Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gobo Upstairs New Menu

It's always a treat to be invited to Gobo Upstairs, and this visit was no exception.  I swear Christina Devina from Marcom was trying to feed us to death, judging by the amount of food she ordered for us to feeding goldfish who have no memory of what they've eaten, and can literally eat to death.

The objective of the dinner was to introduce us to the new menu prepared by the Executive Sous Chef, and wow, what a feast it was.  A great night of wonderful company and wonderful food it was.

The freshly baked breads and butter, as delicious as they are, really should be omitted from our meal, as it took up unnecessary stomach space.

Baked brie with crisped apple for amuse bouche, a lovely pairing of savoury and sweet, and just the thing to titillate the palate in anticipation of a feast ahead.

Salmon lollipons, salmon gravlax infused with beet juice, avocado.  RM30.  What's not to like about smoked salmon, and avocado.

Salmon Crabcake with Grilled Prawn Salad, a meal on its own really, RM38.  Crunchy leafy greens, with a fresh prawn, and a dollop of avocado guacamole on the side.  As I said, it's a meal on its own, and it's in the STARTER section of the menu,

Angus Beef Carpaccio, RM35, the quintessential dish for the carnivore.  Melt in the mouth slivers.

Chef hard at work.

Side Note; Chef Kelvin who's been there for the longest time has since left to join his wife and baby in his hometown of Kota Kinabalu.  The every smiley chef will be missed.

LAMB LOIN, Arancini balls, roasted cauliflower, asparagus, pumpkin puree, porcini sauce.  Lovely lamb, even for a non lamb lover like me.  I used to like lamb in my youth, but these days not so much.  Arancini are balls stuffed with goodness...

Crispy and Tender, RM94, Sirloin with Soft Shell Crab.  Such a complete meal, seafood, beef, vegetables, ...I loved the roasted vegetables, and those potato fondant cylinders were delicious.

Zooming in on the sirloin, ...

And zooming in on the soft shell crab.

PAN ROASTED DUCK, Sweet pumpkin fondant,baby vegetables, cherry brandy sauce. If I were blind tasting it, I'd swear it was a chunk of wonderful beef.  A wonderful gaminess, yet not tough.  And that cherry brandy sauce really opens up the flavours.

TENDERLOIN 200GM AUSTRALIAN BLACK ANGUS MULWARRA CUT with Leeks, mushrooms, pomme puree, caramelised onion relish.  To be honest, this was the dish I was most looking forward to, but was the least impressed by.  Perhaps it was that particular slice of the day, but I found that particular piece to be ...errr.... I can't find the exact adjective, but it certainly wasn't the texture and moistness that I expected, although the doneness was perfect, as was the accompanying sauce.

Visually, that tenderloin looked perfect.  Perhaps we had reached a low marginal utility by the time this dish came, so the palate was hard to please.

Their signature TEAR DROP Spatzle type pasta with calamari, crispy spinach and lots of good stuff, oh, and of course, white wine, RM40.

The mango panna cotta was divine, just the right texture, RM23.  Such a steal, considering most cafes sell their desserts at prices close to this.

Apple Crumble Tart, RM23...all that's missing is a huge dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream.  MUST.

Hazelnut Royaltine, a must for the chocolate lover.  RM28.  Rich, and totally decadent, perfect with that tangy coulis, and summer berries.

For this quality of food, I have to say that this is really good value for money.

Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, 50088  Malaysia
60 3 2332 9829 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner 2016 - My Salmon Quota for 2016 Is Filled

Every year around mid October, an invite will appear from the Makan Fairy Godmother, for this annual seafood fest at the Mandarin Oriental, hosted by Hans Ola Urstad, Norway’s Ambassador to Malaysia.  The foyer of the ballroom will be filled by the glitterati of the town, dressed up to the nines, with air kisses permeating the air with the same intensity of the french perfumes worn.

As part of the "media" we were allowed a sneak preview into the vast spread before the doors to paradise were opened, and the hordes of diners rush in.

Spectacular ice carvings, a viking boat, I presume, with raw seafood that ranged from beautiful to hideous, (by hideous I mean in a beautiful way, beautifully hideous)

Ambassador  Hans Ola Urstad giving his welcome address, with a tinge of sadness because this is his last year as Ambassador to Malaysia, having finished his 5 year term.

 Dishes included Norwegian salmon done like 20,000 ways,  Norwegian cod, king crab, lobster, crayfish, scallops, mackerel, Atlantic halibut and monkfish (that's the beautifully hideous fish I was referring to), among several other varieties done in both Western and Asian style,

The feast was orchestrated by renowned Norwegian chef Frank Naesheim and his team of culinary professionals from Norway, Malaysia and Singapore and one tonne of fresh seafood was flown in from Norway...Probably some of the marine life on the banquet table were still enjoying their meal of krill and plankton a day earlier in the Baltic....

Chef Frank giving his welcome address...

This year the emphasis was on sustainable seafood and Chef Frank introduced a line of smoked salmon with new flavours.

Salmon in every form imaginable...I've had my Omega Oil quota filled for the year I reckon

Salmon Jerky

See, I kid you not when I said there was Salmon done 20,000 ways...

This platter of lobster like creatures, but the size of a prawn, looked most tempting, but honestly, hardly worth the effort of peeling, for the end result is a mere shrimp....

King Crab ...I would have preferred it with salted egg or chilli crab style....


And more salmon...

This dish never fails to amaze me, because of the labour of love that must have gone into stacking these shrimp like this....the shrimp makes a lovely old school shrimp cocktail, drowned in 1000 island dressing.

This is the aforementioned hideous but beautiful fish alluded to earlier...I think it's a monkfish.

Ice Sculptures take on a different look, with these fish immortalized ..much like a scene from ICE AGE ....

The entertainment for the night was  Rio Yamase,  playing the Hardanger fiddle, a traditional West Norwegian musical instrument. Rio, who is from Japan, was born in Malaysia, and is also an accomplished violinist.

Rio Yamase studied the violin at the Toho Gakuen University in Tokyo. She learned to play the Hardanger violin under famous fiddle teachers in Norway and started to perform with it in Japan. She was invited to hold concerts and lectures introducing Nordic music in various parts of Japan and Scandinavia.

She also started concert activities in Malaysia, her birthplace. In 2015 she released her 10th anniversary CD ‘Love Song from the Fjords’.

And of course, to wash down all that seafood, a variety of desserts, but first you have to cross paths with this cutie Polar Bear.