November promises to be an exciting month at Starhill Gallery. A Journey Through Time is a signature event that’s held in this exciting shopping and dining venue. This year marks the 8th time that this event is held and is touted to be the biggest one ever.
For 8 days, from 21-28 November 2014, A Journey Through Time VIII will be showcased in a space spanning 2 floors and 30,000 sq ft of public exhibition space in Starhill Gallery. There will be more than 125 luxury brands featured and 20 of these are making their debut here in Malaysia.
Shook! …elegantly fancy ambience, exquisite food and live jazz music every evening
With these statistics, visitors can expect to view a mind-boggling range of gorgeous and exquisite timepieces on show. To add on the pomp and glamour, every night will be a celebration of fine food as the participating brands will be hosting gala dinners to showcase their magnificent timepieces.
To give you an idea, some of the hosting brands are Jaeger-LeCoultre, Samer Halimeh, Garrad & Co and Bedat & Co. The opening night will be the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 Gala Night and of course, the final night will culminate in an exciting “Watch & Jewellery of The Year Gala Night”!
To be held at Shook!, the gala night dinners are master-minded by none other but their Executive Chef, Chef Matthew Ona. Hailing from the USA, Matthew started his culinary journey when he was 14 and has blazed an impressive trail from the US to the Bahamas, Tokyo and Shanghai before making his way to Kuala Lumpur. Always up for a challenge, Matthew loves nothing better than to test his creativity in coming up with dishes that meld classic western styles with exotic local nuances. Thus, with this in mind, he conceptualised the theme “Twisted Malaysian Fair” that will orchestrate the dishes to be served throughout the 8 days of A Journey Through Time VIII.
I got a taste of Chef Ona’s creativity recently… a sampling of what’s going to delight diners during the upcoming gala dinners.
A trio of appetizers kicked-off my dinner at Shook! The Brown Sugar Smoked Pacific Salmon was delicately rolled up with a light smear of cool tangy Greek taziki. The fresh sweet salmon roll was given a briny boost by the shiny roe topping it.
The Chilled Prawn Salad is a fusion of sweet clear marine flavours spiced up by cilantro and toasted cumin bound by the smoothness of an avocado dip. All these sat prettily in a petite pastry case.
My favourite appetizer was the fragrant Braised Wild Mushroom “Vol Au Vent” tinged with roasted garlic cream and spring chives.
The Spicy Lemongrass Broth was a mild version of tomyum, minus several layers of spices. Lightly creamy, the shellfish broth had pieces of chopped shrimps and seasonal mushrooms in it. Presentation-wise, perhaps it would be better to have whole shrimps in the broth.
I like the Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio “Nicoise Style”. Two thick-cut slices of the tuna sat on a bed of greens, fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, Katamalta olives and a wedge of boiled egg by the side. All these were lightly drizzled with a tangy lemon dressing.
The star dish that night must surely be the Rusuk Rendang Puncak Mahligai – an understated take on our local rendang. Presented elegantly, the slow-braised and grilled beef short ribs was immersed in poached turmeric, shallots and decorated with tendrils of fried ginger interspersed with cilantro. Oh… and that bright red glossy bird’s eye chilli was a real show-stealer. The flavors were subdued when compared to the traditional rendang but Chef Ona’s version wasn’t any less delicious.
The dessert I tried was… ahhh…how should I describe it? It was a smorgasbord of everything… a party on a plate! Simply named “Malaysia Flavour 2014”, there’s lemongrass jelly, coconut mousse, pandan sponge, mangosteen sorbet, peanut Gianduja crème and gula Melaka… all jostling for space on a too-small plate. The over-crowded carnival on the plate was screaming for attention and it was quite perplexing having to decide which item to start with. That’s when I was instructed by the pastry chef to just toss and mix everything together! Although initially reluctant to destroy the pretty components, I eventually made a beautiful mess on my plate and proceeded to enjoy the burst of a hundred flavours in my mouth.
Beautiful mess, no?
I was told that over the years, A Journey Through Time has hosted approximately 1.2 million visitors and come November, from 21-28, A Journey Through Time VIII is expected to welcome 200,000 visitors.
The exhibition will be open from 10am till 10pm daily.