Harmonious Flavours

A stronghold of Classic Western fare, Samplings on the Fourteenth has been routinely winning over the approval of those who try its kitchen’s outputs.

Headed by a talented, chirpy Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam – or simply Chef Val to friends and fans – the team responsible for the menu have been the subject of countless praises not only for their creations, but for their attentive service too.

The Samplings team all ready to show what they’re capable of

There is more to the appeal of Samplings, as one whole glass wall of the restaurant offers a commanding vista of Kuala Lumpur in which the Petronas Twin Towers, Bukit Bintang, and the TRX Exchange 106 tower make appearances – an amazing view day or night.

A fine visual slice of KL accompanied the Samplings menu  

These were only some of the treats that brought smiles to the faces of guests who arrived for the fourth MIGF 2018 publicity dinner.

The Muhibah spirit was palpable at the dinner 

First to greet them was a very Malaysian backdrop just beyond the restaurant’s threshold, complete with flags and lettering that read ‘My Country Malaysia’ in Malay.

Dato’ Steve Day, Dimitri Leividas, Ng Hui Yee, Dato’ Ng Kee Leen, Datin Su Wai Fun, Datin Seri Maneesah and Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah

Just a couple of steps farther into the restaurant was the bar, where the distinguished crowd socialised and warmed up for the night with drinks, canapes and lively conversation.

Dr Beh Chor Kim, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar, Chris Tiffin and Dato’ Steve Day 

Nizam Ridhwan, Datin Su and Albert King

Ng Hui Yee, Dato’ Ng Kee Leen, Mondi Mecja, Dimitri Leividas, Jacqueline Lee and Dato’ Ruby Khong

Among those who attended the function was Director of Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd and Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar, Melewar Industrial Group Berhad Group Executive Chairman Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Petrosains CEO Tengku Nasariah Tengku Ibrahim, Berjaya Times Square GM Mondi Mecja and Boost CEO Chris Tiffin.

Soon it was time for dinner, and MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day invited everyone to adjourn to the main dining area.

Stefan Kocsis and Dato’ Ruby Khong

Tan Siok Lee and Nizam Ridhwan

Bruni Tiffin and Jacqueline Lee

John Ng and Datin Seri Maneesah

Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim and Lee Hua King 

A very Muhibah group shot!

Setting the mood of the evening, a live pianist and singer graced the restaurant with a soothing supply of dulcet numbers.

Live background tunes added a layer of finesse to the dinner 

As music filled the air, the guests could spy Chef Val in his element through the glass-walled show kitchen, bringing the menu to life and guiding his team through various cooking processes

Chef Val and his crew plating up a dish in the show kitchen, which allows diners to watch the action

Soon, the steady stream of dishes, eight courses in all, began to emerge from the kitchen.

The Trio Muhibbah Starter, consisting of Lamb Satay, Chicken Dumpling and Fish Tikka

First to arrive at the table, carried by waitstaff all decked out in traditional multicultural costumes, was the Amouse-Bouche Chef Val coined the Trio Muhibbah Starter. As Mondi explained, these represented the quintessential culinary offerings of three main races of the country served together. It comprised Lamb Satay, Chicken Dumpling and Fish Tikka; respectively symbolising Malay, Chinese and Indian food.

An eye- and tongue-pleaser, the appetiser left the diners longing for more

Next was the appetiser, Salmon Croquette with Truffle Cauliflower Mousse, Tian with Avocado and Prosciutto with Citrus Dressing; a work of art almost too pretty to eat.

Consommé of Morel Mushroom with Foie Gras Jelly and Dry Sherry

The soup followed, a Consommé of Morel Mushroom with Foie Gras Jelly and Dry Sherry. 

The attractively plated smoked duck entrée 

The entrée made the scene subsequently, Smoked Duck with Rainbow Lotus Root, Tomato Jam and Peas Froth. It was another showcase of Chef Val’s excellent plating skills.

Resetting the taste buds was the Red Dragon palate cleanser

A palate cleanser was next, Red Dragon with Balsamic Strawberry Crusted, serving to reboot the senses in anticipation of the primary dishes.

The elaborate Confit of Red Mullet served as the first main

To the delight of the dignified attendees, the first of the main courses was then brought to the table – Confit of Red Mullet accompanied by Eggplant Rouille with Bouillabaisse Essence and Parsnip Puree. It was a dish gushed over by many at the table, who also showered unbridled affection for the following dish, the second main course.

The mouth-watering ribeye second main course

This was none other than the Broiled M7 Ribeye Provencal, embellished by Gratinated Raclette Asparagus Risotto, Legumes and Madeira Jus. Forks and knives were handled with enthusiasm, as the high-grade, cooked to perfection steak disappeared from the plates in no time.

The Pistachio Incubus ended things on a sweet note

Dessert was Pistachio Incubus along with Tahina ice cream, while coffee or tea with some chocolate pralines helped to see off the grand meal.

There was no shortage of compliments in Tunku Naquiyuddin’s appreciation speech 

Buttoning up the evening, Dato’ Steve extended his thanks to the Samplings crew as well as those who made the dinner a successful one. On behalf of the guests, Tunku Naquiyuddin then went over what he admired about each dish, facetiously wondering aloud if someone “hacked his computer to find out what food he loves” as each menu item was simply fantastic!

The Full Festival Menu at Samplings on the Fourteenth costs RM269 nett per person without wine. Click here to read more about the restaurant, Festival menu and Chef Val.

For more pictures, click here.

**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.