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MIGF 2014 @ Neo Tamarind



NEO Tamarind returns to MIGF after a 3 year absence. Spacious, quietly elegant and a zen spot in the middle of KL’s busy city centre, there are plenty of reasons to linger on in Neo Tamarind after a fine MIGF dinner too! A play of water, fire, light and soothing sounds is almost hypnotic. The same can be said of its MIGF menu with a  touch of playfulness by Chef Sombat Kokasemkul.

Mingle amongst your dining companion. Chat a little and soon your feast begins with an option of carefully picked wines to go with your meals if you fancy some wines.
Canapés 
Blow-torched Tuna with Tom Yum Cream
Beef Tartar with Strawberry and Garlic Chip
Chicken Liver Terrine Tart
Cape Mentelle, Sauvignon Semillon, Margaret River – Australia
Its a pretty start to dinner and one can pretty much have a nice time figuring which piece to start off first? Left to right? right to left? They are all so pretty! But hunger pangs win and I start off the the tuna while my palates are still clean. Each is delicate in its own right with the right blend of flavours and textures. My favourite was obviously the beef tartar that was smooth, clean flavour with added zing and bite from the garlic chip. The Sauvignon Semillon has a fresh acidity to it, perfect for the entire platter and for some of us, it would have been a brilliant company to have it all night long too.

Amuse-Bouche*
Blow-torched Watermelon, Alaskan Crab and Dried Bonito Flakes
This is a clear favourite for many of us that night. And if we had to choose one memorable dish, this would be it. A refreshing juicy bite of sweet watermelon to go with the rich sweetness of cold Alaskan crab and a touch of savoury goodness from the pretty dancing bonito flakes.

Appetiser

Sea Urchin Shooter, Uni with Cold Soba Noodle Salad, Uni Sushi
Kaesler, Old Vine Semillon, Barossa Valley – Australia
Its almost a trip to Japan on this platter of appetisers. A very playful plating and sensuous too. The uni sushi may look plain but what fills your mouth is delicate custard smooth sweetness filling your mouth. The whole bite gets better with lil popping tobiko for that added rich buttery touch. Kaesler Old Vine Semillon is a full bodied and crisp making it a nice compliment to the richness of the first set of seafood based appetisers.

And just when you think appetisers have ended, another platter comes you way. The elements move a notch up and everything gets bolder on the palate. A pretty garden or farm as one of my fellow diners commented. I reckoned it must have been the pretty tomato salad on the plate and one of the most delicious grilled mushrooms made better with a touch of luxurious truffle oil that fills the air way before the dish arrives in front of us. The smoked duck is definitely one of Chef Sombat’s memorable dishes that I remember very well from my previous dinners at Neo Tamarind. Again, Chef repeats the feat with the smoked duck wrapping round some fresh greens and a hint of balsamic.
Fresh Tomato Salad with Ginger Flower Vinegar
Smoked Duck Salad
Grilled Mushroom with Truffle Oil

Soup*
Red Capsicum Bisque served with Salmon Ravioli
This is a visual pleaser and such a pretty work of art! Surprisingly, the red capsicum was more of a piece of decor than overpoweringly capsicum…I hate capsicums but this is one soup that I will happily have a few more servings! Rich creamy bisque with lil parcels of salmon ravioli to give more bite.

Palate Cleanser 
Spicy Tomato Shooter
I love my Bloody Mary and this is one good spicy tomato shooter similar to a Bloody Mary except its spicier. Perfect to settle the tummy after a filling course above and we are not even doing our mains yet!

The mains are not simple and little. Its a hefty portion for most diners even the men. 
Mains



Pan Seared Red Snapper with Pineapple Salsa, Grilled Snow Fish
with Strawberry Balsamic and Roasted Tiger Prawn with Gorgonzola Polenta
Babich, Pinot Noir, Marlborough – New Zealand

Why are the dishes all so pretty and colourful? I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland having to decide what should she do or rather which shall she eat first? And if one is not a seafood lover, trust me, this option of mains will have you converted. Fish cooked just right and its something that kitchen deserves full praise having to prepare 20 servings and plate them prettily in a short time.



Pan Roasted Duck with Chocolate Chili Sauce, Duck Confit with Couscous
and Kumquat and Pan Seared Foie Gras with Mango Miso
Rich and luxurious is what best describes this main of tender duck with an interesting chocolate sauce with lil bits of chill teasing the palate. Mango miso with foie gras is perhaps one of the more interesting servings of foie gras that I have had. Loved my duck confit when I was in Toulouse recently and Chef Sombat perfect execution of this confit brings me back to those good times.

 


Braised Beef Cheek with Scallion Oil, Grilled Bone Marrow in Porcini Risotto,
and Pan Seared Wagyu Beef (MB7) with Beef Jus & Garlic Bulb
A delightful platter for the carnivorous diners and delightful presentation. The garlic bulb was an Asian idea but made really pretty and delicious as an added touch to the melt in the mouth well marbled wagyu. I love my risottos and I am looking forward to seeing the grilled bone marrow in porcini risotto make its way to the ala carte menu. The whole risotto bears a rich and earthy goodness that will have you craving for more. 
           
I love and am smitten with this beautiful Malbec. Elegant and intense rich berries with a lingering acidity ors a long way to provide a lovely balance to our rich meal..

Dessert*
Spicy Churros, Mint Chocolate Truffle, Strawberry Cheese Cake, and Chili Sake
Tummy is full and almost hitting a food coma at this point but I am definitely calling out the spare stomach to start work so that I could savour the desserts that Chef promised to be memorable and to end the night right! Brilliantly, there’s a touch of chill in some of the desserts and this does wonders to whelp our appetite. The chill sake woke my stomach up and this is not for the faint hearted. Its spicy…its potent! But its all good and easy with the other wonderful sweet endings. Safe but definitely delicious end!


For more information on MIGF and the participating restaurants, head on to www.migf.com
Full Festival Menu
RM350 nett per person with wine
RM290 nett per person without wine

Light Menu
RM305 nett per person with wine
RM245 nett per person without wine

NEO Tamarind
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 
50250 Kuala Lumpur
T: +603-2148 3700

Full set of pictures: MIGF 2014 @ Neo Tamarind. Do head on over to the following channels to stalk me (and show some love too)!