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After a marathon month of Festive Dining at 28 restaurants, the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival came to an end with the final dinner of the series at Bunga Emas, The Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. And what a grand event it was, with this Malay fine-dining specialist going all out to create a memorable evening.

The evening began with the guests mingling at the foyer of the hotel, right outside the restaurant, sipping on glasses of chilled Kronenbourg 1664. Dato’ Steve Day, Organising Chairman of MIGF, said a few words of welcome and introduced Franz Swoboda, General Manager of the Royale Chulan, who went on to welcome everyone to the Royale Chulan and also introduce his team.

Then, ushered by waiters in full chef’s regalia, the guests took their seats, while also taking the time to admire Bunga Emas’ interior, which featured an elaborate décor in lavish gold tones, especially in the elegant curtains, plush carpeting and table settings. An MIGF ice sculpture stood in front of a huge backdrop of Bunga Emas Master Chef Mohd Haironizam and Master Chef Anna Suzanna of sister restaurant L’Heritage.

Mr Kee Hua Chee, H.E. Rolf Lenz, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Kadir Bin Haji Sheikh Fadzir and Princess Dr. Becky M Leogardo, Madam Hsiao Lan Lenz, Mr Michael Mantz

 H.E. Ruben Perez Valdes, Madam Ilena Gracia Perez, Mrs Agneta Bekkers Linssen and H.E. Paul Bekker

On the other side of it, an open kitchen, where the chef prepared the meal, was on view for the guests, who included HE Paul Bekkers, Ambassador of the Netherlands, who was accompanied by Madam Agneta Bekkers-Linssen; HE Ruben Perez Valdes, the Cuban Ambassador, and Madam Ilena Gracis Perez; HE Rolf Lenz, Ambassador of Switzerland, and Madam Hsiao Lan Lenz; and Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Executive Chairman of Sazean Group.

As a group of performers showed of the graceful moves of traditional Malay dances, the creations of Chef Haironizam, using traditional Malay elements in completely new ways, were wheeled out, starting with a roulade of salmon and masla cheese served with percik sauce. This was followed by slow-seared duck foie gras and banana flower tempura served with pomegranate glaze, and slow-braised rock lobster with old-style singgang broth. The crab soup, meanwhile, employed the use of the sea cucumber, which is well known locally for its medicinal properties.

Dato Steve, Mr Geoffrey Briscoe, Mrs Lorna Briscoe, H.E. Paul Bekkers and Mr Michael Mantz

In a surprising twist, two of Dato’ Steve’s close friends, Mr Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director of BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and Dato’ Jeffrey Lim, Group Managing Director of Motorex Group of Companies, got up to say a few words on the Organising Chairman himself. Both took turns to share stories on their friendship and also to highlight Dato’ Steve’s achievements, passion and his work.

It was a wonderful evening of great company and exquisite food, and as dessert was served – black glutinous rice in coconut parcel served with mango salsa – the guests commented positively on this East meets West culinary explosion, which offered interesting finds to those who had never tasted Malay cuisine, including HE Bekkers, who has only been in Malaysia for a month.

And this was, indeed, the perfect end to the Festive Dining series, and MIGF as a whole, as it fully explored the fine-dining capabilities of Malaysia and also its local cuisine.

Dato Jeffrey Lim, Dato Anna Lim, Mrs Malene Ravn and Mr Soren Ravn

 Mr Franz Swoboda, Mr Nazifuddin bin Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Razak, Mrs. Farahana and Dato Steve

Mrs Lynn Tan, Ms Jeannette Tan, Mrs Aparna Nanavati and Mr Sanjeev Nanavati

 Mr Allan Wong, Mr Chris Tomachi, Ms Joyce Yap, Dato Jeffrey Lim, Mrs Poh Li Wong and Mr Franz Swoboda

Other guests at the dinner were Dato’ Anna Lim; Datin Jasmine Abdullah Heng, General Manager of May Tower Kuala Lumpur, and Dato’ Zainal Abidin Putih; Princess Dr Becky M Leogardo, Founder and CEO of Excellent Combination Sdn Bhd; Mr Michael Mantz, Mr Kee Hua Chee; En Nazifuddin Mohd Najib, Executive Chairman of Sagajuta Sdn Bhd, and Ms Farahana; Mr Sanjeev Nanavati, CEO of Citibank Bhd, and Mrs Aparna Nanavati; Mr Soren Ravn, Managing Director of Carlsberg Marketing Sdn Bhd, and Mrs Malene Ravn; Mr Chris Tomachi, Deputy MD of Panasonic, and Mr Allan Wong; Mrs Lorna Briscoe; Ms Joyce Yap, CEO-Retail of Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd; Ms Lynn Tan and Ms Jeannette Tan; Mrs Poh Li Wong; Mr Robert Holst, Special Assistant to GMD of Vision Four Media Group; and Datin Su Wai Fun, Managing Director of AsiaReach Events.



Dinner was sponsored by Vision KL