Chef Khairul brings East and West onto one plate

  • Eating Out
  • Monday, 25 Oct 2010

Level 1, The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur,
5 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2688 9688.
Business hours: Daily; Lunch (noon-2.30pm), dinner (6.30pm-10.30pm).

WHEN a chef has a creative and ‘playful’ streak in him, it shows in the food he serves.

Tender bites: The DadaAyam Dara-KambingGulung has a balance offatty lamb and leanchicken meat.

Chef Khairul Ghazali, who is chef de cuisine of Bunga Emas Restaurant, makes dining all the more fun with his innovative dishes created for the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) menu.

Bunga Emas Restaurant, located at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, happens to be the only Malay fine dining restaurant participating in this year’s MIGF.

Guests can expect lovely surprises as Khairul fuses traditional ingredients that make up the essence of Malay food, with several Western dish items presented in a contemporary style.

For the amuse-bouche, we were served the Solok Cabai Salmon Isi Ketam. Interestingly, each course had a Malay name attached to it with an elegant English translation to describe every dish.

In English, it is termed as ‘East Meet West’ Chilli Stuffing with Light Cauliflower Shooter.

“The stuffing in the chilli is made from salmon and crab meat, with coconut and pepper to taste, our version of the local favourite yong tau foo.

Silky smooth: In place of whatis usually a sorbet forrefreshment, the chef hascreatively concocted the PandanTaufu Fa.

“As for the shooter, cauliflower is first sauteed with garlic, chilli powder for the slight piquancy and lemongrass before adding on coconut cream and blended till its smooth,” said Khairul.

Both the chilli stuffing and shooter tasted light and delicious.

Next was the appetizer called Hati Itik Serunding Kelapa, or Slow-Seared Duck Foie Gras on Dried Coconut Paste ‘Tin’ Orange Compote.

The foie gras was crispy on the outside with a layer of flour coating and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside. Topped with shredded dried coconut and the orange compote gave it a slightly sugary taste.

The starter was Singgang Nelayan (Duo Method of Grilled and Braised ‘Bunga Emas’ Lobster, Sultan Fish Old-Style ‘Singgang’ Broth) was a lovely seafood dish.

I loved the taste of the clear broth, which Khairul said is to help guests regain their appetite after the rich and creamy foie gras earlier.

Fusion: The Ikan Kod Asam Pedas,Mee Gulung Karipole is fresh andtender.

As for the slab of Sultan fish, he said the river fish is in fact more costly than the baby lobster!

Then came Sup Ekor Sapi or Double-Boiled Oxtail Soup and Potato Patties.

The flavorful soup was served in a dainty cup with a layer of baked popiah skin on top.

Instead of the usual sorbet as refreshment, Khairul created the Pandan Taufu Fa, where silky pandan tofu pudding is served on top of a crispy ginger bread.

As for the mains, guests can choose either the Ikan Kod Asam Pedas, Mee Gulung Karipole (Steamed Cod Fish, Hot and Sour Gravy with Home ‘Karipole’ Noodles, Chef Vegetables with Pearl Onion Confit) or the Dada Ayam Dara-Kambing Gulung (Slow-Baked Supreme Spring Chicken, Noisette of Lamb, Purple Potato, Broccoli, Pineapple Chutney and ‘Kurma’ Glazed).

East meetsWest: The HatiItik SerundingKelapa isinfused with atraditionalMalayingredient andsomethingWestern.

The cod fish, in its modern dressing and presentation, was served on gravy base made of asam pedas. The fish was firm in texture and tender.

The meat dish used spring chicken breast and a rack of lamb.

“I use chicken breast to balance out the fatty flesh of the lamb,” he said.

For desserts, we had the Trio, comprising the Ketayap Bunjut which is rolled crepe filled with caramelized coconut with mango salsa, the Kole Kacang which is mung or green bean cake with mint vanilla sauce and Teh Tarik Gelato.

My favourite was the Teh Tarik Gelato, which had tiny bubbles to truly resemble the drink. It was not only fun to look at but nice on the tastebuds.

The full festival menu is priced at RM290++ per person while the light festival menu (approximately half the menu with five courses) is priced at RM160++ per person.

The MIGF menu continues until Oct 31.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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