along with the savoury sweet warm fat underneath. The Spanish have a way with suckling pigs second to none, in my humble opinion.

Marta de Balta 2017 made with Syrah (Shiraz ) grapes has complex flavours with lots of depth -  tastes of dark chocolate, leather, and smoke with a sweet aftertaste.

Chef Jordi paired it with beef ribeye with piquillo pepper and baby potato sides.

The beef ribeye was marvellous, of course.

The most memorable thing on this plate was the fiery red piquillo pepper. The roasted chili pepper was soft, limp, but fleshy and juicy, and rich with umami and sweet flavours with subtle heat.

We came full circle back to the Cava Blanca Cusine 2013.

This Basque cheesecake with rosemary ice cream was amazing. I mean, I spent a couple of months in NYC in 2014 and tried many New York cheesecakes. I prefer this Basque style cheesecake because the cheese is lighter and smooth like custard, and the sourness is better balanced with sweetness and a bit of savouriness.

All done. A great party. Chef Jordi can finally sit down with us to enjoy a Cava Blanca Cusine 2013.

Take a bow chef Jordi and team.

Nice introduction to Spanish wines and cava from Parés Baltà, in particular. I also enjoyed the cooking of chef Jordi and would definitely be back for more Umami Mia!

Restaurant name: LUMBRE

Address: 30 Victoria St, #01-20, Singapore 187996 (inside CHIJMES)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes from City Hall station

Tel: 9722 8171

Hours: 12 noon - 3 pm | 5pm - 11 pm

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Written by Tony Boey on 7 Nov 2023

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