Be Our Guest: What We Served At #MYTatlerBall2019
Few things command a gourmand's attention quite like crustaceans, hence the kitchen's decision to deliver a whole lobster claw for the first course. Espelette spice added piquancy to the poached lobster while edible pansies in purple, maroon and gold provided the overall dish with pomp and splendour.
Vegetarians, on the other hand, partook of a Caprese salad with a contemporary spin. Mozzarella, tomatoes and sweet basil, the holy trinity of Italian ingredients, were jazzed up with an original creation dubbed 'black olive sponge.' "We added olive purée to bread batter before popping the mixture into the microwave," explained executive chef Junious Dickerson. "The dough was then transferred to a dehydrator." The result? Delightfully airy bites that stood somewhere in between sponge cake and crunchy croutons.
Moët & Chandon Impérial flowed freely throughout the first course, as Champagne's versatility makes it perfect for pairing with just about anything.
"These truffles literally arrived just hours ago," said Chef Dickerson, heaving a sigh of relief. "They almost got detained at customs!"
And what a shame if they had, for the prized delicacy provided much needed earthiness to the sweet and savoury chestnut velouté. Foie gras lovingly coated in breading and choux pastry added some substance to the soup, which we washed down with Cloudy Bay's 34th vintage, a Sauvignon Blanc with ripe flavours of kaffir lime and orange blossom.
Rhubarb, which is wildly difficult to source in Malaysia, was churned into a refreshing sorbet by Ahmed Said Mohamed, head pastry chef and sweets maven at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Served in between soup and the main courses, each portion of the palate cleanser was crowned with chewy sago pearls for textural contrast.
Butterfly pea flower, which is famously used as a food dye, wasn't drained of its pigment but used whole, serving a different type of aesthetic purpose.
Chefs have plenty on their plates, but time spent sourcing quality ingredients and forming good relations with suppliers is the meat and potatoes of their profession. As such, the Four Seasons culinary team was proud to present beef tenderloin from Stanbroke, a family-run farm in Australia, as one of the evening's mains. Not unlike Swedish Hasselback potatoes, whereby whole spuds are sliced halfway, the accompanying Caracotte potatoes were steeped in flavour. Plummy Pinot Noir 2016 by Cloudy Bay made a natural pairing for the bovine dish.
Those who marked their preference for surf over turf had their glasses topped up with Sauvignon Blanc. Minutes later, generous slabs of cod swimming in curtardy sabayon made it to their respective placemats. Named for the capital of Belgium, Brussel sprouts congregated with green peas and wilted tomatoes to surround the seafood starlet.
See also: Hilton Kuala Lumpur Also Sources Their Steaks From Stanbroke Farms
This year saw 29 vegetarian mains—the highest we've had in history, which speaks volumes about today's health-conscious society. 30 odd diners dug into a duo of cauliflower: cross-sections of cauliflower got acquainted with a sous-vide machine whereas bite-sized florets met the deep-fryer.
See also: 10 Facts & Figures You Might Not Have Guessed About Tatler Ball 2019
Hoping to lure guests to the dance floor post-dinner, the T.Dining team voted for a light fruit-based dessert as opposed to chocolate.
Chef Mohamed's prowess in the art of pâtisserie paid off, as the sweet treat was the most photographed dish of the evening. Taking our notes literally, the pastry chef moulded sweet mousse to resemble gold-dusted apples. Those expecting a hard exterior were pleasantly surprised as their forks slid easily into the entremets, revealing spiced and cubed apples at the core.
- Photography Richard Chin