Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner 2019 set to delight taste buds with eclectic menu

Tan Mei Zi
Light and fresh flavours take centre stage in the poached river prawn appetiser. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Guests for the upcoming Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner 2019 are in for a culinary adventure this Saturday.

Organised by the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF), the event will treat its attendees to a mouthwatering array of dishes specially prepared by Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur chef Arif Zihan and his team.

Dinner will kick off with a refreshing poached river prawn appetiser with baby romaine salad, cocktail sauce, and mango salsa, followed by a rich chicken coconut soup with shiitake mushrooms, coriander chicken dumpling, cherry tomato confit, and a drizzle of red curry oil.

The beef tenderloin comes with a vegetable-tomato ragout, baked polenta with Kalamata olives, Java pepper jus, and herb cress. — Photo by Choo Choy May

Guests will have a choice of either Australian grass-fed beef tenderloin or baked sea bass filet for the main course.

The evening will end on a sweet note with the unique East West dessert which consists of milk chocolate mousse, feuilletine crisp, mango cremeux, and almond dacquoise.

Vegetarian diners will enjoy an appetiser of grilled organic vegetables, a roast pumpkin coconut soup, and an asparagus vol au vent as their main course.

The baked sea bass filet is accompanied by ratatouille, baked black olive polenta, lemon butter sauce, balsamic, and herb salad. — Picture by Choo Choy May

In an interview with Malay Mail, Arif shared that the inspiration for the Gala's menu was based on three words: simple, classy, and comforting.

“We are emphasising a simple, clean, and straightforward yet classy presentation,” said the chef, who has worked with Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur for over seven years now.

A Malaysian touch has also been infused into the dishes for a familiar taste of home.

“We have incorporated local and regional flavours in a way that would complement and enhance every single dish.

“The soup, for example, is a traditional chicken velouté, tweaked by adding local flavours and ingredients to it.

“On top of that, almost 80 per cent of the raw ingredients are from our local farmers and vendors, which allows us to highlight the versatility of locally grown fresh herbs and produce by using it with imported meat.

“We are even using locally grown and produced cocoa beans for our chocolate products in this menu.”

The East West dessert is a treat for both the eyes and the palate. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Preparing for a gala dinner of this scale means Arif and his team will be giving their all to serve up a memorable meal for attendees.

“With such huge VIPs and dignitaries on the guest list, we have to understand, anticipate, and fulfill all their needs and expectations.

“Planning and preparing for such an event is not only about logistics, manpower, and raw ingredients.

“We have to ensure that all the chefs and service personnel understand their roles and deliver their service with the highest standard possible.”

The Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner 2019 will see the prestigious Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award presented to an individual or organisation for their long-standing efforts to end AIDS in Malaysia.

Funds raised from the gala will be directed to areas such as HIV prevention and education as well as AIDS care and support for people living with HIV.

Malay Mail is a media partner for the event, which will take place on the evening of December 14 at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on the Gala, visit this link.

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