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Chefs of Makan Kitchen, DoubleTree by Hilton showcase their signature dishes

Makan Kitchen

Makan Kitchen in DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur is known to offer an extensive and appetising menu and buffet spread of Malaysian cuisine: from Malay to Peranakan, Chinese, Iban, Kristang to Indian dishes, the award-winning restaurant offers you a glimpse and a taste of the different cuisines of Malaysia.  

Now imagine having all these delectable options already, and then the team decides to put an extra cherry on top of this experience by inviting all the other Makan Kitchen Chefs from different regions in Malaysia to come together and cook up their own local delicacies too. How would that sound to you? Pretty extraordinary I would say.

Through the month of June, each DoubleTree by Hilton property across Malaysia will host a Chef from one of its other Makan Kitchen outlets. To launch this nationwide campaign, the 7 Chefs were invited to the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur to present and have you try their most prestigious dishes.       

Royal dishes from Perak

Chef Muhamad bin Muhidin who usually cooks at the DoubleTree by Hilton Damai Laut Resort in Perak, proudly highlighted his signature dishes of Ikan Masak Lemak Tempoyak (using fermented durian paste), Pais Ikan and the regal dish Rendang Tok. After the launch, he will be stationed in Penang for a month. His signature dish Rendang Tok has been simmered for hours in spices and coconut milk until the point that it has caramelised so much that its colour has turned black. He adds toasted grated coconut as well which gives the dish a rich, nutty flavour, and creamy texture.

Bold flavours from Johor

Johor Chef Jais bin Manan’s station presents a succulent looking Lamb Shank Biryani Batu Pahat, while his other dishes feature Ayam Goreng Bawang Wangi, Daging Masam Hitam and the Ikan Bawal Kari Mamak Singapore. If he has you hooked on his dishes, you may have to follow him to DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City.

Javanese heritage and Indian cuisine with flavours from Borneo

Further on in this culinary spectacle, Chef Muhamad Khairi highlights his Javanese specialties Nasi Ambeng, Pecal, Bakso and Ayam Penyet, while next to him the fresh seafood stall grabs the attention with an abundance of crabs, clams and mussels lined up. Chef Zulkarnaen Suhaili, who is normally stationed in DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, is known for his Sabah and Sarawak delicacies like Sabah Tiger Prawn & Asam Terung, Laksa Sarawak and Manok Pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo) and will offer his Borneo delicacies at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Putrajaya Lakeside for the month.

Nearer to the Indian corner, Chef Wilson bin Ibid excitedly introduces his unique Indian-Borneo fusion creations such as Tandoori Chicken Bambangan, Indian Lamb Pansuh and Scallop Umai Latok. Aside from his beautifully plated and impressive creations, we were similarly in awe of the regular items on the menu of Makan Kitchen with the juicy and big Tandoori (Tiger) Prawns being a big hit! 

Nyonya and Peranakan cuisine from Makan Kitchen

Chef Davian Foong from DoubleTree by Hilton Melaka and Chef Hong Swee Aun from the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang highlighted their Nyonya and Peranakan specialties. By the time I visited their stations, I could not eat another bite but Chef Hong masterfully convinced me to try the dishes. While patiently explaining the dishes, he carefully placed bite-sized portions on my plate. Obviously, I needed to try the Seabass with Nyonya sauce, the Ayam Pongteh and the Yam Duck, a dish he says you barely find anymore as it is time-consuming to cook.

Lastly, I should not miss out on the Nyonya Steam Fish as well which had a distinct Asam Laksa-ish taste. Both the Yam Duck which had been simmered after adding layer after layer with water to avoid thickening of the yam paste as well as the Ayam Pongteh were delicious and comforting in taste.

A culinary journey

The launch gave us a wonderful insight in the amazing variety of cuisines the Makan Kitchen Chefs are able to prepare: we were offered a culinary journey through the different landscapes of Malaysian cuisine. The launch of the exchange programme has certainly set expectations with the crowds and the Chefs. I had some favourites for sure, and to have those amazing dishes again, I would have to visit the Chef in June at the DoubleTree by Hilton Damai Laut Resort!

It was an amazing evening with not only the Chefs and the food at the centre of the attention of it all but visitors were also able to get acquainted with some of DoubleTree’s vendors of fresh locally grown greens and mushrooms and natural drinks such as kombucha.

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