|Chef David Pooley (picture courtesy of Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang)|
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Penang recently announced the appointment of David Pooley as chef de cuisine at its award winning continental restaurant Feringgi Grill.
Chef Pooley, who hails from Australia brings with him over 10 years of culinary experience primarily in Melbourne and Sydney, which include stints as sous chef at coveted restaurants Quay and Claude’s in Sydney.
Quay, which specializes in modern Australian cuisine is the highest ranked Australian restaurant in the world and was voted number 27 in the 2010 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant. It has also won top honours in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards and The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide as “Restaurant of the Year” for two consecutive years 2009 and 2010.
The Australian Good Food and Travel Guide (AGFG) rated Quay four “chef hats” and Claude’s – a 33 year old fine dining restaurant that offers modern French cuisine – three “chef hats”. Inspired by Europe’s Michelin and Gault Millau Guides, AGFG has long been acknowledged as Australia’s most comprehensive restaurant, accommodation and travel authority.
Chef’s Pooley’s modern Australian fine cuisine includes playful dishes with a twist while still retaining the Feringgi Grill classic favourites like the Tomato Soup, Caesar Salad and Crepe Feringgi, all three with tableside service which undeniably are crowd pleasers.
We were recently invited to sample Chef Adam's specialties at the Feringgi Grill.
|Chatting with Chef Pooley|
|Brik Pastry Cigar|
We started our culinary journey with Brik Pastry Cigar; a cigar shaped French pastry stuffed with goats curd and served with organic cherry tomato, dutch basil and chopped olives, and drizzled with vinegar.
I don’t normally like tuna but I do have to admit that the Torched Tuna appetizer had me yearning for more. The bite sized tuna steaks, lighted torched, were served with a medley of crunchy feta puffs, quail egg, long beans, molecular frozen cucumber, tomato powder and pureed avocado.
The Five Spice Quail is an appetizer with Oriental flavours and influence which is a welcomed contrast to the menu. The quail is cooked with five types of Chinese spices and soy mirin with an accompaniment of different types of mushroom, fungi and cuttlefish. It was such an interesting experience unraveling one treasure after another with so many ingredients in one dish.
|Five Spice Quail|
We were then presented with citrus sorbet sprinkled with coconut flakes, served in a sesame sugar cone. It sure was an unconventional way of serving sorbet to cleanse our palate before the main course.
|Our friendly waiter with the citrus sorbet|
Bouillabaisse (bū'yə-bās') is a traditional seafood stew cooked with a variety of fish, shellfish and vegetables with herbs and spices. Chef’s Pooley’s rendition of the dish is a seafood ginger bisque with scallop, yabbie (a type of crayfish), snapper, basil, tomato pedals, pea and coffee oil. The result is a playful stew bursting with rich seafood flavours.
The star of the night was none other than Chef Pooley’s Lamb Loin, cooked to perfection with roasted pine nuts, eggplant, miso and pearl barley. The melting pot of flavours from the tender lamb loin, pine nuts and miso was simply beyond description. This dish is definitely a must-have from Chef Pooley’s menu if lamb is your cut of meat.
The Rose and Strawberry Granita is a refreshing semi-frozen dessert flavoured with fresh home grown strawberries from Cameron Highlands. Chef Pooley admits that he likes to use fresh local produce which he says is in abundance in Penang and Malaysia. The granita is served with vanilla gelato and cocoa jelly and garnished with violet petals and gold leaves.
|Rose and Strawberry Granita|
Lo and behold; taking the dessert department to another level are the Chocolate Pannacotta with marshmallow and White Chocolate Cylinder filled with frozen parfait flavoured with earl grey and served with savoury rosemary popcorns and glazed banana. The woody rosemary popcorn and earl grey parfait gave a fragrant and aromatic twist to otherwise sweet chocolate desserts.
|More goodies - Macaroons and Pralines|
It was indeed a very memorable and unique dining experience. Be prepared to be vowed by Chef Pooley over and over again in your culinary journey with him. There is no lack of creativity and fresh ideas in Chef Pooley's cooking so come with your most adventorous palate and your biggest appetite. I am very sure Chef Pooley will not dissapoint...
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