The Royale Chulan restaurant plays on taste and presentation.
Bunga Emas, a fine dining Malay restaurant in The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, has fashioned six courses of exquisite modern Malay cuisines with a Western flair for their Malaysia International Gourmet Food Festival 2014 (MIGF) menu.
The menu features creatively presented meals prepared by chef Nizam Samsu who took only a day to come up with the menu.
This year marks Bunga Emas’ fifth year in the festival and Nizam’s first go at impressing the nation with his skills, as the restaurant aims to take home the ‘Best Malay Fine Dining Food’ and ‘Most Innovative’ title.
“The menu was crafted based on what I felt people would enjoy and to bring a new spin to Bunga Emas’ menu. I’ve incorporated high quality ingredients for the menu,” he said.
Although hailing from a Western banquet background, Nizam took up the challenge to feature a different side of serving Western food with traditional Malay flavours.
He said that the differences in the two styles, Western and Malay, allowed him to ‘play with’ taste and presentation.
As meals were served to the media, it was evident that much thought and effort went into not just the blending of Western and traditional Malay cooking, but also in food presentation.
We were served four of the seven dishes on the menu.
The course began with a cold appetiser of Pan Seared Foie Gras-Scallop with Avocado and Kesum with Morel Micro Cress and Sweet Chilli Sabayon.
The combination of Western and Malay flavours was first introduced by the soft buttery fois gras that was complemented by an avocado base, and contrasted with the soft and clear scallop with a spicy Malay salad of onions, and thinly sliced vegetables with a touch of bird’s eye chilli. With every bite, the onion flavour lingered on.
Nizam’s love for playing with food taste and presentation was displayed with the second course of Cream of Red Sweet Potato with Local Basil and Black Caviar Cordon Noir.
What would have been a simple soup dish turned into a spectacle as it was placed on the table.
The soup cup was placed on a wooden plank, with a square centre filled with aromatic spices frequently used in Malay food.
With every sip of the soup, the spices tingled our sense of smell and taste.
A simple floss stick was served alongside the soup, giving a rather sweet flavour to the soup.
For main courses, we were offered a choice of In Singgang Broth Stuffed Golden Pomfret with Alaskan King Crab and Karipoley Noodles or Braised Short Rib in Onion, Coriander, Tomato-Cumin Gravy and Yam.
My choice was the short rib, which was surrounded by a rich curry gravy with robust flavours of coriander, cumin and curry powder.
The meat was tender and best eaten with the yam base and sweetened onions.
I had a little taste of the stuffed golden pomfret with Alaskan king crab with noodles and found myself thinking about otak-otak.
The stuffed Alaskan king crab in the fresh golden pomfret was flavourful and tasted so close to the traditional version as the filling featured a taste of chilli, curry powder and turmeric, a taste to eating otak-otak.
To end the meal, Nizam served the traditional Fermented Rice Timbale with Blueberry Compote, Coconut Crumble and Yoghurt Ice Cream. Though everyone else wiped up their helping of fermented rice or better known as tapai, I couldn’t take the strong taste, even when it was mixed with blueberry ice-cream and honey, served on the side.
Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed ending my meal by blending the sweetness of honey with the sourness of the blueberry ice-cream.
Other dishes on the menu for the festival are a warm Master Kobe with Pine Nut and Pomegranate Sauce appetiser, Honey Pineapple and Raspberry Sherbet refreshment and Coconut Crumble and Yoghurt Ice Cream.
Bunga Emas’ full festive menu is priced at RM180++ per person without wine while the light menu is RM150++ per person without wine. The light menu includes one appetiser or soup, sherbet, a main course and dessert.
BUNGA EMAS, Level 1, The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, 5 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur (Tel:03-2688 9688) Business hours: Noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm, daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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