Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BEEFING UP CHINESE CHEFS




It was a feat of sorts...hats off to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) for succeeding in corralling 28 top Chinese chefs together.

The aim? To mark the launch of MLA Red Majesty Chef programme where the head honchos of top Chinese kitchens in Malaysia and Singapore will be beefed up with improved cooking techniques, modern methods of preparation and presentation of Chinese cuisine. Naturally, the ingredient of choice here is Australian beef and sheep meat for the creation of contemporary Chinese dishes.

The resultant dinner was an exquisite menu of beef and lamb creations starting with Crispy Lamb with Hawthorn Chilli Sauce and Chilled Five Spice Lamb Combination (pix above). Fabulous textural constrast accentuated by the subtly sweet hawthorn chilli sauce defined the first starter; the second was just as captivating thanks to its sheer simplicity.

The subsequent Double Boiled Superior Beef Broth with Sliced Beef Rump and Tendon hit the spot all right since it was a rainy night. Richly flavoured yet light and clear on the palate, the salubrious brew left us asking for more.

Raising the bar further was the Golden Centre Eye of Rump Beef Nugget accompanied by Chef's Special Spicy BBQ Dip. The beef's splendid melt-in-the-mouth tenderness paired with the wickedly spicy sauce left us at a loss for words.

An amalgamation of tart, sweet and smoky nuances held us spellbound in the Slow Braised Lamb Neck with Caramelised Honey Sauce.

After that, Poached and Roasted Beef Rump Cap Escalope dressed with Garlic Black Bean Sauce took centrestage. Again it was faultlessly prepared giving rise to nods and murmurs of appreciation all round.

Even our local white coffee made a cameo appearance in the Thirteen Fragrant Spice Lamb Shoulder Flavoured with White Coffee Sauce...such ingenuity!

Inspired by the local street food scene, the Stir Fried Ho Fun (Flat Rice Vermicelli) was glammed up with Sliced Soy Beef, Shimeiji Mushroom & Poached Quail Egg. Oozing with fab wok hei (that elusive, irresistible smoky "breath" derived from a super-high heat wok), it was one of the evening's best dishes. The poached quail egg's rich smoothness and the delicate brown capped fungi's mild earthiness added brilliant textural interplay to the scrumptious ensemble.

Milk Pudding with Lychee dressed with Caramelised Honey & Red Dates complemented by Tropical Fresh Fruit brought the curtains down on a high note.

All 28 chefs were given a rousing standing ovation by dinner invitees. Well done and thumbs up to MLA for this superb initiative. Bravo!

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