Garden To Plate

To prosper with certainty. That is what the number 18 means in Chinese and that is precisely what e18hteen Inspired Cuisine has been doing since opening its doors less than two years ago. Despite lying 6,000 feet above sea level, making it unofficially Malaysia’s highest restaurant, it sees a steady stream of diners make the winding trip up to Genting to dine there.

It’s little wonder as the food here is remarkably unique, with Chef Jimmy Poh Man Chin leading a kitchen team that produces down-to-earth Chinese artisanal fare with a focus on fresh water river fish from across Southeast Asia. No compromises are made in sourcing only the finest seafood and ensuring that it arrives at e18hteen in the best possible condition.

This extends to all the ingredients used on the menu – the vast majority of the vegetables, herbs and spices are harvested from the Genting Garden, ensuring that what you get is fresh and often collected on the day. This garden-to-table concept is what guests recently experienced as they gathered in the serene e18hteen to try the Festival menu of Chef Jimmy.

Chef Jimmy Poh Man Chin, the culinary mind behind e18hteen Inspired Cuisine

Imbibing pre-dinner cocktails and canapes beside the pool, guests took in the swanky restaurant which boasts cutting-edge interior design. Clean lines, contemporary furnishings and green elements create an inimitable atmosphere. With the views overlooking Resorts World Genting, it was a spectacular setting.

Among the guests that evening were Mexican Ambassador H.E. Carlos Felix Corona, Luen Heng F&B Sdn Bhd General Manager/Director Datuk Kenneth Soh, LAB Sdn Bhd Strategic Consultant/Advisor Dato’ Peter Yong, composer and musician Donne Ray Radford and Festival Advisory Committee members Jeffrey Perera and Key Soon Yue.

Dato’ Steve Day, Datin Su Wai Fun, Sonia Eun Hai Kim and H.E. Carlos Felix Corona

Kenneth Soh and Christine Walker

Jeffrey Perera, Sooria Perera, Teong Hui Min and Key Soon Yue

Lai Mei Kwan, Alex Liew, Jacky Chin, Rayce Han and Angie Lee

Dato’ Peter Yong, Datin Maylene Yong, Christine Walker, Tracey-Anne Holloway and Professor Dr CocoAlex Yeoh

Donne Ray Radford and Christine Chin

With all guests present, MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day made his customary introductions of the teams and bade everyone take their seats for dinner. Strewn with flowers and elaborately decorated birdcages, the two tables prepared for the group were a work of art, and as guests sat down, the first course of the evening came out – a ‘shot’ of peppery gazpacho with tomato heart and diced cucumber. Knocking back the clear soup, guests were given a taste of Chef Jimmy’s knack for composing fresh flavours.

Vice President Food & Beverage for Genting Integrated Tourism Plan Gerard Walker shares a moment with Chef Jimmy

Chef’s Creation – Gazpacho with Tomato Heart and Diced Cucumber

Next came a ‘Flavour of River and Marine’, which comprised a meaty and buttery soft scallop, a piquant but tender river scampi, and a smooth combination of scrambled egg white and crab meat. The trio of sea creatures, prepared in totally different ways, each brought contrasting and complementing flavours.

Flavour of River and Marine – Pan-seared Scallop and Top of King Mushroom, Stir-fried River Scampi with Lemon Grass and Spice Sauce, Scramble White Omega Egg with Crab Meat served with Ikuro

The camera eats first!

Chef Jimmy’s famous fish bone soup came next, served together with smoking apple wood chips. Deeply layered with complex flavours, the soup was a highlight of the evening. The only complaint guests had was that there wasn’t enough!

Fish Bone Soup – Double-boiled Fish Bone Soup with Chinese Yam, Sea Cucumber, Almond and Granny Smith Apple

The delicious wallago attu, a species of fresh water catfish found mostly in larger rivers in the Indian subcontinent, followed the soup. Served with black rice, hon mushroom and roasted baby tomatoes, the dish was a perfect combination of clean and clear flavours. It was nature at its best, with earthy black rice, firm white fish and the bright tomatoes all creating a delicious fusion.

Live Wallago Attu “Tapah” – Steamed Wallago Attu, Black Rice with Wolfberry, Hon Mushroom

A musical interlude came at this point, with former lead singer of The Platters Donne Ray Radford grabbing the mic to belt out two of the group’s greatest hits: Heaven On Earth and Only You. Datin Maylene Yong also rose from her seat for a serenade dedicated to her husband Dato’ Peter, which received a standing ovation.

A private concert by Donne Ray

Capping off Chef Jimmy’s menu was a sweet corn trilogy that saw the cereal prepared in three completely novel ways: as a custard, in ice-cream form and deep-fried like a falafel. Served with Orange Muscat & Flora 2016, a sweet, slightly acidic dessert wine with citrus and flowery notes, the final course was a delight.

Chef Jimmy puts the finishing touches on the dessert

Dent Corn – Custard Corn, Crispy Falafel Corn and Corn Ice-Cream

With restaurant and kitchen teams gathered in front of diners, H.E. Carlos spoke of the wonderful dining experience they had provided and how it was a prime example of how food is a universal language that brings cultures together. Key Soon Yue and Jeffrey Perera in turn also gave glowing reviews of the menu.

H.E. Carlos Felix Corona addressing the kitchen team

Finally, Resorts World Genting Executive Vice President – Leisure and Hospitality, Dato’ Edward Arthur Holloway thanked his team for the outstanding service and gave a preview of some of the exciting events and launches incoming across the resort. Suffice to say that the Genting group is ending 2018 with a bang, and bringing bigger things in 2019!

Dato’ Edward Arthur Holloway rounds up the experience

The Full Festival Menu at e18hteen Inspired Cuisine costs RM168 nett per person without wine and RM288 nett per person with wine.

Click here to read more about the restaurant, chef and Festival menu.

Click here for more pictures.

Sponsored by Vision KL, Festival Publicity Dinners help create and sustain the MIGF buzz throughout the Festival month. These dinners provide an excellent way for the organisers to individually recognise the professionals in each Festival Restaurant and to thank everyone involved, from the restaurant managers and service teams, to the Master Chefs and their kitchen staff.