I recently had the privilege of attending a special evening at Hilton’s Graze restaurant which currently features an exceptional exhibit Art of Dining – A Feast for the Senses, a dazzling array of flora and fauna pieces designed to draw attention to autism disorder.
This colourful and awe inspiring exhibition has been expertly curated by Tan Ken Ming, a 24-year-old diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, at the age of 12. Feast your eyes and palate on Uccello Azzurro (‘The Blue Bird’), a specially curated 3-course menu inspired by the captivating works of artist Tan Ken Ming.
A talented artist
From a very young age, Ken Ming was deeply passionate about art, and his parents send him to art classes. After his secondary education in IGCSE he went on to attend an art college where he flourished further. He has since gone on to independently produce remarkable artworks, with several of his sold pieces benefitting various charities.
Drawing his inspiration from the surrounding nature, Ken Ming’s favourite technique at the moment is collage and mixed media on canvas and as he told me his favourite piece is the jaguar, the Spirit of the Amazon.
Art inspired food
Hilton’s fabulous chefs Kazumi Hassan and Steven Wong were tasked with creating a menu that mirrored the artwork’s flora and fauna both in appearance and flavor and they certainly did not disappoint.
The 3-course menu was preceded by a choice of canapés and cocktails – the alcoholic version inspired by the Blue Bird in the woods, and the non-alcoholic version inspired by the Aztec Warrior piece and a selection of canapés. I obviously went for the alcoholic version – a very strong but delicious concoction of rum mixed with lime, pineapple, grapefruit and a dash of blue curacao for colour. Served in a lovely glass in the shape of a bird…
After chatting with the inspiring artist and his parents we proceeded to the restaurant, where we started our 3-course dinner.
A true feast
The starter was a very refreshing Sicilian Pesce Crudo which was a marinated mixed seafood, heirloom pickled beetroot and orange vinaigrette. It was tangy and herbaceous, fresh and flavourful.
Next up was free range chicken, truffle jus and highland petit vegetables puree. This was a true explosion of colour and taste! The chicken breast, which was soft and tender, was filled with herbs like basil, chervil and parsley, surrounded by a selection of vegetable purées.
Finally the dessert came to our table and what could be more classic Italian than a Panna Cotta? This one was a yogurt and honey one, with granola, raspberry dust and a berries coulis. It was delicious and I could easily have had another one…
All in all a great evening. You could go and have a romantic dinner with your husband, but I would definitely encourage older children to go as well. The food is great, the art beautiful and it can teach them about those of us who are special.
Well done Hilton KL, for seamlessly blending art and exquisite cuisine, raising awareness on Autism Spectrum Disorder and introducing the talented and inspirational Tan Ken Ming to a larger audience. Oh, and did I mention that I purchased one of the art pieces?
Art of Dining – A Feast for the Senses is available for lunch and dinner till 23 May 2023, and is priced at RM228 nett per person. Add on ‘Blue Bird in The Woods’ Jungle Bird cocktail at RM49 nett. More info here.
For reservations, please call 03 2264 2264.
We were invited by Hilton Kuala Lumpur. As always, our opinions are honest and our own.