The third of six of the Desaru Coast Gourmet Series editions was held on 28 and 29 June 2019 at The Elephant and The Butterfly Poolside Bar and Grill in Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast.
The Gourmet Series kicked off at The Els Coast Desaru featuring Relais & Chateaux award-winning Michelin-star Chef Emmanuel Stroobant on 7 & 8 December 2018. The second edition was held at The Westin Desaru Coast Resort from 26 to 28 April 2019 featuring Chef Christopher Miller from Stellar at 1 Altitude in Singapore.
The Desaru Coast Gourmet Series is part of the ‘Desaru Coast Live Series’ a curation of events focusing on sports, lifestyle and entertainment. The gourmet series aims to allow guests to enjoy a higher level of culinary experience from street food to high-end restaurants.
It was a Saturday and it was hot in Singapore. We met up with the rest of Salt Magazine‘s guests at Changi Ferry Terminal, the one located near Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and often mistaken for the Changi Point Ferry Terminal near Changi Village Hawker Centre. We took a ferry to Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal. Limbongan Maju is the only company operating this 16-times weekly 30-minute ferry service.
You have the option to sit in the open-air upper deck or air-conditioned lower deck. A tour bus picked us up from the ferry terminal and got us to the Hard Rock Hotel in a jiffy.
This edition was themed ‘A Malaysian Journey: Turn up Your Senses‘ featuring Chef Raymond Tham, the executive chef of Skillet at 163 in Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur. Chef Raymond Tham takes a twist on fine dining, based on the standing tapas dining experiences from Spain. Guests were treated to food and free flow of wine and beer.
Malaysian cuisine is everything to me. Each culture has their own stories to tell and flavours to contribute, making Malaysian food very colourful thanks to our diverse background. We also have unique ingredients in our country that are not so common elsewhere, which makes it special to me.Executive Chef Raymond Tham of Skillet At 163
A five-course menu was served in a casual dining venue. The first was a Laksa made with liquid nitrogen. Guests gathered around the demonstration table where Chef Tham welcomed everyone and spoke a bit of the dinner before enchanting guests with his first course. Each laksa ball was made fresh and dished out to guests who were more than thrilled with blowing out smoke after popping the bite-sized ball into their mouths.
The second course was a platter of small bites featuring a Cameron Highlands Tomato with Malaysian Sturgeon Caviar from Manjung Perak; Beta truffles recreated with cendawan kukur (splitgill mushroom) and 24k gold from Kuala Lumpur; and Kuih Loyang (a crispy honeycomb cookie) with salted egg yolk and curry leaf.
The third course was a Kelantan salad dish of winged beans and budu aioli and fermented starfruit snow and soft shell prawns with masak lemak and prawn dusk from Negeri Sembilan. The winged beans were absolutely divine.
The main course was a lamb loin with yam, roasted garlic and herbal bone soup from Pahang.
Dessert to end the night was a Musang King Durian with Semai 72% dark chocolate.
The bartender at The Elephant & The Butterfly gave guests first dips at a new cocktail
The relaxed dinner format and the poolside venue was perfect making it conducive to mingle and forge new friendships. It was surprising cooling despite the non air-conditioned venue, since it had rained earlier in the day.
We are looking forward to the remaining 3 editions of the Desaru Coast Gourmet Series.