Food for thought
At the newly launched Define:food restaurant – so named to describe its honest approach to cuisine – in Mid-Valley City, the idea of a customised dinner menu is taken to new heights by its inventive chef Malcolm Goh. He honed his culinary skills at various five-star hotel restaurants before taking on a series of cooking competitions including a double-medal winning effort at the Culinary Olympics in Germany. He has also shown up on the Asian Food Channel’s Back to The Streets and Great Dinners of The World food programmes.
The whiz chef approaches his bespoke menus at Define:food with a blend of imagination and execution before serving them up on stone plateware, custom-made at an atelier in Malacca. “Every step in cooking is quite straightforward – the challenge is when you have to coordinate 47 different steps in order to produce one perfect dish," he says. Goh’s self-explanatory Tribute To Our Ocean bespoke menu (RM300, S$100 per pax) begins with an amuse bouche of Fin de Claire oysters served on a bed of wood and dry ice. The combination of basil jello and hot sauce melds into the raw taste of sea and shell – with a subtle aftertaste of tomato extract.
A first entrée of Hokkaido scallop with sambal puree, crispy kalian floss and clam gel is a medley of tastes and textures. The second entrée, a fresh air-flown Brittany Blue lobster har kow & claw with a squid ink puff sago, offered a similarly European-meets-Asian twist. Served with a generous helping of bisque, this dish conferred freshness of ingredients in every bite – a reminder of Goh’s extreme dedication to producing every morsel and drop of food in-house. (The restaurant also boasts its own pastry chef who bakes the breads and buns used in the standard menu as well.)
The plat principle consisted of Ike Jime Grouper – a Japanese-style of ensuring freshness in the fish’s preparation – together with umami beurre blanc, vegetables and a pomme soufflé of Jerusalem artichokes. The tender, succulent fish contrasted well with juicy, crunchy carrots caramelised at its tips. A dessert of chocolate soufflé offered intriguing hints of Maldon sea salt, and a surprising side of black pepper-accented strawberry sorbet. Guests at the restaurant may request for the 12-seater private dining room which is available on request, as is the bespoke menus which offer Goh’s extensive repertoire of culinary skills.