Friday, 20 July 2012

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur's New Executive Chef, Darrell J. O'Neill, Malaysia

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Chef Darrell J. O'Neill - the new executive chef at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with Shimeiji Mushrooms, Micro Greens and Citrus Dressing
Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Black Cod with Sweet Potato & Ginger Mousseline, Baby Beets and Citrus Dressing
Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Snowskin Mooncake with White Lotus Paste - A preview of the goodies that will soon be available with mooncake season just around the corner

An Evening Under the Stars with Chef Darrell J. O'Niell

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, sake, KLCC
Tropical Masumi
Greeted by cool evening breezes, shimmering waters and a handsomely dressed table under tropical trees, our initial meeting with the new executive chef of Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, Darrell J. O’Neill was a sensory fulfilling one. The fifth floor of the hotel is filled with lush gardens, a lagoon shaped pool, bar and covered function area. It is here that we sampled a taste of what is to come with the introduction of the new executive chef in an Evening Under the Stars.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Edamame & Mint Gazpacho
Hand Dived Scallops
Chef Darrell discovered his love of cooking as a child. He fondly remembers helping his mum bake and prepare the daily meals as a youngster. His passion for food developed into a culinary career that has taken him around the globe in many a prestigious position.  Overseeing four (!) Michelin starred restaurants in Atlantis and also leading the team at the famous seven star Burj Al Arab in Dubai are just two of the highlights. Years later, with a worldwide resume behind him and formal training in French cookery, he says that he doesn’t like to be defined by one particular cuisine. His inspiration comes from fresh high quality ingredients prepared to optimize their natural tastes and textures.  With that said though, he does admit to being influenced by the simplicity of Japanese food and you’ll see a hint or more from this region in his dishes.  While taste is obviously important, he finds presentation equally fundamental. He says that most people first ‘taste with their eyes’ building up an expectation before the first bite. Expect to see this chef in the dining room too. Interacting with guests, educating them, finding their likes and dislikes and enjoying a connection over good food - he sees these as vital to his role.  In this Evening Under the Stars, we were able to witness all of these things - pure joy as he chatted with guests, beautifully presented plates and of course, exceptional food.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Cauliflower Espuma with
Citrus Lobster & Caviar
Quality ingredients with a Japanese influence were a common thread to the evening’s line up. One of six signature sake cocktails available at their Japanese restaurant, Tatsu, the Tropical Masumi, was our liquid libation.  Made with Masumi Sake, pineapple juice, lime, sugar syrup and sour plum, this sweet and sour concoction was a perfect poolside recharger.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Chicken Satay Slider with Mango
& Coriander Chutney
Edamame and Mint Gazpacho with Hand Dived Scallops was the first canapé tabled. Roughly blended greens provided a textured base for the firm sea creatures. This shooter size creation reminded me of an Eastern version of pea and ham soup. Edamame replaced the peas, scallops the ham and it was served cold rather than hot. Asian Angus Beef Tartar Crostini continued the path. Minced herbed beef topped a crunchy bread base forming a contrast of textures and another resemblance to a western cousin.  The Cauliflower Espuma with Citrus Lobster and Caviar was my favourite and hubby woofed down the bite size burgers of Chicken Satay Sliders with Mango and Coriander Chutney.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Asian Angus Beef Tartar Crostini
The first plate, Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with Shimeiji Mushrooms, Micro Greens and Citrus Dressing, saw a thin round of Australian wagyu beef from Queensland moated by edamame beans, tiny leaves and sprinkled with sesame seeds and salt. Black Cod aside Sweet Potato and Ginger Mousseline, Baby Beets, Broccolini and Bonito Foam made a stunning main with the flaky but firm, flawlessly baked fish contrasting in texture and flavour with the smooth mash and crisp vegetables.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, best restaurant, Japanese, French, hotel, KLCC
Modern Coconut Tartufo with Kahlua
Dessert was just as pertinent as the preceding courses. The grand finale, Modern Coconut Tartufo with Kahlua, was a dessert and cocktail in one.  This versatile number could just as easily be savoured at the bar or at the dining table. Diced mango is topped with home made coconut ice cream, a Malibu Sabayon, a chocolate sheet and then drizzled with a Kahlua, rum and espresso sauce generating nirvana in a martini glass.

Chef Darrell is passionate about food and people. His modern innovative ideas are sure to take the kitchens of Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur to a new level of quality and presentation.

Reason to visit:  see what exciting things come to pass with a new chef in town

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2782 6321

8 comments:

  1. its was a beautiful evening filled with loads of gorgeous food from Chef Darrell.... my favorite is the Black Cod! =)

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    1. Mine, the cauliflower espuma with lobster :-)

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  2. Interesting creations... Welcome to Malaysia,Darrell.

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  3. Fabulously written :) A lovely account of a wonderful evening. And those mooncakes were delicious! Ahh I love all the Malaysian festivals and their foods..

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    1. Another treat I'm only just growing to love.

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  4. i think I will think twice before eating the "raw" beef, it is just too raw for my liking >.<

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    1. I guess it's an acquired taste. Means very tender meat when you do grow to liking it.

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