Tuesday August 21, 2012
Celebrating a Malaysian flavour
THINK bunga kantan (torch ginger flower) and your mind goes to fragrant assam fish or other sour and piquant dishes, right? Have you ever considered the herb in a dessert?
In this month that looks forward to Merdeka, Flavours celebrates this very Malaysian herb by looking for ways to widen its use. Three chefs give the traditional herb very new twists in everything from a bunga kantan creme brulee and pannacotta with a jelly flavoured with the herb to a venison carpaccio with a Japanese dressing perfumed with it.
On the cover of the food and lifestyle magazine this August is a real model; no, not a model posing as a chef, either! Daniel Green became a model after he changed how he ate and now he’s a chef whose passion is to spread his mantra of “flavour without fat” to as many people as possible. Try out some of the delicious, flavourful recipes he shares.
Another chef featured this month is Barcelona culinary provocateur Martin Lippo who shares not only details of a fascinating life spent breaking rules but also how he creates magical things like a goat cheese nitro coulant and even a use for our very own keropok in a deconstructed pizza. And there are step-by-step photographs to help the adventurous home chef try out these cutting-edge techniques.
In food news, find out about a “supermarket for the people, by the people”. The Presto trio of upmarket grocery stores in the Klang Valley were started not by merchandising or sales experts but by two people who knew nothing about selling but who were shoppers after a particular experience. Husband-and-wife team Daniel Ruppert and Azrin Zuhdi opened the first Presto outlet in Damansara Perdana, Selangor, in 2007, as a space that they themselves would want to spend time in, a place that put the customer first.
The outlets are not so large that they are tiring to navigate and have welcomingly wide aisles as well as a focus on quality, popular products from all over the world and from local and regional sources – the idea is not to stock everything under the sun, the couple explains, but to “curate” a selection of products. There’s also a spot to take a break over a cuppa and a fresh pastry in the bakery. Customer first, indeed!
And, of course, there are those very useful reviews that every month help you decide where to take that special someone for dinner or even the whole family; restaurants reviewed cover the globe, from Italian, Spanish and Japanese to a Finnish touch at the L’Heritage Restaurant in the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur in the wake of a visit from celebrity chef Sara La Fountain.
Closer to home, Flavours offers its selection of the five best places for popular wantan mee – see if you agree or if you have your own favourites, do write in and tell the team so they can share it with other readers.
Other reviews include what to check out on TV, such as Li TV’s Tasty Road show that showcases the best Western and Asian culinary fusion from all over South Korea and Cooked, the show hosted by South African filmmaker and TV personality Justin Bonello who combines his love of food and his country.
Look out for the 25% Kinokuniya discount coupon for the four lovely books on food and cooking that are reviewed this month: Every Grain Of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking, Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking, Mugaritz: A Natural Science Of Cooking, and Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts.
In the wine section, Flavours checks out The rise of the Austrian reds, and speaks to winemakers Yves Cuilleron, one of the Rhone’s shining stars; and Dominique Hebrard, who has a long pedigree in France’s famed Bordeaux region.