Archives: Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2013 (01-31 October 2013)

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Two pristinely laid out tables on the upper floor greeted diners

Projecting an aura of pure cool, it was Chef Tatsuya’s turn on the Festival Menu preview roster to wow diners recently at the freshly opened Blu Med. The restaurant lies nestled in between Midvalley Megamall and The Gardens and offers up a fresh blend of Italian-Spanish cuisine with dashes of Japanese incorporated through the menu. Spread across two floors, the restaurant boasts an unassuming, simple décor with clean lines throughout, creating a wholly inviting and casual atmosphere that beckons guests in from the busy boulevard outside.

From L-R: Dato' Kok Wee Kiat, Datin Poh Thiam, Mr Paul Ho, Fabio Iannone, Mr Yasunobu Nishiyama, Dato' Steve Day, Datin Su Wai Fun, Kee Hua Chee

As usual, movers and shakers of the city were in attendance, including Chairman of the Vision Four Media Group, YAM Tunku Dato’ Seri Shahabuddin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin and wife Datin Seri Jeanette; Ambassador of Chile, H E Christian Rehren; Ambassador of Spain, H E Maria Bassols Delgado; Managing Director of Fujifilm, Mr Yasunobu Nishiyama; Senior Executive Director of Fujifilm (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Mr Paul Ho, MD of Blu Med Ristorante e Bar, Mr Akihiko Hijioko.

MD of  Blu Med Ristorante e Bar, Mr Akihiko Hijioko introducing the Blu Med team

As guests arrived, they were treated to specially prepared cocktails – the Cape Codder, consisting of homemade cranberry, vodka and a touch of sprite, and the gorgeous looking Tex Homey Fruity Pickle, made of vodka, apple juice, homemade fruit punch and served in an extravagant balloon glass. Canapés accompanied the pre-dinner drinks, waiter’s trays laden with Panzanolo with tomato foam, sea scallops, papaya salsa and truffle oil, and rock melon wrapped in smoked duck breast with honey.

A floor to ceiling rack of faux-candles serves as the centre piece to the restaurant and this is where guests gathered and mingled while they waited for the call to dinner. With all guests present, the party retreated upstairs where dinner would be served.

In contrast to the ground floor, this upper section is dominated by wood elements, reminiscent of a Japanese eatery. Two tables situated side by side, immediately adjacent to the private dining room, provided a cosy corner for the dinner party. Despite being more suited for premium dining, this upper floor remains snug and served as the ideal spot for the lush dinner.

MD of Fujifilm Mr Yasunobu Nishiyama, sharing a Fuji moment with Chef Wan

MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day proceeded with introductions, after which the traditional group photo was taken. Guests were then seated at the tables, each of which contained a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera from MIGF Image Sponsor, Fujifilm. It didn’t take long for the camera to spring into action, and in no time at all, the istant photographs could be seen around the tables, the guests snapping away as they waited for the food to arrive.

The first course arrived promptly, an amuse-bouche of eel kabayaki with vegetable brunoise – a true reflection of the fusion that Chef Tatsuya features in his menus. This led into the starter of amaebi and abalone tartare with yuzukosho vinaigrette.

The charming Chef Tatsuya explains a dish

Chef Tatsuya came out with each dish to explain its preparation and answer any questions from diners. The soup course came next, a decadent foie gras emulsion, creamy as can be, with sweet corn espuma. The imperative pasta course followed, a key-course for any Italian influenced eatery - bavettini all’eoliana.

Eel Kabayaki with Vegetable Brunoise Amaebi & Abalone Tartare, Yuzukosho Vinaigrette

A granite of orange and white wine was served, paving the way for the main event of the evening – folded veal with buffalo mozzarella, served with baby carrot, spinach and a rich marsala sauce.

Chef Tatsuya preparing the amuse-bouche

Chef Tatsuya’s creations went down a treat, each guest enthralled by his ability to blend contrasting flavours so effortlessly. His Iron Chef training was clearly evident as each guests commented on the lushness of the menu.

 Bavettini All' Eoliana   Granita of Orange and White Wine


Folded Veal with Buffalo Mozzarella Fondant Chocolate Blu Med Style

A sweet ending came in the form of a smooth chocolate fondant, specially prepared in the Blu Med style.

H E Christan Rehren praising the efforts of Chef Tatsuya and the team

H E Christian Rehren, remarked that the starter, composed of sweet shrimp amaebi and edible sea snail abalone, as well as the main course of veal, were both close to his heart since these were dishes oft eaten in his home country. In particular the combination of Marsala sauce and veal was a typical combination that reminded him of Chile. Besides this, he felt the evening was not only an opportunity to sample great food, but a chance to catch up with old friends that have long not been seen.

H E Maria Bassols Delgado relished in the camaraderie of the evening

These sentiments were echoed by H E Maria Bassols Delgado, Ambassador of Spain, who noted that "it always amazes me how Dato’ Steve and Datin Su are able to bring together so many interesting people from different parts of the world”. In terms of the menu, the Ambassador was moved by the Pasta, a dish she rarely eats, but was an absolute pleasure to have on the evening. Having seen the Festival develop and progress over the last few years, regularly attending dinners and events throughout, she pointed out the fact that MIGF has kept true to itself and continues to join people through food in cordial ways.

Dato’ Raymond Liew, MD of McMillan Woods, commented on the ambiance of the night, noting that “…although the atmosphere and décor was simple, I’ve always said that simplicity is the best thing in life. This is one restaurant I truly enjoy…simple, non-pretentious and it’s just what you expect when you first walk in”.

Foremost foodie Dato' Kok Wee Kiat expounding on the culinary adventure

The evening ended with heartfelt speeches from a number of guests, including the two Ambassadors, as well as comprehensive menu review by Dato’ Kok Wee Kiat, the eminent foodie among the group. Thanking the kitchen and service teams for an excellent night, guests finished the evening with night caps in the bar downstairs.

From L-R- Dato' Raymond Liew, Dato' Kok Yul Shin, Datin Seri Jeannette and Tunku Dato' Seri Shahabuddin bin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin

Other notable guests on the evening included Celebrity Chef and Food Ambassador of Malaysia, Datuk Chef Wan; MD of FAL Group, Dato’ Shamsul Falak bin Tan Sri Kadir and Group CEO of Wawasan TKH Holding Bhd, Dato’ Tan Boon Pun.

The dinner party pose along with Chef Tatsuya

Don't miss the opportunity to taste the country's finest Italian-Spanish cuisine at Blu Med during the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival from 1st to 31st October! The Festival Menu is a steal at RM188++ (without wine). You'll also recieve a complimentary cocktail on arrival and a free bottle of wine or champagne when ordering four Festival menus or more.