Friday, November 02, 2007

Feasting Festival

What a night! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival gala launch. And if you think the event's name is a mouthful, it was nothing compared to what was hidden behind the ballroom doors at One Hotel in Bandar Utama. Over 2000 people turned up for the event, 30 restaurants participated with over 90 courses in one glorious night. I was incredibly tempted to wear elasticated pants but the dress code stated "Evening Gown". Good thing I ignored it as I would've been hideously overdressed. People sure have a strange idea of what an evening gown should be. We were kept waiting for over an hour as the guest of honour was late as usual. People were puffing on cigars and chugging down the free booze.

Finally the doors to the ballroom were open and all the kiasu people rushed forward to get in. Shameless! It was certainly festive as all the chefs from the participating restaurants danced to the beat of beating saucepans and pots up on stage. My friend and I made our way to the far side of the ballroom where there wasn't as many people. Turned out to be Senses, Chynna and Iketeru from Hilton. The first thing I picked up from the dozens of canapes before me was chocolate mousse from Senses (bottom left). It had an incredibly light and velvety texture but the taste was out of this world. Intense without being overpowering. Served with a mound of what looked like chocolatey gravel which added a lovely crunch to the soft mousse. (bottom right, chilled scallops with mayonaise)We then went over to Lafite and sampled a foie gras and... Well, I'm not sure what it was! It was like eating foie gras sandwiched between two delicately crisp gingerbread cookies. Interesting. The cheese flavoured marshmallow bordered on being a little nauseating. Thankfully, it was a very small piece. It was like eating Japanese cheesecake but sweeter. I also tried a pearl oyster which was actually a small bead of oyster essence placed in an oyster shell. It may have looked interesting but it tasted like salty fishy water. The rest of the night was a bit of a blur as we sampled, slurped, tasted and gorged on canape after canape. There were quite a few Chinese restaurants and they all offered almost the same thing, prawns and scallops. Boring. Funnily enough, what really stood out was Novotel's Chinese Muslim restaurant. I loved their cold chicken with jellyfish. Very tasty! We also fell in love with Qba's chocolate and jalapeno truffles. Absolutely sinful! The jalapeno added a really nice kick to the dark velvety chocolate.Above left, one of the many Chinese restaurants. Right, lovely mouth-wateringly tender lamb from Sagar

While everyone tried to out do each other with their fancy booths and food presentation, the clear winner for the evening for me and my friend was Chalet, Hotel Equatorial. They were the only people who served warm food in miniature portion. They served hot soup in a mini bun bowl but the roast beef! Ah the roast beef... It was perfectly cooked, rare in the middle, and served with caramelised shallots and mushroom gravy. Divine! I hope I get invited again next year and I'll remember to wear sensible shoes and a dress with pockets so I don't need to carry my handbag!

3 comments:

  1. Cool! The food sounds awesome. Kinda sad it is by invitation only and not open to public.

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  2. Looks so exciting! lovely!

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