Alcohol lovers, have you heard of the brand KweiChow MouTai (贵州茅台)?

It’s a shame if you haven’t because the company that manufactures this liquor, Kweichow Moutai Co., Ltd. is the world’s most valuable liquor company, surpassing Diageo since April 2017.

The liquor is highly sought after in mainland China and are produced in Maotai, a picturesque town of about 100,000 in the south-west. KweiChow MouTai is a baijiu – Chinese rice wine distilled from fermented grains.

Baijiu is the alcohol of choice at Chinese banquets and among all the baijiu brands available in the market, KweiChow Maotai is the most highly regarded for its complex flavour and a purity that is said to prevent hangovers. However, due to its special manufacturing process, there is a limit on production, creating a artificial price surge in the resale market due to a supply shortage over high demands. When manufacturing KweiChow MaoTai, the grain and water used to make it must come from Maotai town and the brew must be buried in urns for at least four years before it’s sold.

For Singaporeans who are interested to try this liquor, KweiChow Maotai is available for online orders via their official store on Lazada. A 200ml bottle of their signature Flying Fairy KweiChow Maotai sells at $156 with a 53% alcohol concentration. Prices go all the way up to $8,800 for a 50 years old bottle like this one below:

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While the liquor is traditionally associated with Chinese banquets in mainland China, KweiChow Maotai is taking a different approach for their international markets like Singapore whereby the baijiu is being introduced and paired with fine dining establishments across a slew of different cuisines.

One such pairing is their recent one-night only collaboration with one Michelin-starred modern Singapore cuisine restaurant, Labyrinth by Chef LG Han:

Labyrinth is committed to the farm-to-table kitchen concept and procures all the ingredients served at the restaurant locally and from sustainable sources. Singapore may be an urban city, but Chef LG Han sees this as a challenge to boast the produce that Singapore has to offer by working closely with local farmers, fishermen and fishery ports.

Chef LG Han

Chef LG Han

For the KweiChow MouTai (贵州茅台) X Restaurant Labyrinth event, these were the dishes presented by Chef LG Han, in consultation with the team from KweiChow MouTai:

Homage to my Singapore by Chef LG Han

Homage to my Singapore by Chef LG Han

"Nasi Lemak" Cheong Fun - chicken skin, ikan bilis and egg yolk gel

“Nasi Lemak” Cheong Fun – chicken skin, ikan bilis and egg yolk gel

Homemade Lapcheong - barley, burnt rice "nori", local chicken

Homemade Lapcheong – barley, burnt rice “nori”, local chicken

Heartland Waffle - local chicken liver pate and goji berry jam

Heartland Waffle – local chicken liver pate and goji berry jam

"Ang Moh" Chicken Rice, Kin Yan Abalone Mushroom - home-milled rice flour, grandma's chili sauce and braised chicken

“Ang Moh” Chicken Rice, Kin Yan Abalone Mushroom – home-milled rice flour, grandma’s chili sauce and braised chicken

Local Wild Caught Crab, Sustenir Farm Strawberry - signature chili ice cream, egg whites and salted mackerel

Local Wild Caught Crab, Sustenir Farm Strawberry – signature chili ice cream, egg whites and salted mackerel

Nippon Koi Farm Silver Perch - otah rempan, all-spice leaf, kaffir lime

Nippon Koi Farm Silver Perch – otah rempan, all-spice leaf, kaffir lime

Indonesian Pork Collar - char siew, mixed grains, kale, pickled bak choy

Indonesian Pork Collar – char siew, mixed grains, kale, pickled bak choy

Close-up of the pork - meat goes very well with Kweichow Maotai

Close-up of the pork – meat goes very well with Kweichow Maotai

"Lost Grain" Fried Rice - white bait, dried scallop and local "dashi"

“Lost Grain” Fried Rice – white bait, dried scallop and local “dashi”

Palate Cleanser, Clam Leaf Snow - rosella meringue and textures of grapes

Palate Cleanser, Clam Leaf Snow – rosella meringue and textures of grapes

Dessert, MOu Tai Baba - orange cream, fresh coconut sorbet, ginger soil and of course, some Kweichow Maotai for the extra punch

Dessert, Mou Tai Baba – orange cream, fresh coconut sorbet, ginger soil and of course, some Kweichow Maotai for the extra punch

Petit Fours

Petit Fours – Mao Shan Wang mini macarons

Petit Fours

Petit Fours – mini goreng pisang

This was my first time dining at Labyrinth and I found Chef LG Han’s reinterpretations of local favourites into fine culinary dishes pretty refreshing. Even for a local, each dish packs elements of surprises in flavours and textures. The “Ang Moh” Chicken Rice and the Chili Crab dishes for instance, look nothing like the traditional hearty dishes we are used to. Instead, they are deconstructed and reassembled in a different form, presented with new, yet familiar flavours.

The pairing of these fine culinary creations with the baijiu from Kweichow Maotai is a remarkable experiment too. Instead of the usual French wines, Japanese sake, German craft beer or Scottish whiskey, why not opt for a Chinese baijiu like KweiChow Maotai next time you dine at a fine dining establishment?

The highlight for the night was the dessert, Mou Tai Baba, specially designed and created by Chef LG Han for the night. If you find the alcohol content not strong enough for your liking to end the night with, you can always pour more of the leftover baijiu in!

KweiChow Maotai will be introducing more similar culinary collaborations like the one they just presented with Restaurant Labyrinth. Stay tuned for updates!