Sunday, September 7, 2014

MIGF 2014---PART 1; SAMPLINGS ON 14 AT BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE HOTEL

KEE@FSWMAG.COM


LIVE. DINE & CELEBRATE @ SAMPLINGS
An Evening of Refined Gastronomic Gratification
At Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant

 Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur – notably one of the city’s best kept secrets – has been giving diners a gratifying dining experience ever since it opened its door in 2011.

The open concept kitchen at once draws attention as does the brilliant view of twilight in Kuala Lumpur as the sun sets. The restaurant’s main dining room seats sixty people with two private rooms that accommodate eight and twelve guests respectively. 

Located at the East Tower on the 14th floor of Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Samplings operates from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Monday to Saturday - with Berjaya University College of Hospitality (BUCH) operating here every Tuesday and Thursday.

This refined restaurant offers a range of mains choices for various epicureans. Available seafood dishes on the menu include salmon sous vide with squid ink tonnarelli and littleneck clams to the signature black cod fish with trout caviar sauce and a seafood combination platter of grilled salmon, sea bass, prawns, sea scallops and baby lobster.

Diners with an appetite for meat will be eager to try the options on the menu which serves among other things luscious filet mignon, duck leg confit, Wagyu beef fillet, Australian beef rib eye and USA Black Angus beef sirloin all served with baked potatoes and grilled vegetables with a choice of béarnaise, porcini and morel mushroom, bordelaise, Sarawakian peppercorn or truffle oil beef jus sauce. 

Recommended are Sampling’s signature dishes – the delish Tasmanian rack of lamb and heavenly braised Wagyu beef cheek.

Serving a Classic Western menu, it would be easy to presume the restaurant’s chef is of European heritage upon dining here. 

Those presumptions are at once debunked upon meeting Sampling’s affable Chef de Cuisine Valmurugan Subramanian who is fondly known as ‘Chef Val’ by his peers and loyal diners.

Chef de cuisine Val comes with 25 years’ experience under his chef’s toque in the hotel fine dining scene with additional experience cooking in several countries from Switzerland to Vietnam. 

As a young apprentice in the late 1980’s, he steadily climbed his way to become the chef de cuisine of a Swiss-French inspired fine dine in an international chain of hotels over 20 years. 

His panache for cooking added with his years of experience trained by many accomplished chefs has shaped him to master himself in the world of European cuisine with specialties in Swiss and French techniques.

Since joining Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur in 2010 as Chef De Cuisine, Val has significantly transitioned the new fine dine as a major contender on the local culinary map for its food and service while establishing a name for himself with his expertise along with his buoyant personality and charm.

Among his favourite ingredients are truffle oil for its aromatic punch and lobster butter which he says gives his sauces a boost in taste and texture. Believing that execution is fundamental to even the simplest dish, Val stresses on ensuring the quality of his dishes are always consistent. 

“I find inspiration from everything around me and love experimenting with different ideas and techniques to put on the plate,” he says.

The award-winning Val’s pure approach to cooking consistently delivers stunning dishes that highlight the main ingredient as evidenced by his specialty meat dishes. 

Mentored and trained by veteran German Chef Wolf Gang Kiesal, he bagged Silver in the Hot Cooking Category for the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) Culinary Challenge 2012 and has received accolades from the Food and Hotel Malaysia (FHM) Culinary Challenge 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 in the Hot Cooking category.

Under Val’s stewardship, Samplings has received Awards of Excellence by the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) for ‘Most Outstanding Canapés of the Festival’ and ‘Most Creative Dining Experience’ in 2011 for the Festival Diners’ Choice Category; ‘Most Outstanding Main Course of the Festival’ for his slow-cooked Wagyu beef cheek dish, ‘Most Popular Restaurant’ for Taste MIGF and ‘Most Outstanding Soup of the Festival’ in 2012; and ‘Most Outstanding Wine Pairing of the Festival’ in 2013.

In conjunction with Sampling’s participation in the MIGF 2014 for the fourth year in a row, Val has this time delivered a stunning menu for diners to sample throughout the festival period. 

The seven-course menu is a fine gastronomc journey to be explored as he surprises with the amuse bouche, teases with the Rock lobster salad, comforts with the chick pea soup, then tantalises with the hot appetiser of smoked duck breast with fricassee of mushrooms and vanilla emulsion.  A cool content slowly settles in with every mouthful of Val’s Riesling soursop sorbet.

Vice President of the Sommelier Association of Malaysia and BUCH lecturer Ronald Binati lends his incisive expertise in cultivated pairings to enhance the epicurean adventure once again this year. 

The Rock lobster salad is served with a delicious Sixty Drops Marlborough sauvignon blanc from New Zealand while the smocked duck breast flourishes with a sip of Barone Ricasoli Chianti DOCG from Italy.

The satiating journey reaches a pinnacle with his superb delivery of main course – an option of his famed Wagyu beef cheek with his signature touch including a coffee sauce or the beautifully-plated serving of steamed salmon Napoleon on a bed of finely crafted squid ink pasta with grapefruit and salsa verde. 

For the Wagyu beef main, Binati perfectly picks the exquisite Ruffino Lumina, Delle Venezie IGT pinot grigio from Italy while a smooth Richard Hamilton McLaren cabernet sauvignon from Australia is served with the salmon Napoleon.

Then like a fine artist, Val makes a closing impact with a sinful Valrhona chocolate dessert of chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream with a serving of heavenly Amarula. Mignardises and free flowing coffee follow the end of Val’s master presentation.

This epicurean adventure with wine pairing is available for RM398++ a person while the same seven-course menu is offered at RM198++ a person without wines. A complimentary glass of red or white wine is given to diners opting for the latter. 

A lighter five-course festival menu is also crafted by Val with a Barramundi cod or herb crusted rack of lamb main at just RM158++ a person. All three menus are available for dinner only on Mondays, Wednesdays Fridays and Saturdays in the months September and November 2014. 

Throughout the MIGF festival in October 2014, the Samplings festival menus are available from Monday to Saturday.

In the spirit of the MIGF festival 2014, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is extending a special room rate for festival diners of any of the three offered menus. 

Upon paying for the bill, any two diners are entitled to stay in a Superior room for RM295++ for one night, subject to availability. In addition, a 10 percent discount voucher is offered for the Christmas takeaway turkey by the hotel from 1 to 31 December 2014. (T&C Apply)

For further enquiries or reservations, kindly contact Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant at 03-2117 8000 ext. 8131 or e-mail bth.samplings@berjayahotel.com

About Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, a five-star hotel under the hospitality arm of the public listed Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corporation, is a prominent landmark strategically located in the heart of the city’s banking, commercial and vibrant shopping district. 

With a total of 650 rooms complete with international-standard amenities, the hotel also houses an extensive selection of food and beverage outlets and recreational facilities built exclusively with a children’s playground, swimming pool, steam and sauna room, fitness centre and two squash courts. 

Offering a distinctive Meetings Excellence program and boasts 15 function rooms including a grand ballroom, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is definitely an excellent setting where business complements leisure. Visit www.berjayahotel.com/kualalumpur for more information.

About Berjaya Hotels & Resorts
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, a public listed Malaysian conglomerate. Presently, the group manages Berjaya properties in Malaysia, Asia Pacific and UK. 

From the exotic island resorts of Tioman and Langkawi to the city hotel of Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ prominence in Malaysia is further enhanced by the establishment of International hotels and resorts in Singapore, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, London and Vietnam. 

As a premier hospitality group, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts also owns and operates a commercial airline, service suites and exclusive golf & country clubs in Malaysia. Visit online at www.berjayahotel.com for more information.
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MIGF 2014 FULL FESTIVAL MENU
Amuse Bouche
Starter

Rock Lobster Salad

Fennel and basil puree, lobster gazpacho, lobster terrine, asparagus and Asian pear
***
Soup
Chick Pea Soup

Poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil
***
Hot Appetizer
Smoked Duck Breast

Fricassee of mushrooms with vanilla emulsion
***
Main Course
Chargrilled Wagyu Steak

Braised wagyu beef cheek, bone marrow, celeriac puree, pickled apples and grapes, mache leaves, coffee sauce
Or
Steamed Salmon Napoleon

Grapefruit, saffron, squid ink pasta and salsa Verde
***
Dessert

Valrhona Chocolate
Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream
***
Coffee or Tea
Mignardises

Price RM 198.00++ per pax
********************************************************************************************* 
MIGF 2014 LIGHT FESTIVAL MENU
Starter
Ceviche of Scallops
Poached oyster in aspic jelly, trout caviar, marinated arugula and Asian pear
***
Soup
Chick Pea Soup
Poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil
***
Main Course
Seared Barramundi
Roasted Barramundi fish with Alaskan crab, avocado puree and chipotle tomato
Or
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
Rack of Lamb with goat cheese thyme crust, ratatouille and parmesan gnocchi
***
Dessert
Valrhona Chocolate
Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream
***
Coffee or Tea
Mignardises

Price RM 158.00++ per pax
*******************************************************************************************
MIGF TASTE 2014
Taste Portion Menu

Smoked Duck Breast
Fricassee of mushrooms, vanilla emulsion
***
Chargrilled Wagyu Steak
Braised wagyu beef cheek, bone marrow, celeriac puree, pickled apples & grapes, Mache leaves, coffee sauce
****
Steamed Salmon Napoleon
Grapefruit, saffron, squid ink pasta, salsa Verde

***
Valrhona Chocolate
Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse, passion fruit ice cream
 *********************************************************************************************


Samplings on 14 is located on, yes you are right, the 14th floor of Berjaya Times Square hotel 
Mixon Kumaran the F&B trainer at Berjaya University College of Hospitality and Mohan Raj, director of operations of Berjaya Times Square
Kee Hua Chee joins in for a spot of colour to blend with the curtains
Dato Kok Wee Kiat, Datin Anita Teo, Dato Robert Teo, Jochen Kern, Kee Hua Chee and Mondi Mecja the GM of Berjaya Times Square hotel
same same
Datin Sammie and Dato Lim WErn Siang
Love the red petals on Datin Sammie Lim's bosom
Datin Seri Maneesa and Tunku Dato Seri Iskandar Tg abdullah
Datin Seri Maneesa and Tunku Dtao Iskandar Tg Abdullah
Cool cocktail
Yummy passarounds
Scrumptious
Dato Steve Day and Mondi Mecja the general manager of Berjaya Times  Square hotel which houses Samplings on 14
Dato Steve Day and Mondi Mecja the GM of Berjaya Times Square hotel
Mohan Raj, director of operations of Berjaya Times Square and Stephanie Ambrose, marketing  and communications
Kee Hua Chee joins in
Dato Steve Day welcoming his guests
Dato Steve Day thanking Mondi Mecja, general manager of Berjaya Times Square hotel
Dato Steve Day introducing the team of Berjaya Times Square hotel
Dato Steve Day and Mondi Mecja




Olof Rapp pf Rolls-Royce Malaysia and Penny Kok of Harvest-Time
Oloff Rapp and Penny Kok were the sexiest couple of the night
Group photo of guests


Penny  Kok and Kee Hua Chee were the most glamorous
Penny Kok and Kee Hua Chee were the most outstanding
Penny Kok and Kee Hua Chee were the best dressed
The unusual V-shaped dining table
Love the floral displays






Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam 
Chef Val
Amuse bouche---scallop
Love Penny Kok's cleavage
I told her to change her name as Penny sounds too cheap but she replied only from a penny can you hope to get a pound!
Kee Hua Chee the Glitterman
Kee Hua Chee outshining the chandelier
Starter---Rock Lobster salad
Fennel and basil puree, lobster gazpacho, lobster terrine, asparagus and Asian pear
Soup---Chick pea soup with poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil
The soup being poured
The chick pea soup being poured
Looks yummy
The chick pea soup was an instant hit with all!
Kee Hua Chee loves the chick pea soup!
Hot Appetiser---smoked duck breast
Smoked duck breast with fricassee of mushrooms and vanilla emulsion 
Sorbet---Reisling soursop
The ice is carved like a chef's torque!
A LED light is placed inside for surreal lighting!
Dramatic
Sensational presentation
Mixon Kumaran pouring wine for ex-Spanish ambassador Jose Baranano
Nice
Main course---steamed salmon Napoleon
Steamed salmon Napoleon with grapefruit, saffron, squid ink pasta and salsa verde
Dessert---Valrhona chocolate, chocolate brownis, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream
Decadently delightful
Chef Val rules!
Congratulations Chef Valmurugan Subramaniamon a superb dinner





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