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A Personal Touch
An intimate evening at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
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Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie is a niche little restaurant in the heart of the city. Busy by day owing to its location on the ground floor of Menara Taipan, evenings after office hours are usually quieter, and most ideal for an intimate tête-à-tête.

With a cosy atmosphere, warm lighting and simple but classy table settings, the interior is a welcoming place, so much so that guests at Festive Dining series in conjunction with the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival didn’t mind having pre-dinner drinks and cocktails inside instead of the rained-out patio.

Champagne and canapés warmed up the night, and when everyone had gathered, host Dato’ Steve Day, Organising Chairman of MIGF, introduced them to Nathalie Arbefeuille – Festival Master Chef, Director of Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio and one of only two female Master Chefs in the Festival.

Mr Paul Ho, Mrs Lily Ho, Ms Lim Siew Lian, Tunku Nurul Hayati and Tunku Naquiyuddin

Soon the guests, who included MIGF Royal Patron YAM Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar and YM Tunku Nurul Hayati Tunku Bahador; and Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Idris and Mr Aubry Rahim Mennesson, took their seats, and dinner began, starting with finger foods.

Then it was on to starters – foie gras and marinated tuna in layers, mizzuna sorbet and herb salad, oyster in an Asian ravioli and Madras curry emulsion and blue lobster mille-feuille with a touch of caviar.

The apple cider sorbet followed to cleanse the palate, and then the mains – beef tenderloin rossigny-way with porcinis and potatoes in layers and cod fish pave in Dieppose style. Dessert was rhubarb compote, fresh strawberries and poppy flower chantilly with rhubabrb sorbet, and the meal was rounded off with Chef Nathalie’s famous macarons.

In between the courses, Dato’ Steve made the introductions of his guests, while Benoit Sommerlad, Sales Manager at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, offered insights into each dish. This went down well with the guests, with Ms Pearl Moses, Vice-Principal of Wesley Methodist Private School, saying this served to make the evening more intimate.

“The introductions by Dato’ Steve made the food taste even better in a way, because once you know with whom you’re dining, you can relax more and therefore taste the food better. This in turn makes the entire evening more enjoyable. Also, the explanations from Sommerlad regarding all the ingredients of the food… these were very interesting and I enjoyed listening to him,” she said.

The food also received a warm response, with Pearl picking the lobster as her favourite of the night. “I loved the way there were layers of flavors and as you bit through each layer a new taste would enter your mouth. Lobster is usually a food had on its own, without the intrusion of too many other ingredients, so it was a pleasant surprise to have it together with so many other ingredients. And of course the presentation was beautiful, as was the presentation of all dishes. Nathalie is an artist when it comes to this aspect of her food and this is one of the reasons we come back again and again,” she said.

Mr Rajan Moses, Tan Sri Ir. Md Radzi Haji Mansor, Puan Sri Aizah Mahmud and Ms Pearl Moses

Tan Sri Ir Md Radzi Haji Mansor, Chairman of TM Group Bhd, who was accompanied by Puan Sri Aizah Mahmud, chose the steak as his favourite. “The Beef Tenderloin was divine. I am very critical of steaks – they have to be done just right – and this steak had a perfect combination of tenderness and searing on the outside. The mushrooms were very good and went perfectly with the potatoes. A very well-rounded dish, while the portioning was also just right. When it comes to fine dining, it is more about the taste rather than amount. In this case, Chef Nathalie got it just right,” he said.

On MIGF’s efforts to promote Malaysia’s fine-dining scene, the guests had nothing but good words to say. Ms Pearl said the Festival had “done a splendid job in raising the bar of fine dining”, and Tan Sri Ir Md Radzi called it “a very good initiative, and I hope it continues well into the future”.

Tengku Zatasha said, “I think it’s important for Malaysia to have a Festival like this one. It gives credibility to restaurants that are participating and also the chefs. I mean, Malaysians just love food, and what better way to showcase more of this, especially the fine dining, the menus and of course the chefs behind the amazing food that we can create.”

And to add to the memories of the evening, FUJIFILM, the MIGF Official Imaging Partner, had brought along photo printers, so that guests could have a memento to take home with them. Not only that, Senior Executive Director Mr Paul Ho also extended this courtesy to other guests dining at the restaurant that evening, much to their surprise and delight.

These personal touches are indeed what make a night memorable, and Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie’s food, intimate setting and service are the draws that keep diners coming back for more.

Tunku Nurul Hayati, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad and Puan Sri Datin Seri Datin Seri Fauzah Mohd Darus

Mr Nick Lough, Mrs Merina Lough, Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Idris and Mr Aubry Rahim Mennesson

 Datuk Dr. Jagjit Singh Sambhi, Ms Sarah Goh, Datin Margaret Sambhi, Madam Mae S.K. Ho, Mr Benoit Sommerlad
Mr Yon Shee Guan, Mr Paul Ho, Mrs Lily Ho and Mr Patrick McVeigh

 Mrs Lily Ho and Datin Su Wai Fun

Other guests at the meal were Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad and Puan Sri Fauzah Mohd Darus; Datuk Dr. Jagjit Singh Sambhi, Consultant Obestetrician and Gynaecologist at Sambhi Clinic, Maternity & Gynecological Centre, and Datin Margaret Sambhi; Mrs Lily Ho; Mr Rajan Moses, Managing Director, Senior Regional Media Advisor of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide; Mr Nick Lough, Executive Director of Mediconsult Group, and Mrs Merina Lough; Mr Yon Shee Guan, General Manager of The Hour Glass Sdn Bhd; Ms Lim Siew Lian, Director of Megaton Holdings Sdn Bhd; Madam Mae S K Ho, Chief Operating Officer of Berjaya Higher Education Sdn Bhd, and Ms Sarah Goh; Mr Patrick McVeigh of Vision Four Media Group; and Datin Su Wai Fun, Managing Director of AsiaReach Events.

Dinner was sponsored by Vision KL