Combining the Malay words dewa meaning God and makan meaning food, the brand-new Dewakan restaurant offers food that is truly divine, having already created quite a buzz at Taste MIGF earlier in the month.
One of the cornerstones of KDU University College’s impressive new campus in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, the restaurant was the latest host of an MIGF Publicity Dinner, where 20 of the country’s most distinguished diners indulged in the specially-created Festival Menu.
John Chua, Meera Chua, and Dato’ Nick Lough
Madam Aleksandra Anna Ceska and HE Christophe Ceska
Andrew Ho, Sherilyn Foong, Susan Tai, and Jeffrey Chew
Mahendra Gursahani, Subh Gursahani and Susan Ooi
Dato’ Richard Teo and Dato’ Kee Hua Chee
Susan Ooi and Dato’ Steve Day
Among the celebrated guest list were HE Christophe Ceska, Ambassador of Austria; Mahendra Gursahani, Standard Chartered Bank (M) Berhad; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrea Ambra, Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Italy – Italian Trade Commission; as well as two long-serving members of the Festival Advisory Committee – Datin Winnie Loo, Founder and Chief Creative Director of A Cut Above Hair Salon; and Dato’ Nick Lough, Director, Mediconsultant.
Dr Andrea Ambra, Kitty Lee, Datin Su Wai Fun, and Dato’ Kee Hua Chee
Allan Cheong Yon Han and Andros Xavier Chan
As the ice was broken over pre-dinner drinks, guests talked animatedly about the newest restaurant in this year’s Festival. Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day then introduced Chef Darren Teoh, who, after being heralded as one of the greatest chefs in the world by Dato’ Steve, promised fusion cuisine unlike anything the guests had ever tried before.
Dato’ Steve Day introducing Restaurant Manager Mohd Hafreez and Chef Darren Teoh
Canapés of lamb ragout and smoked pike conger whet appetites before two unadvertised ‘snacks’ kicked off the dinner. First up, it was revealed that the ‘twigs’ on each table’s decorative centrepiece were in fact deep fried flour which could be dipped into a Kelantan budu sauce; this was followed by the arrival of a cucur biasa – a unique concept for a dish so often served with banana or prawns.
Edible centrepieces: Guests were surprised at being encouraged to eat the ‘twigs’ decorating each table
Datin Winnie Loo
The cucur biasa was an unadvertised appetiser
As animated conversation spread throughout the serene restaurant, the first course arrived – a dish of razor clam served with rose apple, cashew nuts and tenggek burung. The food epitomised the creative spirit of Molecular Food lecturer Chef Darren as guests were encouraged to mix together the delectable fare in front of their eyes.
The meticulous Chef Darren plates up his next dish
Mix it all up: Razor clam served with rose apple, cashew nuts and tenggek burung
Next up was the dish of roast mushroom served with green curry paste, cumin yoghurt and mackerel, again presented in ‘molecular’ form with each of the components being cooked and prepared in a different way, paying testament to the chef’s versatility.
‘Start from the left and work your way right’ was the instruction for eating the roast mushroom with green curry paste, cumin yoghurt and mackerel
Few dishes in the Festival will compare to the creativity shown in creating Chef Darren’s next dish – a Forbidden Rice Porridge with congee of black glutinous rice, ox tongue and a soft boiled egg yolk. With the bowl of ingredients placed in a bowl in front of the guests, Restaurant Manager Mohd Hafreez set to work bubbling a broth in a boiling flask which, when heated, shot up a tube to take its flavour from the assembled vegetables above. The assembled diners marvelled at the unique preparation as the freshly heated broth was introduced to the bowl and guests urged to dig in.
Galactic Chef Darren Teoh explains his cooking methods to the intrigued guests
Dewakan’s take on Forbidden Rice Porridge, with congee of black glutinous rice, ox tongue and a soft boiled egg yolk
Chef Darren’s ingenuity was firmly on show with a broth heated in front of guests’ eyes
Finally, it was time for the main course – a corn-fed chicken with whey and chicken ragout wrapped in kaduk – which many of the guests agreed was the outstanding dish on an excellent menu. Ms Sherilyn Foong, Director and Head of Equity Capital Markets, HwangDBS Investment Bank, was among the diners full of praise for it as she placed the dish on a par with those of Michelin-star restaurants. She said: “I would put it up there with anything I have tried in restaurants around the world – it was the perfect dish full of flavour.” Mr Gursahani and Dr Amdra also had high compliments for the dish, calling it ‘superb’ and ‘highly flavoursome’ respectively.
Corn-fed chicken with whey and chicken ragout wrapped in kaduk
Then with bellies full of four spectacular savoury courses, the evening rounded off with a Gula Melaka Marquise with sour meringue and pulut ice cream, before several speeches congratulating the team.
Gula Melaka Marquise with sour meringue and pulut ice cream
HE Christophe Ceska remarked that the other restaurants in this year’s Festival will have their work cut out for them if they are to compete with the fine fare of the evening, praising Chef Darren and his team for their ingenuity, presentation and lip-smacking flavours.
HE Christophe Ceska gives his closing remarks
Festival Advisory Committee member Dato’ Nick Lough was full of praise for Dewakan’s cuisine
Dato’ Nick spoke on behalf of the Festival Advisory Committee and all Dewakan’s diners for the evening saying: “We thank all of you for a menu that none of us will forget for a very long time and many among us are keen to sample again.”
To enjoy the ‘simply divine’ offerings of Dewakan, the full Festival Menu is available at RM164++ (without wine) and RM250++ (with wine pairings included). To view the full menu, click here; or to learn more about Chef Darren Teoh, click here.