MIGF 2010 @ Neo Tamarind

As a foodie, one of the events that I look forward to the most is the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival. I make it a point every year, to pay homage to two different restaurants. This year however - just like the last, I only had a chance to visit one. I paid a visit to Neo Tamarind, Restaurant & Lux Lounge a week ago with a friend of mine. Neo Tamarind is located along Jalan Sultan Ismail, opposite Equatorial Hotel.

We were treated to a spectacular gastronomic feast, one of which I've never had before. The 6 course menu costed RM155 per person, without wine. The only problem I had was that the surroundings were way too dark for my camera to operate properly. I took a few shots…but gave up in the end. Therefore, I was not able to take a picture of every course served. My apologies.

We while waiting for our feast to begin, we were treated to Warm Bread, paired with Hummus and Tomato Salsa. The hummus was rich in flavour with a hint of lemon, and with the chickpeas gridded to a perfect consistency. The tomato salsa was sweet, with the coriander adding freshness to it.

Then we were served a pair of complimentary appetiser. The appetiser consisted of Crispy Salmon Flakes with Pickled Green Tomatoes, which provided a nice balance of sweet and salty.

Our first course was the Samhadi Rainbow Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and topped with Truffle Oil, Fine Herbs and a Balsamic Reduction. The different colours of gnocchi had different flavours, respectively. The gnocchi was soft, and its flavour was enhanced by the truffle oil and wild flowers.

Our second course was the Semi-Raw Agent. This dish contained Seared Crusted One Side Tuna Loin topped with Sakura Mix, Red Wine Jelly, and a glass of Wasabi Foam. There was an interesting combination of flavours and textures in this dish, with the sakura mix being crisp, the red wine jelly being soft and sweet, the tuna fish added a smoky flavour and the wasabi foam added a nice kick. The dish, as a whole, tantalised my taste-buds.

Our third course was the Hot Liquid Agent. This dish contained Poached White Cod Loin in Beetroot Broth and Prawns in Marscapone on a Sweet-Corn Coulis, topped with Avocado Oil and Black Ink Salt. The cod loin was well cooked and of a generous portion, though the beetroot juice purely added colour alone, to the fish. The prawns were plump and succulent, and the subtleness of the dish was a nice contrast from the previous course.

Our fourth course was the Hot Flame Agent. This dish contained a Melon-Mint Shooter as its centrepiece, decked with Duck Ribbon and Foie Gras, and a side of Blowtorched Watermelon and Sweet Potato Mash, topped with Orange Salt. The foie gras was pure decadence, though there was too much of orange salt which overpowered everything. The subtleness of the blowtorched watermelon and the melon-mint shooter, however, added some balance to my taste-buds.

Our fifth course was the Hybrid Agent. This dish contained a Cold Seared Scallop coated in Habanero Fish Roe, a serving of Matcha Foam, Grilled Grade 7 Wagyu Beef and a Port Wine Glazed Portobello Terrine. The centrepiece of our dish - the wagyu, was simply amazing - truly melting in my mouth. The dish consisted of a nice combination of hot and cold, though the scallop with fish roe was a bit too fishy for my taste.

Our last course then, was the Sweet Agent, which consisted of a Chocolate Truffle, a Green Tea Doughnut, a Warm Chocolate Cake with Candied Kumquat and a glass of Mocha Foam. The chocolate truffle was unusually cold, though it had a nice texture to it. The green tea doughnut however, was incredibly hard - and the chocolate cake, more hot than warm. The mocha foam truly was divine and on the whole, the dessert was a nice myriad of textures and temperatures.

My experience at Neo for the Malaysian International Gourmet festival was truly an unforgettable one. My palate was treated to a spectacle of amazing textures, flavours, temperatures which in the end - seemed to combine wonderfully into a big and wonderful ensemble of FOOD.

With the exception of the manager being a bit of a bitch (mind the language), and the incredibly dark lighting, I am definitely keen to come back for a taste of their a la carte menu. As for the MIGF experience…

a truly unique one indeed.

Pictures here, courtesy of the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival website.

Presentation: 9/10

Ambiance: 8/10

Service: 6/10

Overall Taste: 9/10

General Impression: 8/10





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