The Hennessy X.O Odyssey, revealed

The taste of a Fine spirit

After weeks of speculation and teasing, the menu for the highly anticipated Hennessy X.O Odyssey has been revealed. Taking inspiration from a trip to Sabah, chefs James Won (of Enfin by James Won) and Nurdin Topham (of the Michelin-starred NUR in Hong Kong) have created a seven-course menu that pairs perfectly with the seven unique tasting notes of Hennessy X.O. Sabah’s fertile environment produces some of the freshest, purest land and sea bounty, and these dishes are testament to that. Without any further ado, here are the seven chapters of the Hennessy X.O. Odyssey.



Tiger Prawn
Dish: Prawn confit with a curry-infused oil
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O with water
Tasting note: Rising Heat – the intense, rising heat that gradually reveals the complex character of eaux-de-vie aged patiently in oak barrels

The waters surrounding Sabah are one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, home to the Sabah tiger prawn, an ingredient that has a unique sweetness, luscious texture, delicate crunch and unctuous creaminess unlike any other crustacean. Prepared as a confit, a curry-infused oil adds a subtle hint of heat to accompany to cognac, while the warm notes of turmeric draw out the natural sweetness of the flesh. Heirloom tomatoes add a bit of crunchy tartness, while wild Sabah mangoes contribute their rich zestiness.


The Blue Lobster
Dish: Lobster prepared with fresh burnt coconut crème
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O on the rocks
Tasting note: Spicy Edge – a strong spicy edge that cuts through the liquid, delivering a peppery hit to the lips and palate with a hint of chocolate

Fresh lobsters from the bountiful French coasts of Brittany and Normandy are prepared here with fresh burnt coconut crème, accentuating the lobster’s creamy texture while lending an earthy woody note as counterbalance. Spice comes in the form of a dash of Sabah yellow chilli pepper, while slow-braised sweet potatoes add texture and sweet & sour pickled Sabah seaweed give piquancy.


The Hybrid Grouper
Dish: Grouper with fermented yam beans, raw papaya and umbra fruit
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O neat
Tasting note: Sweet Notes – candied fruit suddenly emerge, offering fresh sweetness with the tang of oranges and tartness of apricots

Bred as a sustainable marine species by the University of Malaysia, Sabah and the Borneo Marine Research Institute, the hybrid grouper loses none of the toothsome texture of fresh grouper flesh, while adding a sweet, creamy finish and depth of flavour akin to free-range village chickens. Here, that oceanic crispness is celebrated with the accompaniment of fermented yam beans encased in raw papaya and umbra fruit for an unusual sweetness. Sugar also comes in other forms – a hit of fresh citrus from a lemon puree and an intense nuttiness from hazelnut butter – finished up with the earthy spice of wild pepper leaf.


The Sea Cucumber
Dish: Slow-braised sea cucumber with ulam raja, rubber tree mushrooms and pomelo leaf oil
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O with water
Tasting note: Flowing Flame – a tidal wave of warmth slowly builds, crests then breaks on the tastebuds, washing the senses over in an embrace of robust glow

Prized in Chinese cuisine for its nourishing properties that is said to prevent arthritis, the sea cucumber is a tricky dish due to its painstaking preparation. Thus, it only appears on special occasions, like the Hennessy X.O Odyssey. Here the sea cucumber is braised slowly, allowing its soft, gelatinous flesh to absorb the flavours of the warmly aromatic cosmos caudatus (ulam raja), earthy rubber tree mushrooms and zingy pomelo leaf oil. Steaks of pomelo skin braised with sea cucumber essence give this dish a deep lustre.


Bario Grains With Chicken
Dish: Sous vide free-range chicken with tapai
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O neat
Tasting note: Wood Crunches – Notes of oak and notes hit the palate, ebbing and flowing in a bold, woody way with a striking sensation of depth

Unique to Sabah, the Barion grain is a staple dish, and also one of the highest grades of rice available. Starchy and sticky, Bario rice is also the key ingredient in creating Sabah local moonshine – tapai or li-hing. Here, all forms of the grain are celebrated. A free-range village chicken is cooked sous vide at 63 degrees, then infused with a tapai extract to lend a silky, rich flavour of the jungle. A Bario rice crème prepared with imperial stock and tapai complete the dish.


Hennessy and Chocolate
Dish: Chocolate with young coconut mousse
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O. neat
Tasting note: Chocolate Lull – something familiar beckons. It is rich, dark chocolate – slightly sweet, slightly bitter, but oh so smooth as it caresses the palate.

Fine spirits pair well with chocolate, each enhancing the other’s rich flavours. For this chapter, pure chocolate, diluted and extracted from a broth, takes centre stage, accompanied by a fresh, young coconut mousse. Coconut flesh, ginger, peppercorn and rose water are the supporting cast, all contributing to enhancing the intense fragrance of the chocolate.


Borneo Pineapple
Dish: Borneo Pineapple rum baba
Pairs with: Hennessy X.O neat
Tasting note: Infinite Echo – a ghost of oaky notes lingers in the mouth, fading and re-asserting themselves in a loop that carries the spirit of all the tastes and notes that have come before

The clear, clean, sweet and tangy flavours of the Sarawak pineapple anchor this interpretation of a classic Rum Baba. First, the pineapple – unique to Borneo jungles – is slowly roasted and stewed to draw out its luscious natural flavour. Then it is roasted again in Hennessy X.O for a rich, bold caramel note that loops back into intensifying the dish. The moist cake is then soaked in an essence infused with Hennessy X.O, and garnished with hints of ginger and orange to finish.

The Hennessy X.O Odyssey menu at Enfin by James Won runs until November 30, 2016. Priced at RM999++ per guest with pairings of Hennessy X.O. For reservations, visit Enfin by James Won or call +6010-288 7920



Sign up for our Newsletters

Stay up to date with our latest series