Exclusive dinner reflects credit card exclusivity

TXULETA — a steak from an older, more fulfilled cow

MASTERCARD presented a dinner at Gallery by Chele that reflected the invitation-only status of their top credit card tiers, namely, the MasterCard World and World Elite cards. The dinner on Oct. 3 took invitation-only diners around the world on a plate.

Dinner kicked off with White Snapper Ceviche with Roasted Hazelnut and Tomato Sorbet (inspired by the country of Peru), and an Oyster Omelette with Scallions and Cilantro (inspired by Singapore). Tasting Club founder Kevin Charuel, meanwhile, led guests through the wine pairings. A Beaumont Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc 2018 from South Africa was paired with these two starters. Displaying notes of apricot and green apple, this brought out the freshness of the fish; while cleaning out the oceanic flavor of the oysters.

Lobster Tail with Hollandaise, Ikura, and French Beans came next, as well as a Mackerel and Asparagus Risotto. These were paired with a Whispering Angel 2021 Rose from Côtes de Provence in France. The wine had notes of ripe peach and a lightly musky scent, and with the lobster, captured the essence of light luxury, and giving levity to the risotto.

Most everyone looked forward to the Txuleta (steak from an older, more fulfilled cow), paired with a Bodega Numanthia Termes 2018 from Toro in Spain. The steak was sweet and smoky, and the wine’s cacao notes and balance between lightness and tannic qualities gave gravitas to the steak. Both benefited from the pairing in an exchange of complexity.

Dessert was the Mango MNL from Gallery, with Coconut, Dayap, and Lemon Balm; then another Gallery signature, the Bibingka Cheesecake. These were paired with a Chateau Imperial Late Harvest 2015 from Hungary, with a sweet, fruity taste and a scent leaning to the floral. These notes gave an accent and cut through the rich creaminess of the desserts.

WHAT THE DINER REPRESENTEDMasterCard Philippines’ Country Manager Simon Calasanz talked about why they chose to show off the cards’ powers through a dinner at Gallery by Chele. “We thought it matched very well with the proposition of World and World Elite.”

Benefits of the card include a complimentary one-year membership to Centr: By Chris Hemsworth, a personalized digital health and fitness program; complimentary unlimited Doctor Chat, Teleconsultation and medicine delivery provided by Allianz Partners and MyDoc; discounts of up to 50% on green fees at 42 premium golf clubs all over Asia; access to Mastercard’s curated travel experiences on Priceless.com; and exclusive discounts on trips such as 12% off on hotels booked through Agoda and 5% off on attractions and in-demand tours booked through Klook. Apart from the benefits, cardholders also get access to additional travel and concierge services such as global data roaming, airport concierge and destination limousine rides (subject to terms by the card issuers).

Mastercard World cardholders are automatically entitled to annual e-Commerce Protection coverage of up to $200, and World Elite cardholders have annual premium e-Commerce Protection of up to $1,000 when they shop or pay online when traveling.

World Elite cardholders also automatically get access to Purchase Protection and Travel Insurance of up to $20,000 and $500,000 coverage, respectively.

“You can apply for a MasterCard World or World Elite Card with any of our partner issuers that issue these cards,” said Mr. Calasanz. He mentioned BDO and RCBC as two of their partner issuers. BDO’s website lists the qualifications for the card as “A By-Invitation only credit card.”

“One card issuer might have a different qualification from the others,” he said. “They’d be happy to assess you if you’re accepted,” he said.

More than the perks, perhaps part of the appeal of having the World and World Elite Cards is the emotional value of having something few people have. “Not everybody is chosen,” said Mr. Calasanz. — JL Garcia