Saturday, April 14, 2018

Michelin-Starred Chef Sayan Isaksson Set To Thrill with Scandinavian Delights at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

"Simply Scandinavian" connects the world annually with jazz music and flavours of Scandinavian cuisine, and has been hosted in over 20 countries including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Thailand and more. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of "Simply Scandinavian", Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur will be showcasing an enticing array of Scandinavian delights at three F&B venues in the hotel, namely Mosaic, Mandarin Grill and Lounge on the Park from 14 to 21 April 2018.

Renowned Swedish chef Sayan Isaksson is the man of the hour, and together with his two sous chefs from his famed one Michelin-starred restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, they will be bringing you on a gastronomic journey of the finest Scandinavian cuisine, complemented by soothing live jazz music by Swedish musician Deri Rowlands.

Born in Thailand and adopted by a Swedish family at eight months old, Isaksson opened Esperanto in 2005, was awarded one Michelin-star in 2007 and retained the star to this date. The White Guide, regarded as the most authoritative restaurant guide in Sweden, awarded Esperanto 40/40, the highest food score ever attained by a restaurant, earning them the title of "Restaurant of the Year" in 2016. Furthermore, Isaksson led the Swedish National Culinary Team between 2000 to 2004 and was also chosen to prepare the menu for the prestigious Nobel Prize banquets in 2015 and 2016.

At Mandarin Grill, Chef Isaksson will be showcasing a Lunch Menu (choose 3, 4 or 5-course), with prices starting from RM198 per person, as well as a 5-course Dinner Menu (RM368) or 7-course Dinner Menu (RM468).

At the special preview, we had the pleasure of tasting some of Chef Isaksson's fine works of art, starting with a trio of amuse bouche - straw smoked quail eggs, fermented potato doughnut and organic waste broth with kale, to tantalise our palates. The soft-spoken Chef Isaksson makes an appearance at each course, explaining to us the inspiration and ingredients behind each course.

The Quail Egg is marbled with black vinegar and smoked; pop into your mouth for a delicious eggs-plosion. The taste reminded me of the Japanese seasoned eggs, ajitama. The fermented potato doughnut should be eaten dipped in the cultured cream with leek oil.

The most interesting amuse bouche of them all was the organic waste broth, which exemplifies Chef Isaksson's ethos of respecting nature and upcycling by reinventing ways of using food scraps such as vegetable peels, which in this case was tranformed into an earthy broth. This was served with a buckwheat cracker, topped with herb paste.

The "Oyster Pearl" was a real treat for the senses. Showcasing the playful, innovative side of Chef Isaksson, the shucked oyster, along with preserved eldeberries from Sweden, oyster emulsion and Oscietre caviar, was topped on an incredibly realisitic, edible oyster "shell"(made from rice flour, tapioca and dill). How often can you say "I ate an oyster shell today"? So much fun to eat, I was definitely wowed by this dish.

Hamachi (Japanese amberjack) is not something you can find easily in Sweden, Chef Isaksson revealed to us, hence he was excited to feature this fish on his menu here in Malaysia. The fish is cured in salt and sugar and then cold smoked in straw and hung to dry, as this enhances the delicate flavour of the fish. It is simply served with pickled daikon and horseradish, along with a light dashi broth made from the fish bones.

Air cured Hamachi

The Porridge of mushrooms exuded earthy, comforting flavours. Buckwheat and millet is cooked in a mushroom broth and preserved butter, which we learnt was butter and blue cheese left together for a year allowing the umami flavours to develop in the butter. Topped with sauteed mushrooms, mushroom tea is poured tableside to complete this creation.

Another favourite of ours here is the Aged sirloin in chlorophyll. Sitting on a bed of kale puree, the beef was cooked to perfection in the charcoal Josper grill, and topped with shredded lettuce and fried kale and finished off with a jus made from chicken stock and beef trimmings. Absolutely sublime, a delight to savour.

For the finale, Chef Isaksson impresses again with the "Pommes de Terres", which translates to "earth apple", referring to the humble potato. Resembling a peeled apple, this is actually potato ice cream, glazed with apple juice with a salted caramel centre. One of the most unique ice cream flavours we've tried - and it totally blew us away! The "apple" sits on a bed of fake dirt as Chef Isaksson calls it, consisting of caramelised potato peel, burnt white chocolate and apple chips.

Chef Isaksson will be cooking at Mandarin Grill from 14 to 21 April, for both lunch and dinner. Diners can also indulge in a selection of a la carte dishes in the casual yet elegant ambiance of Lounge on the Park, priced at RM68 onwards. Be serenaded by live performance by Deri Rowlands, known for his impersonations and sense of humour, besides his notable jazz singing skills, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm daily. Menus can be viewed here.

For reservations, please call the F&B Reservation Desk at 03-2330 8798 or email

Opening times: Lunch: Mon-Fri from 12pm- 2.30pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am - 2.30pm; Dinner 7pm - 10.30pm daily.


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

Tel: 03-2179 8885

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555

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1 comment:

  1. He looks like across between Malek Noor and The Rock. :D


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