Monday, May 14, 2018

British Guest Chef Will Hemming from Monkey Island Estate Presents "A Taste of Bray" at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

The Library at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur played host to British Guest Chef Will Hemming over the weekend as part of its renowned Guest Chef Dinner Series.  Chef Will has been appointed as the Executive Chef at Monkey Island Estate, which will be opening in July this year after a major renovation by YTL Hotels.

Monkey Island, is a centuries old retreat in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire that nestles on an island in the River Thames surrounded by stunning gardens and accessible only by a footbridge or boat. The village of Bray needs no introduction amongst the coterie of global gourmets as it is possibly the only village in the world that lays claim to having four Michelin-starred restaurants and gastropubs. The stately retreat, with two grade I listed heritage pavilions have been redesigned by the award-winning New York-based Champalimaud Design who orchestrated distinctive interior design projects for The Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Green Leaf Niseko Village, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, The Carlyle in New York and the Dorchester in London, to name a few.

Chef Will Hemming honed his culinary expertise in the kitchens of high-profile establishments such as Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Sky Garden in London and the iconic Simpson' in the Strand, London. He has a passion for creating dishes with the very best locally-sourced produce. Chef Will presented "A Taste of Bray" to KL guests through an exquisite six-course menu, showcasing dishes which will feature on his menu at Monkey Island Estate.

We both agreed that the Heritage Tomato Salad was perfect for the Malaysian hot climate. Based on the classic flavour combination of cheese and tomato, this cold appetizer features heirloom tomatoes, pickled onions and feta cheese, along with a highly delicious Bloody Mary Dressing.  We loved the tangy, mildly spicy dressing which did a great job in whetting our appetites.

The 35-Day Dry Aged Beef Tartare is marinated with Gentleman's Relish (made up of anchovies, plums, apples and more) and topped with smoked yolk, more relish and Berkwells Cheese, a classic British hard cheese, for extra depth of flavour. For this six-course dinner, guests had the option of pairing their food with free-flow Ingoldby Chardonnay or Metala Single Vineyard Shiraz Cabernet.

A modern take on the traditional British mariners pie, sea treasures such as smoked haddock, salmon, mussels and tiger prawns are hidden below the gratinated potato and samphire. I especially loved the smokiness that the gratinated potato imparted and I just couldn't get enough of the rich, comforting flavours of this dish. Without a doubt, my favorite dish of the evening!

Smoked haddock and salmon fish pie

Lamb is the star for Chef Will's main course. Chef Will would usually use Welsh lamb for this dish, however in KL he had to use Australian lamb as they're easier to source. A duo of slow-cooked lamb rump and braised shoulder croquette provides contrasting flavours and textures, and is paired with oven baked celeriac, burnt baby leek, garden pea and minted jus.

Free range lamb rump and braised shoulder croquette

Beauvale Blue is a type of creamy, soft blue cheese. The classic blue cheese platter once again gets a makeover and is served with spiced pear and golden raisin, sourdough wafer and walnut powder.

Chef Will' Eton "Tidy" is a refined adaptation of the classic English dessert, Eton Mess. It contains all the basic components such as fresh strawberries, whipped vanilla cream and meringue, along with modern additions such as strawberry mousse and sorbet. Absolutely divine!

A selection of British cheese

Location: The Library, Level 1, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2142 8000

GPS Coordinates: 3.146901, 101.715438


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