Chef Rabindran Ramachandran shares with The Yum List a little about what goes on behind the scenes at TTDI's latest hangout, Interlude.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I work on the overall operations of Interlude and have the support of my amazing staff, especially my Manager Sharul who looks after the front of house and Sous Chef Loges. Both have extensive experience in working at fine dining establishments.
What's the best/ worst part of your job?
I would have to say that the best thing is to see the facial expressions of my guests when they consume my food - as a chef working in the kitchen, I don’t usually get the opportunity. The other added bonus is working with a great team. The worst part of my job would definitely be the very late nights.
What's your personal favourite meal/drink Interlude?
My personal favourite dish is the 17 hour slow cooked pork belly. This is a dish I brought back with me from Melbourne and seems to be very popular with our diners. The local pork has slightly less marbling and this means that the pork belly is cooked slightly longer than the menu suggests. The whole preparation actually takes close to two days.
This dish has been with us since we first opened our doors to the public; and has had a slight change. It used to be served with vanilla apple puree and Guinness jelly which customers found a little sweet for their palate. Now it has been changed to a Gribiche inspired sauce. Gribiche sauce is a mayonnaise style cold egg base sauce and although unrelated it has a rich, savoury flavour in a vibrat green colour which is proving to be popular among our diners.
My favourite drink has and will always be a well prepared Mojito. I love the complexity and its refreshing flavour – it’s the perfect drink for any occasion.
The perfect day off would be...
There are a variety of things that I love to do, depending on the day and my mood. Because we are still relatively new, I spend most of my time at work. Taking a day off would be a good start. I would love to spend more time with my nephews and niece and, spend more time with family and friends. More often than not I would just get behind the wheel of my car and go for a drive. This clears my head and gives me the chance to think up new dishes, or improve current ones.
A life in the day of a chef is...
Well it involves a lot of work! If you’re in the hospitality business, it normally means you're working when everyone else is having fun. That's why it’s very important to really love what you're doing and to have a passion for your trade. Because I have a sous chef that runs the kitchen, I normally spend most of my time looking after the overall operations. This also allows me to design new dishes and liaise with both teams to ensure a smooth operation.
What's something you'd like guests to know about the cuisine/ drinks prepared at Interlude?
Everything made at Interlude is made from scratch. The whole idea of having a smaller menu means that we don’t keep old stock and dishes do not borrow any components from each other. Sauces are not shared and we constantly update and change our menu. Sometimes our menu can’t keep up with new menu items so they are offered as a special before it makes it into the menu, and we make sure it’s a crowd-pleaser before it makes the jump from the specials. In fact, Interlude’s Garlic Prawns were on the specials menu initially, but our customers really liked them, so it found a permanent home on our menu.
How do you select your ingredients and why?
At Interlude we like to use as much local produce as possible, we only work with reputed suppliers in the industry, ensuring that the produce is of high quality and fresh. We also use local ingredients because we believe in supporting our home-grown businesses.
What's your view on the KL restaurant/ bar scene?
I think KL has a diverse bar scene, but there can never be too many choices, especially since KL is a foodie haven!
What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?
When we design our new menu, it’s always with customers’ feedback in mind, as Interlude’s main aim is to keep the customers happy (and coming back for more!). So our menu will reflect what the customer wants, and is combined with our Interlude’s signature style. In the next few months, we’ll be updating the bar, and the wine list and cocktail menu will be expanded.