The vibrant interiors of Tamra at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi are always buzzing with some new activity. Just for the festive season until 30th December, 2017, they invited the celebrity Chef Lai Kuan Geo and Sous Chef Whangeen for a Pan Asian culinary pop-up. We got the opportunity to interact with Chef Kuan and sample the fares from his kitchen. The buffet spread was sumptuous, and there was not a dull moment for the palate. The experience was all the more special with the scintillating conversations with Chef Kuan, who explained in detail the evolution and history behind the dishes he served, narrated interesting anecdotes from his childhood where both his parents were foodies, his dream days on private yachts and more. Indeed, Chef Kuan is a master of his craft.
The spread was elaborate with enough choices for vegetarians. We tried the assortment of Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll stuffed with fresh herbs, rice noodle, and vegetables. Another variety of the roll from Vietnam was the Hanoi style crispy Crab rice paper roll filled with glass noodles. Both chicken and ToFu versions of Satay was served with roasted jasmine rice and peanut sauce.
Every dish was a blend of subtle flavors and textures, with assortments of accompaniments. The salads, pickles, sauces, each classic or a Kuan special, added flavorful drama. Hainanese Chicken Rice, which is steamed Jasmine Rice cooked with Chicken Stock, served with Chef Kuan Beloved Condiments Sauces and roasted chicken cooked just right and juicy.
Pan Asian cuisine is more than just Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian cuisines. Even within these, the intermingling of the cultures has given birth to new cuisines. Such as Malaysia’s Nyonyaor PeranakanCuisine, which evolved over hundreds of years as migrant Chinese settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia inter-marrying with local Malays and combines Chinese, Malay and other influences. Chef Kuan introduced us to Nyonya Style Nasi Lemak, made with Panarakanfragrant jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk &Pandanleaf, accompanied with traditional condiments – crispy anchovies, peanut, pickle atchar, Rendangcurry, and sambal.
Malaysian Curry Laksa is the signature dish of the Malaysian Chinese community. A noodle soup which is a delicate balance of spicy, sour, salty, sweet, with seafood rice vermicelli flavored with coconut and curry leaf. The Sayur Lodeh Lontong was a vegetarians delight and a meal in itself, made of mixed vegetable in creamy coconut stew with roasted jasmine rice cakes and fried tofu.
The desserts are just so right, and guilt free. The use of sweeteners like palm sugar, honey makes it safe for consumption by diabetics or weight watchers. In fact, Chef Kuan appropriately labels them as Nourishing Sugar Free Well Being Dessert.
Kuih Koci, most flavorful, delicately sweetened with palm sugar locked in the center of the steamed coconut jasmine rice, melted in the mouth.
Eight Treasure Coconut Jelly Nourish Jelly is what the doctor ordered. Carefully conceived by Chef Kuan, keeping in mind the increasingly health conscious diner, he used eight different ingredients such as super food green tea , honey , blueberry , almond nut , tender coconut, which enhances the complexion, snow fungus is known to release collagen , and Gojiberry improves the eye sight. Healthy and delicious, this dish can be gorged upon without worries.
Phone – 91 11 41191010
Email – tamra.sInd@shangri-la.com