Thursday, August 30, 2012


Asian Angus Beef Tartar Crostini

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur heralded the arrival of its new Executive Chef Darrell J. O’Neill with a preview cocktail themed An Evening Under The Stars; giving a group of specially invited guests (yours truly included!) a taste of what's to come under his stewardship.

Chicken Satay Slider with Mango and Coriander Chutney
Held at the hotel's lushly landscaped poolside, we were plied with an interesting platter of four appetisers - two of which were shown in the pixs here. Trust me, these images don't do the food ample justice! :/

Having honed his skills under Nobu Matsuhisa and an avid fan of Japanese cuisine, O'Neill showed his artful balancing of delicate flavours and textures in the Edamame and Mint Gazpacho with Hand Dived Scallops, and Cauliflower Espuma with Citrus Lobster and Caviar.

The first was superbly memorable; sweet, tender scallops (hand dived means they're sustainably harvested) perked up by a cool, slightly nutty-beany gazpacho...I will never underestimate my snacking staple of those green soya beans ever again! The latter was simply to-die-for with the frothy cauliflower foam lending an effervescent touch to the sweet lobster meat (spiked with hints of yuzu) and briny caviar globules.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with Shimeiji Mushrooms, Micro Greens and Citrus Dressing

If you're averse to raw beef, perhaps the chef's ingenious wagyu carpaccio will make a convert out of you yet. Served with a scattering of tiny shimeiji, tendrils of purple seaweed, asparagus spears and micro greens, and drizzled with a sublime citrusy dressing, I certainly had no beef with the speciality and licked the plate clean!

Black Cod with Sweet Potato and Ginger Mousseline, Baby Beets, 
Broccolini and Bonito Foam
Taking a leaf out of his previous 'sifu's' (master's) book, O'Neill went all out to fish for compliments with a second main course that had a slab of black cod fillet laid out on an impossibly light sweet potato and ginger mousseline. The fish's inherent sweetness was enhanced further by the baby beets while crunchy stalks of broccolini lent textural contrast. Definitely a dish that we fell for hook, line and sinker.

Modern Coconut Tartufo with Kahlua

Bringing the curtains down on a high, the chef whipped up a potent three liqueur Sabayon (teetotalers don't know what they missed!) for his Modern Coconut Tartufo (a typical Italian ice cream dessert). Believe me, coconut ice cream and diced mango haven't tasted sooo good before! A wafer-thin disc of chocolate flecked with gold accents just made it a luxurious treat to round off the amazing chef's debut!

Bravo! Encore!

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