Friday, February 27, 2015



Watching Chef Yenni Law showing off her art of flambé for Crêpe Suzette at the launch of her new Meatology book made me realised that table-side showmanship is so lacking in most modern restos today.

The owner of Boathouse Restaurant (soon to be renamed Meatology after her tome) at Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) is one of the few chefs I know that cherishes this skillful technique. It's something not to be scoffed at or taken lightly as one wrong move can jolly well leave the chef or waiter who's handling the flambé job with singed eyebrows or nasty burns at worst.

Essentially, Meatology is another milestone in Chef Yenni Law's culinary passage, detailing her initiation into the food world as a child helping out Mom in the kitchen and her eye-opening stint in Europe to taking up hotel management and becoming the chef and co-owner of Boathouse.

It took her 1.5 years to complete the book; a project that brings her collection of do-able recipes (she had over 500 actually but everything was in bits and pieces) into print. Law confessed that she finds running a resto is tougher than doing the book as the former involved human relationships with staff, customers, suppliers, etc. 
She divulged that the simplest recipe in Meatology has to be the Braised Black Mussels with Spicy Tomato Concasse. It was also one of the dishes we sampled during her book launch and everyone had nothing but praises for it. The mussels were tender and perked up with a bracingly zingy chunky tomato concasse that enticed some of us to lick our plates clean.
Law also admitted that she's rather old-school, resisting the idea of pictorial menus as she was formally trained in the rudiments of fine-dining. However, she's seriously considering it for her resto revamp into Meatology, a surefire attempt to please her customers.
Glasses of chilled Mixed Fruit Punch helped to stave off the afternoon heat the minute we arrived at the launch. We found charming bottles of flavoured olive oil on the table - meant as takeaways from the event, with little goodie bags provided for us to cart them home.

Our rumbling tummies were soon silenced with the arrival of a fresh, green salad - a simple but delicious combination of Beef Porsciutto with Rocket & Apple. A little vinaigrette was all that's needed to pull the whole ensemble together.
Just as we were wondering how anyone could possibly deal with three mains at one go, warm plates decked with sampling portions of Grilled Lamb Cutlets with Aubergine Gremolata, Smoked Duck with Risotto & Ceps and Baked Roulade of Chicken Breast with Brown Mustard Cream appeared.
Murmurs of appreciation were heard as we tucked into the delicate but ample servings. The lamb cutlets were nicely pink in the centre, with a notable crust of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), cheese, parsley and butter giving it a lightly crisp outer layer.
Its deliciousness was closely rivalled by the delectably creamy risotto, suffused with subtle earthiness of ceps and the smoked duck's faintly smoky brininess. 
Despite us not being partial to chicken breast, the roulade left us happily satisfied and replete thanks to its moist juiciness enlivened by some mellow zesty mustard cream.
Interest piqued again with the arrival of dessert - Poached Pear with Cream Cheese & Smoked Turkey Breast Stuffing. Never mind if the fruit was a little undercooked, our attention was drawn to the unusual filling of savoury cream cheese and bits of smoked turkey that punctuated the attendant cinnamon-scented syrup.
Having looked through the book, most of the recipes seem okay for home cooks to replicate. There are detailed explanations with photos to guide us through the different preparations so if you want to try your hand at cooking Western-style dishes for your family, Chef Yenni Law's Meatology is the 'go-to' cookbook.

Priced at RM39.90 per copy, you can buy Meatology at MPH and major bookstores. For information on the book, call Ms Lilian Ng, 03-7960 7334 x 119. 

Boathouse Restaurant is located at 16, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL. Tel: 03-7727 4426.

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