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A Sovereign Feast
The Emperor
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The sounds of Trio, headed up by violinist Pearly Wong, greeted guests as they arrived at The Emperor, the tenth restaurant in the mammoth dining month hosted by MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day and AsiaReach Events MD Datin Su Wai Fun. The band made their way through a set of light, classical jazz numbers which set the mood for the evening and made for a decadent ambience. It would not be the first time tonight that guests would hear the violin expertly played as Austrian Stefan Kocsis, violinist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, would later take to the stage together with Austrian Ambassador Andrea Wicke for an operatic duet.

A skillfully carved ice sculpture, doubling as a wine bottle holder, drew interest from the guests as they savoured strawberry daiquiris while chatting and waiting for the last of the group to arrive. With the final guests present, dinner was called and everyone was seated at two lavishly dressed tables, complete with fortune cookies to be opened after the meal.

Chef Loh Jiunn Voon and his team prepared a sumptuous six-course meal, which began with the aptly named Emperor’s Trilogy Combination, consisting of Pacific crab claw, chilled spiny rock lobster and crispy chicken skin in spicy red dates sauce. The regal starter was followed by a consommé and then it was straight into the main course, where guests had a choice of wok-fried freshwater prawns filled with prawn paste and papaya butter sauce, roulade of roasted crispy duck with eight treasures and glutinous rice or homemade fish paste noodles with oven-baked silver cod fish.

The meal ended with the yin and yang of mango, an avocado puree served with fresh pomelo creatively presented inside a coconut shell. The unique dessert was something that captured the heart and taste buds of Jose R Baranano, former Spanish Ambassador to Malaysia, commenting that it was “astonishing, surprising and fantastic, a dish I have never seen or tried before.”

Post dinner entertainment came in a number of musical forms, beginning with a rousing duet by Stefan Kocsis on the violin and H.E. Andrea Wicke on the mic, who belted out a rendition of a traditional Austrian song. The Ambassador is a highly trained vocalist and Kocsis a long time member of the MPO and so their meeting on stage was sublime.

After the classical entertainment by the Austrians came the “ridiculous”, as Tunku Tan Sri ibni Tuanku Ja’afar Imran himself proclaimed in his speech, after which he proceeded to take the distinguished guests through a rendition of Chuck Berry’s My Ding-A-Ling. The entire party got on their feet and followed along to the chorus, which by the end, had everyone chuckling away.

On a more serious note, Tunku Imran mentioned that MIGF includes “a great range of different restaurants and cuisines, from many different ethnic groups and not restricted to merely local fare.” Indeed, MIGF aims to showcase the variety of premium dining Malaysia has to offer, and to show that the culinary scope is very much on a par with the west.

Other guests on the evening included CEO of Petrosains Sdn Bhd Tengku Nasariah Tengku Sayed Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of City-Link Express Holdings Sdn Bhd Dato’ David Tan, Business Advisor to Hap Seng Plantations David Park and Puan Sri Christine Khir Johari.