11th JULY 2016 – With USD 2,000,000 in Singapore, you can choose between a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a penthouse, or a dinner.
I mean, when they put it that way, the dinner seems like the least exciting option. Don’t you kind of want to just pick the penthouse instead? Be sensible.
Russian diamond behemoth WORLD OF DIAMONDS Group is celebrating 15 years together with CÉ LA VI Singapore – the destination launched by L Capital Asia, the Asian private equity business sponsored by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) – which is counting 6 years. When the masters of diamonds and lifestyle join forces, you can expect no compromise for the world’s most expensive, and exclusive culinary experience, for two diners only. Mr Karan Tilani, Director of the WOD Group, states, “CÉ LA VI is a diamond in the sky. This could be the ultimate proposal, an exceptional occasion, or simply a celebration of life”.
I guess my version of a celebration of life is a bottle of wine that costs more than $20, but then again, I am not a master of diamonds and lifestyle.
The 8-hour retreat begins with a phenomenal air, land and sea journey – commencing with a 45 minute helicopter ride offering scenic wonders of Singapore, a chauffeured Rolls-Royce drive, followed by a luxury private cruise. As the duo rise elegantly upon CÉ LA VI’s highly coveted venue – atop the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the sight and scent of 10,000 fresh roses set against breathtaking 360-degree views would redefine them. The gastronomic adventure, an 18-course Modern Asian degustation menu, would then be served during sunset.
$2 million for only eight hours? I asked Tilani about this, and there’s a little more to it: “We anticipate the experience would last for eight hours, but possibly more (and not counting the night’s stay that we would be hosting them for as a surprise),” wrote Tilani in an email. Oops, I guess it’s not a surprise anymore.
As for the 18-course dinner: What does it take to pull off such a feat? According to Tilani, it will involve “an immense amount of manpower … over 100 staff — from chefs (led by veteran Jimmy Chok), sommeliers, the band, florists, designers & carpenters, jewelry artisans, drivers & pilots, and even local authorities.”
What’s on the menu, you ask? I’ve parsed out the press release’s list and added market prices and context below in italics.
While in complete privacy (the sanctuary will be reserved in their honor), the culinary voyage includesFresh Belon Oyster with Champagne foam ($125 for 50. One fishery notes, “Contrary to popular belief, Belon Oysters are not that uncommon.”)
Jamón Ibérico (Cured Spanish ham from black Iberian pigs. There’s no brand name listed here, and there is a wide range in quality — you can buy it on Amazon for as little as $20. A whole leg is $300.)Gewürztraminer-Poached Foie Gras (They may have stolen this recipe from Thomas Keller! $30 for two slices.)Veal Liver (Only $13)Lamb Sweetbread (About $3 for a half pound)Bresse Poulet Consommé (The “Dom Perignon” of the chicken world, a bird costs about $41. Consommé is a broth.)Striped Seabass (About $12 per pound)Air-Flown Alaska Wild Salmon (They don’t specify which type!)Slow Cooked Pigeon ($23)Glenvale Pork Loin (About $1.50 per pound)and Apple-Wood Grilled Mishima Sirloin (A finely marbled Wagyu beef, about $145 for one pound.)
Okay, here’s where you start really getting your money’s worth:
Among the planet’s most extraordinary tipples, alongside 44 and 55 year-old vintage wines, are paired with the spectacular menu; 1988 Salon ‘S’ champagne (average price $762), 2008 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (average price $635), 1996 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (between $12,000 and $17,000 a bottle), Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru ($275 to $900 a bottle), 1961 Chateau Haut-Brion ($1,400 t0 $4,000 a bottle) and 1972 Oremus Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos (average $156).
During the candle-lit affair (set both indoors and al fresco style), the guests shall dine with diamond-studded chopsticks (engraved with their names), while being seated luxuriously in custom-made designer furniture. The grand armchairs, fabricated by The Plush and configured to the diners’ home and personality, would eventually make their way to the couple’s residence. Complementing the ambience is not only the live band; WORLD OF DIAMONDS Group has introduced an unforgettable star-studded recognition to the evening.
Like the furniture, the chopsticks are also for keeps. Here’s hoping that one day, this couple casually pulls out their diamond chopsticks to eat some delivery pad Thai. As for that live band — like the furniture, it is also customizable. Maybe you’d like the band to play only Taylor Swift? That can be arranged: “The band would play romantic, elegant tunes, and to the liking of the couple who takes up the experience — this can range from jazz to country music,” said Tilani.
Anyway, here’s what you’re REALLY paying the big bucks for:
The Jane Seymour, a beyond rare 2.08 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring, would be presented in a delectable savory. The high jewelry masterpiece, created to celebrate the accomplishments of illustrious A-lister Jane Seymour, OBE, is encrusted with a cushion-cut sparkler that flaunts a mesmerizing blue hue. Seymour had worn and personally endorsed The Jane Seymour during a lavish dinner celebration at CÉ LA VI Singapore in April this year, and while the creation is in no hurry to be sold, it is the world’s only celebrity ring that isn’t pre-owned.
It never even occurred to me that wealthy people would be concerned that their 2.08 carat blue diamonds are pre-owned. Tilani notes: “The Jane Seymour blue diamond ring may also need to be re-sized.”
To mark the exhilarating moment when the ring finally graces the divine one at midnight, Louis XIII de Rémy Martin cognac ($3,500) would be served, complete with an extravagant fireworks display to the envy of the universe.
Unfortunately for “the divine one,” the “envy of the universe” requires coordinating with local authorities to schedule the fireworks display, something that Tilani says will be a component of the package.
“At CÉ LA VI, we live to create unique experiences that stimulate the senses, elevate the spirit, amplify passion and fuel the pursuit of pleasure. This ($2,000,000 dining experience) done conjointly with our esteemed partner, WORLD OF DIAMONDS Group, is the zenith of all experiences”, stated Mr David Sarner, CEO of CÉ LA VI Singapore. The conglomerates behind this offering are willing to extend the hospitality for a night’s stay, if necessary.
If necessary? If I pay $2 million eating every possible meat and getting drunk on vintage wines, you had better believe I will be requiring a place to sleep.
After all, c’est la vie.
Oh, so they do know how to spell it correctly.
Even if you accept the eye-watering price tag however, there is a prerequisite. The enchanting experience will only be sold to a qualified individual – at the discretion of both WORLD OF DIAMONDS Group and CÉ LA VI.
Here’s where it gets interesting! Your $2 million in fun money may still not be enough. I asked Tilani how they’re planning to choose the lucky oil tycoon or hedge fund boss. He declined to disclose the full criteria, but said that “among the considerations would be the buyer’s status (if he / she is respectable & influential), the buyer’s affinity for fine dining & blue diamonds, and how they plan to flaunt / display The Jane Seymour after they purchase the dining experience. We welcome interest globally.”
My plans for flaunting the ring: Maybe I’d start an Instagram account for it? I would definitely post it on Snapchat.
Last question for Tilani: How does a filthy rich person, who could definitely spend this money on Zika research or homelessness or environmental causes, but is instead blowing it on an eight-hour dinner, some land-air-sea sightseeing, a fireworks show, a ring, and “if necessary” a hotel room, pay for it all?
“Payment modes are wire transfers and cheques, but cards may be considered.”