What’s Cooking at the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival

More than 20 of Malaysia’s finest restaurants will offer special menus, discounted prices, competitions and packages this October

By: By Mindy Poder

Clients hungry for authentic fine cuisine may want to consider joining locals and foodies from around the world at the ninth annual Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF). The festival takes place Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 and will launch at the recently opened five-star Royale Chula Kuala Lumpur. As the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur is an appropriate selection for MIGF, which is just as much about Malaysia as it is about food. MIGF’s maiden festival in 2001 featured only 13 fine dining restaurants; this year’s festival features more than 20.

This year, 24 of Malaysia’s best chefs have handcrafted special set menus — including lunch, three- or five- course dinners and lighter variations — at accessible prices. To enjoy the festival menus, clients do not have to pay any extra participation fees and can choose to make an appointment or walk-in at the restaurants of their choice. During the month, clients will be able to savor a wealth of different flavors since cuisine types range from classic Cantonese at Lai Po Heen’s and global tapas at Neo’s to Italian at Villa Danieli’s.

For its festival dinner, priced at $68 per person, Ibunda — a modern fusion restaurant featuring traditional Malay ingredients — is offering a cold-appetizer of chilled tuna with black sesame, ulaman and anchovy chili padi dressing with a glass of wine; a hot appetizer of pan-fried foie gras with ciku kiwi coriander chutney; and a soup of traditional crab in young coconut. After enjoying a pre-main course of tamarind paste custard fruit salsa, diners can choose between two dishes for their main entree: deep-fried wild river fish, freshwater prawns and seven organic beans in dried shrimp paste and ginger-garlic sauce, or a grilled tenderloin steak and giant yam cake in black pepper kerisik sauce. Lime sorbet precedes a dessert of cheese calamansi wrapped in a pandan pancake with sweet roselle masala and homemade herbal tea or coffee.

Participating restaurants are also offering special promotions, gifts and contests to their guests. Most restaurants offer drink specials, such as Iketuru, which offers a 15 percent discount on carafes, bottles and flasks of sake.

The festival is also family- and business- friendly, offering block bookings to groups, which often include scenic private rooms, complimentary drinks or discounts on festival menus.

Festival diners will also receive door gifts from some restaurants, such as Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine’s special pack of dates and Spice of India’s goodie bag filled with $30 worth of treats. Many restaurants also offer competitions, such as Tai Zi Heen’s draw for a chance to win a one-night stay in an Executive Suite at Prince Hotel inclusive of breakfast at Eccucino and a set dinner at Tai Zi Heen for two, worth $650. Other deals — such as discounts on hotel rooms, cigars, spa packages, a la carte menus and future visits to restaurants and hotels — will also be offered exclusively to festival menu diners.

For clients feeling inspired, participating chefs will share their secrets to preparing the gourmet festival menu items in small cooking classes. On Oct. 12, chef Tam Kim Weng from Dynasty — a traditional Cantonese restaurant — and chef Yasutoshi Ito from Sagano — an authentic Japanese restaurant — will teach a culinary workshop that includes a three-course lunch for only $34 per person.

For chef and restaurant biographies and each restaurant’s festival menu and promotions, please visit Migf.com.

Malaysia International Gourmet Festival


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