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

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Imperial Chakri Palace
All Thai-d Up
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Situated on level four of Suria KLCC, Chakri Palace draws Thai-food lovers from far and near

Suria KLCC is Malaysia’s premier shopping centre, located at the base of the globally famous Twin Towers. Apart from being home to hundreds of high quality stores, the Philharmonic concert hall and leading art galleries, its food choices are many, including excellent restaurants. Not least of these is one on the country’s foremost Thai eateries: Imperial Chakri Palace.

Serving up the freshest Thai food for over 13 years, Chakri Palace is the longest running restaurant in KLCC, with a reputation as one of, if not the, premier venue for the superior Thai cuisine..

The private dining chamber, with sprawling views over KL

The Restaurant offers window side tables with great views of the bustling city streets; and for a more intimate setting, two private dining rooms.

Dato' Gary Chua, Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja'afar, Ms Shawna Yap and Mr Yap Teak Sing

Arriving for the Festival Menu review, invited diners were eagerly looking forward to a true taste of Thailand. Accompanying them - and equally eager to sample the cuisine of Chef ‘Mama’ Nippa Nutto - were some of the city’s acknowledged food connoisseurs, and local industry leaders, They included the mercurial Festival Royal Patron Y.A.M Tunku Naquiyuddin Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar; Food Ambassador of Malaysia, Datuk Chef Wan; and Country head of Mastercard Asia Mr Safdar Khan - to name but a few.

Dato' Gary Chua, Dato' Seri Ibrahim Saad, Ms Caleen Chua, Dr Gabriel Peter Salgo and Mr Kee Hua Chee

Guests were warmly welcomed with the traditional Thai greeting of “Sawasdee” by Chef Mama and her smiling staff, along with a beautiful garland of Hibiscus flowers. It wouldn’t be Thailand without lemongrass, so it is only fitting that the first tastes guests received were from a refreshing lemongrass mocktail and a fiery canapé of mixed nuts wrapped in kadok with the Chakri Palace secret spicy sauce.

 Mixed nuts wrapped in kadok leaves  Lemongrass mocktail with moschino cherry

With all guests present, Chef Mama and her team were introduced, to much applause. She looked super cool in her sunglasses, and was a true embodiment of the Festival theme this year. 

Dato' Steve Day introducing the ultra-cool Chef 'Mama' Nippa Nutto and her son and Head Chef Nopporn Nutto

First up from her kitchen was a som tam, or Thai papaya salad with steamed flower crab. Very fresh and light on the palate, it was the perfect way to start the meal. For Ms Alice Choon, Merchandise Director of Poh Kong Jewellers, this was the star dish for her, “The meal tonight was very fresh and tasty, I love Thai food and tonight the Som Tam was excellent, a very natural and clean taste”.

Som Tam - Original Thai Papaya Salad with Steamed Flower Crab

Next came the perennial Tom Yum soup, a benchmark for any Thai restaurant and often that by which it is defined. Chakri Palace does theirs a little differently, offering a spicy, mild or clear ‘gaeng leang with Thai river fish’ depending on preference. It was enthusiastically received, especially by Mr Marco Winter, Executive Director of the Malaysian Dutch Business Council, who said, “Usually I stay away from the Tom Yum soups as they are too spicy for me; here you have a choice whether of spicy or mild. I have never had one this good”.

Gaeng Leang - Wild Spicy Soup with Thai River Fish

For the main course, Chef Mama pulled out another Thai classic dish with a twist - ‘phad Thai gung mae num’, or Thai noodles with beansprout and egg accompanied by river prawns. Chef Wan really enjoyed this dish, saying “I loved the Pad Thai, there were great flavours coming together to create a very balanced dish”. 

Phad Thai Gung Mae Num - Thai Noodle with Beansprout and Egg accompanied by Chao Phraya River Prawn

In between courses, Chef Lamprai Phanphakdee, one of the many beautiful and talented ladies on the Chakri Palace team, demonstrated fruit carving that she mastered in Thailand over many years. The guests were wowed as she carved a perfectly ornate flower, with intricate detailing out of a papaya.

The smiling Chef Lamprai Phanphakdee - a master at fruit carving

Dr Gabriel inspects the intricate fruit carving, with many more examples on the table 

Finally, the last course, created that very day by the Chef and her team: a duo layered pandan and custard pudding topped with maraschino cherry - a huge hit with the more sweet-toothed guests.

Tako - Duo Layered Pandan and Custard Pudding topped with Maraschino Cherry

It was left for Chef Wan to say the final goodbyes on behalf of the guests, noting that “We in Asia are used to dishes being served on the table in large amounts, but tonight everything was done in smaller portions and presented beautifully, just perfect to not feel too full”. He closed with praises for Chef Mama, “I was so happy to meet Chef Mama, such a respectable lady with such attitude! It was a beautiful evening”.

The charming Chef Wan giving his always entertaining round-up of the evening

Guests departed with special door gifts that included jars of secret recipe sauces and spices to use in their own kitchens. They were gratefully received, and there were many promises of a swift return to Chakri Palace.

The dining group pose for the traditinonal photograph

The Chakri Palace MIGF Menu is priced at RM138++ with wine or RM118++ without wine.