OCTOBER is a month to celebrate chefs and their ability to whip up some fine dishes.
The Malaysian International Gastronomy Festival (MGIF) is back and participating in it are some of the country’s best who have created special menus for the festival.
Chef Valmurugan Subramanian from Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant is one of them.
Affectionately known as chef Val, he started his career in a banana leaf restaurant before switching to the hotel culinary scene which led him to finding a penchant for European cuisine especially dishes using Swiss and French techniques.
“Cooking is quite simple, all you need are a few good quality ingredients and attention to detail to create a master dish,” he said.
This month, the restaurant serves two festival menus – a light version and a full menu to suit the taste of customers.
The full version was picked for the media to get a total experience of Val’s delightful creations.
It kicked off with a sourish Lamb Tartlet with Goat Cheese Groquetas. The well-balanced savoury dish was followed by the Pan Fried Haloumi with Chilled Marinated Vegetables and Lemon Emulsion.
With carrots, mushroom, onion and white radish among others on the side, the fried haloumi was appetising to the palate.
A comforting soup can never go wrong. In this set, we were served Green Peas Cream with Artichoke Chips and Tomato Tartar.
The Poached Baby Mackerel, with Chickpea Puree, Smoked Garlic Cream and Walnut presented the sous-vide cooking method, which explained the moist and tender fish.
There were three choices for the main course – Pan fried Halibut Fillet, Slow-cooked Cutlet of Lamb and Wagyu Beef Medallion.
My choice was the lamb and Val delivered two hearty pieces of cutlets served with baked stuffed red onions, glazed root vegetables and jus of cherry.
The cutlets too are cooked sous-vide, infused with olive oil, white pepper and rosemary.
To seal the meal, a decadent dessert of Guanaja Chocolate, Delice, Sea Salt flakes, Butterscotch and Cream Cheese Mousseline. The layers in the cake had different textures and a light crunch reminiscent of wafers and nuts.
The festival menu ends this month.
SAMPLINGS ON THE FOURTEENTH RESTAURANT, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, 1 Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2142 9611). Business hours: 6.30pm to 10.30pm (daily, except Sunday and public holiday).
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.