The Renassiance KL Hotel has been a part of the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival for 14 years
There are few hotels in Malaysia that can lay claim to having been a part of MIGF since its inception. The Renaissance KL Hotel is one such establishment, a true Festival veteran that has come in like clockwork each year with its two flagship restaurants Dynasty and Sagano. The former has delivered award-winning Chinese food year on year while the latter proffers some of the finest Japanese fare in KL. It is here that a select group of gourmands recently enjoyed a ‘culinary safari’, savouring food from both restaurants on the same evening.
“We have participated in this event since its opening, purely for one reason…[it] has elevated the country’s dining scene remarkably. It’s a fantastic promotional month, year on year, and has resulted in top notch restaurants sprouting – not only in hotels – but also outside,” said Robert Frager, GM of The Renaissance KL Hotel and one of the longest serving foreign hoteliers in the country.
Robert Frager introducing Sagano Chef Michael Koh, Executive Chef Andrea Conte and Dynasty Chef Kok Chee Kin
His welcome speech drew laughs from the sizeable dining group, as he introduced the F&B team, divulging humourous tidbits on each individual – Director of F&B, Nicholas Poh, Assistant Director of F&B, Steven Moine; Director of Sales & Marketing, Ivy Ng; Executive Chef Andrea Conte; Dynasty Restaurant Manager, Lenny Lee and of course the culinary stars of the night’s show, Dynasty Chef Kok Chee Kin and Sagano Chef Michael Koh.
Distinguished guests on the evening included Tunku Harunnarasheed Putra, Project Advisor, Epic Valley Holdings Sdn Bhd; HE Christophe Ceska, Ambassador of The Embassy of Austria; Dato’ Nik Gee S. Y, MD, Dsiegfried Block (M) Sdn Bhd; Lillian Too, Chairman, WOFS Sdn Bhd; Gary Chang, MD, Poh Kong Jewellers Sdn Bhd and many more captains of industry.
Siegfried Glanznig, Aleksandra Ceska and HE Christophe Ceska
Tunku Harunnarasheed Putra, Dato' Nik Gee S. Y, Gary Chang, Alice Choon, Dr Reiko Soo and Frederick Lam
Contrary to previous years’ dining safaris, this year’s group would remain in the newly refurbished surroundings of Dynasty for the entirety of the meal, as opposed to moving restaurants midway through. The most striking feature of the recent facelift is the addition of three private dining rooms in the rear of the restaurant, dubbed Happiness, Prosperity and Longevity. These can be opened up to form one large room and this is where the evening’s meal took place.
Chef Carmen Rawstron, Natahalie Nunez de Guzman, Paula Frager, Joanne Salgo and Dr Gabriel Peter Salgo
Intricately crafted wood and marble relief carvings adorn the rooms while striking circular light features cast a soft glow over the intimate interior. The result is a blend of traditional Chinese elements seamlessly merged with modern furnishings.
Guests gathered immediately outside the private dining room, warming up with glasses of red and white wine while canapés of scallop in Thai sauce, pepper mutton, yam chicken and salmon toro awakened palates. Following the customary group shot and brief introductions by MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day, guests moved into the dining room where three round tables beautifully decorated with stunning centre pieces greeted them. Miniature Chinese sailing vessels, or junks, sat on the two flanking tables while a constellation of fine china teapots decked the central table.
Nicholas Poh, Sooria Perera, Ivy Ng and Jeffrey Perera
As guests took their places, Executive Chef Andrea Conte came out and introduced the first dish as it was served –pan-fried dragon beard prawns with green tea, stuffed Peking duck, seared Hokkaido scallop and mushroom blossom, exquisitely plated to striking effect. It was a study in culinary arrangement as prawn, duck, scallop and blossom came together in perfect harmony, both in taste and appearance.
Pan-fried Dragon Beard Prawns with Green Tea, Stuffed Peking Duck, Seared Hokkaido Scallop & Mushroom Blossom
Next came a steaming fish maw consommé with ginseng and summer greens, a dish that renowned feng shui master Lillian Too raved about. This and the first main course – drunken chicken timbale, stewed whole abalone with chestnuts and fruit jujubes – were standouts for her and many other guests, dishes that were close to their hearts, having been raised on them.
|Ginseng, White & Summer Greens, Fish Maw Consommé||Drunken Chicken Timbale, Stewed Whole Abalone with Chestnuts and Fruit Jujubes|
As waitresses entered the room in traditional Kimonos and music shifted to the three-stringed shamisen, it was time for Sagano to enter the feast. The second main course came in the form of a glorious grilled lobster with homemade cream gratin accompanied with grilled marinated cod and miso – a seafood spread with a tantalising aroma.
Grilled Lobster with Homemade Cream Gratin Accompanied with Grilled Marinated Cod and Japanese Miso
This led straight into a pan seared Wagyu sirloin roll with beancurd in Japanese moromiso sauce. Japanese in essence with western trimmings, each of these main courses had guests enraptured. Conversation flowed freely while they dined on the hearty fare and as has become traditional during MIGF dinners, Dato’ Steve gave brief bios on each guest, drawing bouts of laughter from the jovial group.
|Pan Seared Sliced Wagyu Sirloin Roll with Bean Curd in Japanese Moromiso Sauce||Chilled Organic Pumpkin Puree with Sago, Bird's Nest & Coconut Ice Cream|
As the ‘dessert to die for’ made its way into the room – a statement made by Mr Frager at the beginning of the meal and consequently echoed by the entire group after eating it – each guest received the sweetest ending to what was a gorgeous far east feast.
HE Christophe Ceska and Lilian Too delivering their lively closing speeches
Banter between the guests continued on into the evening until HE Christophe Ceska and Lillian Too both rose from their seats to congratulate the restaurant and kitchen teams for such an outstanding evening. Food and service both were delivered in flawless fashion – something which has been proven time and again from one of the top hotels in Malaysia.
Datin Dr Margaret Hooi Wai See, Dato' Leong Yoke Faie, Sin Cheang Loong and Victor Yong
Datin Su Wai Fun, Katja Dommers-Behrend, Harald Behrend and Dato' Steve Day