Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cooking class with Les Amis Singapore's Chef Galvin Lim at Mandarin Oriental KL

A stalwart of the Singapore fine dining scene, Les Amis Restaurant is the flagship fine dining French restaurant of the Les Amis Group. Since its opening in 1994, Les Amis has garnered numerous awards over the years including being ranked No.53 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2012. It is also ranked 19th on The Miele Guide's Asia Top 20 for 2011/2012. 

A collaboration of KL and Singapore's finest...

Last Friday, I was invited to the Mandarin Grill in Mandarin Oriental KL for a cooking class with Les Amis Group's Executive Chef, Galvin Lim. I had so much fun during my last cooking class with 1-Michelin star Chef Igor Macchia at Mandarin Oriental KL so I was really looking forward to this masterclass with Chef Galvin too.

Of Singaporean descent, Chef Galvin has undergone training in some of the world's most renowned kitchens such as Lameloise in Burgundy, Le Gavroche in London, L'Auberge des Cimes in St Bonnets les Froids Rangis Macon and Les Elysees du Vernet in Paris under Alain Soliveres. In 2008, Chef Galvin earned himself the Commanderie of Cotes de Bordeaux, one of France's highest recognitions for chefs and sommeliers. 

Marinated white asparagus, crispy egg, mushrooms and herbs

During the cooking class, we were taught three of Les Amis's signature culinary delights, which uses the finest and freshest ingredients. Chef Galvin is fond of using seasonal ingredients, some of which he displayed during the cooking class is the white asparagus from France, black truffles from Australia and Sakura ebi from Japan.

The first dish demonstrated to us was the marinated white asparagus with crispy egg, morel mushrooms and herbs.

Chef Galvin Lim and his team, sous chef Joon and Alan. 


Ingredients for the day


Chef Joon teaching Julie, one of the cooking class's participant how to remove the fibrous skin off the white asparagus.


To cook the white asparagus, use boiling water with sugar, salt, butter, lemon juice and bread (to absorb some of the bitterness from the asparagus). 


Marinating the white asparagus with the cooking liquid with added white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.


Plating of the dish was a delight to watch!

One of the interesting things I learnt from the class was how to cook the perfect poached egg. The egg is placed into a steam oven at 70°C for 15 mins before being removed and put into boiling water until the white firms up. Beautiful eggs everytime! The egg is the wrapped in thinly sliced ciabatta bread before pan frying to achieve the crispy exterior. I assure you, it's very delicious and paired beautifully with the white asparagus and morel mushrooms.

A work of art. Gorgeous!


Marinated white asparagus, crispy egg, mushrooms and herbs


The next dish demonstrated was the Sous Vide Danish halibut with potato gnocchi, spinach, sakura ebi and black truffle shavings. The halibut fillet is cooked sous vide at 55°C for 15 minutes with olive oil, garlic and lemon thyme. For the potato gnocchi, Chef Galvin recommends using Yukon Gold potatoes for best texture. It is lightly sauteed with butter and finely chopped shallots and deglazed with truffle jus. For the benefit of my readers, I have taken videos of how to "roll" the gnocchi on the grooved board (use the palm of your hands) and also the immaculate plating of the dish by sous chef Joon.




Sakura ebi from Japan which are in season in spring and autumn.


Australian black truffle


The potato is baked and sieved through


Add creme fraiche, nutmeg, egg yolk, flour, salt and pepper to taste.


Roll it


How to roll gnocchi into desired shape
video


The Sakura ebi is sauteed on low heat til crispy and finished with a dash of truffle oil.

Chef Galvin sauteing the gnocchi


Black truffles anyone?


Plating of the sous vide halibut
video

Slow cooked Danish halibut "sous vide" with potato gnocchi, spinach, Sakura ebi and black truffle


Last but not least, sous chef Alan showed us how to make Les Amis' fancy lemon tarte with thyme ice cream. He made the lemon curd using a Thermomix, however at home, one can just make it using the stove and then bake it in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes.

Chef Alan showing us how to make the crumble.. bake it in a 160°C oven for 30 minutes, removing every 10 minutes to "crumble" the mixture. The dessert is garnished with lemon balm to complete this lemony dessert.



Chef Alan giving the meringue the blowtorch treatment
video


Fancy Lemon Tarte with thyme ice cream


Chef Galvin Lim, Baby Sumo, Chef Joon and Chef Alan


After the cooking class, we proceeded to Mandarin Grill for a 5-course dinner prepared by the Les Amis team, including 3 of the dishes that were taught in the cooking class.

Freshly baked bread with tomato butter and unsalted butter


Laurent Perrier Champagne

We started our meal with the marinated bamboo razor clam with tomatoes. The clams have been marinated in white wine and olive oil only, hence we could enjoy the natural sweetness and freshness of the seafood. It is nicely presented on a bed of salt coloured by squid ink.




William Fevre Chablis 2010

I was looking forward to taste the dishes that we learnt  from the cooking class and they certainly did not disappoint. I loved the marinated white asparagus dish, eating it brings good memories of trips I had in Germany and Austria. The egg was both crispy on the exterior and gooey in the centre. Very very delicious. By the way, I learnt that this dish is always served with the spear facing the diner as this is the best part of the asparagus.

Marinated white asparagus, crispy egg, morel mushrooms and herbs


Perrin Cotes Du Rhone 2009


The halibut was beautifully cooked - moist and flaky. The Sakura ebi added texture to the dish.  And oh, the truffles - heavenly!

Slow cooked Danish halibut "sous vide" with potato gnocchi, spinach, Sakura ebi and black truffle


Breakfast is served in the form of a "sunny side up" - very interesting and visually appealing. The "yolk" is actually a pineapple (molecular) sphere. The "egg white" is a milk ice cream with chilli. A lot of praises sung at our table for this dish.

"Sunny side up"


Dessert wine


A fancy lemon tarte with thyme ice cream ensured that our meal ended on a sweet note. It is a deconstructed version of a lemon meringue pie. The cocoa crumble was nice and gave this dessert some texture. I love the tartness of this dessert.



Tea with petit fours (gula melaka chocolate and royal dark chocolate) from Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie which is owned by the Les Amis Group. Whenever I visit Singapore, I always have to have their macarons. And they do a very delectable strawberry shortcake too.


Goodie bag :) - delicious chocolates from The Mandarin Cake Shop, personalised apron and recipe book :)


As always, it's lovely getting to learn from professional chefs and the Les Amis team did an excellent job in conducting the cooking class as well as putting together a delicious meal for us all. I hope to be able to visit Les Amis Restaurant during my next trip to Singapore (Hubby, *hint hint* LOL).

Thanks very much to Mandarin Oriental KL for the opportunity to attend this cooking class.


Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here.

Price: RM255++ per person (cooking class and 5-course wine pairing dinner).

Location: Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2380 8888

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555

Website:  http://www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur and http://www.lesamis.com.sg/index1.html

*All recipes will be shared in due course. 

25 comments:

  1. I enjoyed seeing the food being plated, good job. Were you testing me to see if I read it all? OK I get the hint u wanna revisit SG :-)

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    1. They make it look so easy and effortless but I'm sure if we attempt it, ours wont look quite as good.

      Hehe I'm gonna record what you said, make sure you bring me to Singapore soon! ;)

      Delete
  2. fantastic looking food and I'm sure you learned a lot from this visit!

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    1. Oh yes I certainly did. Some of the cooking tips are really valuable. Now to get those fancy equipment so I can cook just like them ;P

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  3. white asparagus! tis the season for it again, rite (if i recall correctly, it's best during the earliest part of summer). the ones here look fat and juicy! :D

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    1. I think Mandarin Grill did a promotion on white asparagus last month but I think the promo is over.

      The asparagus was indeed very juicy, it was a great combo with the crispy egg and morel mushroom!

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  4. Gee! I'm so jakun - never heard of or seen white asparagus before. At first, I thought they were using those mushy canned ones... So, I guess you cook all those dishes already. Inviting me to go and try sometime? Wink! Wink! LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never mind, NOW you know. See, it pays to read my blog ;P

      Haha if I can find white asparagus for purchase in supermarkets then can la.. if not you have to wait ah! ;P

      Delete
  5. Wow that sounded amazing! Interesting tip about putting bread in when cooking the asparagus...

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    1. Yeah, something I never knew before. Interesting tips from the class esp for someone who likes to cook.

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  6. Can you email me if there are any cooking classes like that? I would love to attend one to!

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    Replies
    1. Sure, no problem! If I know of any, will let you know. How long will you be in KL for?

      Delete
  7. Wow that Sunny side up looks nice! Very creative and interesting combination! :)

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    1. At first everyone was like "eh why suddenly they serve us a fried egg".. but it is definitely "fried egg" with a twist. :)

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  8. So envy of Yen! They are so generous with the black truffle, used a big chunky piece in a demo class! It's very rare to see white asparagus here, may be few times a year in my local supermarket!

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    1. In the cooking class, they also passed around the black truffle shavings to let us try. So nice of them!

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  9. That was one spicy 'fried egg'!! LOL!

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    1. Hehe it did leave a tingling sensation on my tongue ;)

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  10. wahhh~ Yen... Im so jealous u get to go such exclusive events~~~ weeee~!! Get to take pics with chefs summore..wahh!! And the fine-exquisite presentation of the desserts really made me drool~~uhuhu~

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    1. Hehe I am grateful for the opportunity to go to this cooking class as I love to cook and it's great to pick up some tips from the experts.

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  11. Love the white asparagus dish mmm. :-)

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  12. All the dishes look amazing! Especially that deconstructed lemon meringue tart (one of my fav desserts). Did you find out where we could get Yukon Gold here? Been looking for these babies for ages.

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    Replies
    1. I think I saw them before in Cold Storage, but I will have to double check and come back to you. Alternatively they say we can use those Indian potatoes.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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