Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reality Bites, Elegantology & Martell

Foday, actually, on 10th December, at 9pm, AFC will premiere REALITY BITES: RISE ABOVE WITH STYLE, featuring AFC Celebrity Chefs, Sherson Lian & Johnny Fua, (of "Great Dinners of the World" fame).

The six part series is set in the trendy restaurant gallery, ELEGANTOLOGY GALLERY & RESTAURANT, which house a couture gallery featuring exlcusive men's fahsion and lifestyle collections created by reputable local designers.  So fashion and food find their partnership in this eclectic locale, under the patronage of cognac house, Martell.

Now, if that bit about couture and fashion sounded like it was plagiarized off a press release, it's because it was, and the reason being, asking me to comment or write  about fashion is like asking Muhyiddin Yassin to talk about education.  But fortunately, this post is not about Fashion, although I did get to meet the glamorous Beatrice Looi, ...how do women walk in those heels??? But yet cannot execute the easiest of tasks like waving a hand in thanks while driving?

I had unfortunately missed the previous event at Elegantology to which I was invited, because I was meeting some whale sharks in the Philippines, (show off? naaahhhh), to my regret, as I heard the food was stunning.  So I was extremely pleased to be invited again, without knowing what to expect, really, because the launch of a premiere of a food show does NOT necessarily entail a meal.

And truth be told, before this, I can't really say I've heard of these two fellas, Sherson Lian and Johnny Fuah.  But I now believe that names ARE important, because it would appear that uniqueness of names do seem to pave the way to stardom, and I suppose looks do help too. With a name like Sherson, it was inevitable that the guy wasn't going to grow up your run of the mill John, or James (as apostolic as those names are)...  And Johnny Fuah is an exclamation all by itself.

These two blokes did turn out to be genuinely rather entertaining, with a natural screen presence, which should make Malaysia proud to have such home grown talent.

I check out the scene, and it's rather happening at Publika Square, where a large marquee had been set up for the event, and huge Martell posters adorned the place like Christmas ornaments on a huge tree.  Only the visually challenged would have missed it.  I bump into delightful company, Ciki and KY, and that hot chick from AFC who is my namesake.  Canapes float around, accompanied by cocktails made from the nectar that is Martell...I am in two minds about this, whilst it makes cognac more palatable for those who do not like its natural taste, it totally adulterates the cognac for those who DO like it.

We sit through the premiere with a light buzz, from all the cocktails.  The program is called, I reiterate, REALITY BITES: RISE ABOVE WITH STYLE.  It showed a somewhat dramatized version of the scenes behind the kitchen, with one particular kitchen staff (I'd use the word minion, but that word is now associated with cute yellow imaginary things) who comes across as very amusing.  Will not put any spoilers here, but the deadpan-ness of that particular person was rather hilarious.  To be honest, a few of the scenes and banter between the two protagonists seemed a bit contrived, but it was entertaining nevertheless, which achieves its objective, no doubt.

The Q&A session featuring the two stars, Beatrice Looi, Cheah Chee Keong, Head of Content, Creative & Marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive, Asia Pacific.

And the long awaited moment, dinner! Starting with Elegantology's baker's choices, Truffle Butter florets, Paprika Chickpeas Hummus and EVOO (I'm guessing its something something Olive Oil).  Give me butter with my bread any day, none of this healthy olive oil business.  Those florets totally floored me.

The black bamboo charcoal bun....oddly enough, in the post before this, I commented on their strange popularity.

Nothing warms the heart, ...and chest, like a good swig of cognac!!!!

Ceviche Scallop, Paw Paw Kerabu, Nam Pla Influenced Ponzu Sesame Drizzle.  Excellent, the scallops, probably cooked in the acidity of the sauce, is far better than anything seared actually.  Without a hint of marine fishiness, and freshness that helps it glide down the throat effortlessly.  I could eat more of this.

Foie Gras Cube, Olive Lemon Soil, Soy Bean Milk Braised Shimeiji Mushroom.  It was good, but I personally prefer foie gras in its original state.  But very creative and innovative indeed.  Olive lemon soil, ...what is it with modern chefs and the penchant for "soil?"  Perhaps it's to bring them back down to earth.

A lovely oxtail broth with brandied sea cucumber.  Beautiful consomme, with elegant bits of deboned oxtail, so that one doesnt have to inelegantly manoeuvre through that huge hock bone and choke over the glass of Martell.

Tomato Sake Granita, Sour Plum Shaved.  I love the way they marry ingredients from across the cultures, it's like a Bloody Mary meets Kut Chai Sheen Mui (Kalamansi sour plum).   A rather apt palate cleanser, the tang from the tomato and sour plum totally gives your palate a "clean slate" to continue.

Kobe (no, it does not rhyme with Lobe, it's "KO BAY") beef skewer with Miso Pineapple Bearnaise.  I HAVE NOT LIVED!!! Move aside, Wagyu, I've found a new beefy love in Kobe.  Melt in mouth, really quite a scintillating sensation.  It was REALLY good.  What more can I say?

My virginal kobe experience.  Or at least I think it is.

Everyone loves their meat on a stick!!!

Barramundi, Smoked Muscovy Duck Glutinous Rice.  I can't understand people, especially Chinese, who say "sek gwai lou chan mm bao".. (eat Western dinner sure not full).  Actually although the portions look dainty, by the time the barramundi came, I was stuffed to the brim.  Which is a pity, because when you're stuffed to the brim, it's hard to appreciate food.  The barramundi was fresh, and cooked well, and that pile of rice was delicious, but way too filling towards the finishing line.

Replated Black Forrest Gateau... (hmmm, I'm not sure if the double Fs are a typo in the menu).. Well, you can't really go wrong with cherries, chocolate and cream, BUT I have to say, I did not think much of that stray sponge, which resembled a dry loofah.  Spongeless, the dish would have been perfect.

A fabulous meal and a wonderful evening, with great thanks to the hosts, and organizers and to Jade for the invitation.  

1 comment:

Ciki said...

there's sponge in black forest cake right? so it has to be there lah... deee con struk turd lerrrrr :P