TATSU Japanese Cuisine,
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur,
165, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2782 6118
Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 7pm to 10.30pm, daily.
TATSU Japanese Cuisine is known for its elegance and sophistication as within its confines, one indulges in a luxurious dining experience.
The restaurant, however, is not rigid and at times, features other cuisines, especially when a popular chef is headed its way.
Korean food cooked with contemporary flair by none other than celebrity chef Edward Kwon saw diners on an adventure of taste in the hotel’s first World Celebrity Chef Series 2015.
A familiar face on cooking shows, the pleasant and good looking chef who is always armed with a smile, has helmed senior culinary positions in luxury hotels in South Korea, the US, China and United Arab Emirates.
As the owner of two restaurants in Seoul, Korea – Lab XXIV in Cheongdam-dong and The Mixed One in Hannam-dong, Kwon’s effort to globalise Korean cuisine is well known as he traverses the world to accomplish his mission.
“I am trying to introduce Korean food as a comfortable emotion and to prevent misunderstandings about the cuisine. I use western techniques and presentation so people are willing to try my food without hestitation,” said Kwon.
When asked for his inspiration in the menu featured during his four-day stint at Tatsu, Kwon said he goes by dishes familiar to people, product availability and knowing the local taste palate.
For an introduction to Kwon’s tantalising dishes, we were presented choices of Hae Mul Nang Chae with pear, chilled prawn and sesame dressing or Soft Bean Curd (top pic) with Korean herbs, black sesame dressing and crispy garlic.
With a preference for sesame dressing, seafood and pear, it was easy to name my pick.
An unstringed garland of Romaine and rocket leaves, cucumber and julienne pear arranged neatly, gave prominence to the chilled scallops and prawns dotted with crispy barley bites and delicate edible flowers.
Together with the rich and nutty black sesame dressing, I enjoyed the dish’s simplicity and freshness of its ingredients.
Foie gras can be a tricky ingredient to work with and when done with expertise, all it takes is a small piece to make a lasting impression.
Such was the Foie Gras Douen Jang Veloute where a triangular piece of goose liver sat on a compact mound of kimchi apple slaw and toasted pine nuts looking rather isolated in a soup plate.
Well, it was only lonely for a moment until the Douen Jang Veloute was poured into the bowl and drizzled with crown daisy oil for that aromatic difference.
Doenjang (fermented soy bean paste), onion, butter, chicken stock, milk, cream and potato were the ingredients for this veloute and it made perfect sense to pair the silky foie gras with the creamy soup.
For Kwon, fresh ingredients play an important role as they offered the best flavour and taste as well as texture in a dish’s completion.
Kwon is open to experiencing new ingredients wherever he goes and enjoys trying out products recommended or introduced to him by people.
“I love to use local products in Malaysia.
“Chefs here are very lucky as there are many many local products or ingredients available in this lovely country,” said Kwon.
One of Korea’s most famous export to the world in terms of food, has to be the bulgogi.
To the uninitiated; it is beef marinated and grilled. It is usually served thinly sliced and relished with bulgogi sauce.
Kwon’s rendition of the bulgogi gave a whole new meaning to the dish as he used premium ribeye for this traditional favourite and presented it medium rare on a bed of creamy potato.
With its pink centre and browned sides offering contrast in textures, the dish, a combination of East and West, came across as juicy, tender and sweet.
The unassuming eringi with its meaty texture, woody accents and delicate flavour was a pleasurable accompaniment to the beef.
To end our meal, the visual treat of Yuzu Curd with Bokbunja Chiffon, Green Tea and Basil Fluid Gel lavished the palate with its refreshing taste.
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur executive chef Sam Kung said the World Celebrity Chef Series 2015 was a platform to work with international chefs, introduce their cuisines here and share experience and skills of the hotel’s team.
“Moving forward, the next event will focus on patisserie and we are in the midst of working on this event,” he said.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement of StarMetro.