Monday, January 02, 2017

Event: Tiger STREATS hits KL, Uncage Street Food

When we talk about street food, we think of stalls lining up the walkway, with tables and chairs arranged in some order along the street that has been blocked off for the night, akin to pasar malam arrangements. When I got the invite to attend Tiger Streats, I was curious to find out how they would dress up a warehouse space to reflect that.

I then entered the warehouse, and loved the arrangement immediately. There were tables to cater to over 700 people, and all these food lovers sat shoulder to shoulder around the street food table, sharing ice-cold Tiger beers at Tiger STREATS.

This is what I feel is pop-up restaurant is at one of its best, it is vibrant street meets fine dining at the MH Platinum Warehouse in Setapak, where guests were in for a dramatic mash-up between two chefs who are worlds apart, but share the honour of a Michelin Star fame in the culinary world.

The world’s first ‘street food meets fine dining’ culinary collaboration featured Hawker Chan, of the first hawker stand to win a prestigious Michelin Star - Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Singapore and Jeff Ramsey, former Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel, and current owner and chef of progressive modernist restaurant Babe KL.

Apart from partaking in the delicious meals from these renowned chefs, guests were also treated to another surprise when the hawker stations were revealed, offering everyone more food to enjoy. Prepared by renowned food establishments in Malaysia - Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill, Chocha Foodstores, Hoppers, and Inside Scoop - the hawker stations carried contemporary interpretations of local street food where guests were able to have a bite of traditional food with a touch of modernity.

Loh Mai Kai with smoked duck

Fried Ice Cream

To add to the ambiance, guests were invited to write their wishes for the New Year and hang it on a wishing tree outside the street food area. Each were given a choice of four messages that they would like to focus on.

I've always seen wishing trees but have never had the opportunity to write my wish before, so I loved this new experience and it was beautiful seeing all the messages on the tree.

Alongside the great food, there were also some amazing performances by Tiger Jams finalists, Rozella and Son of a Policeman, to keep the crowd entertained. 

There were also engagement activities and games were also conducted to make the night a memorable one for guests. Le bb and I found the tikam wall, and proceeded to try our luck at winning some old school snacks and toys.

Well, we tried to get 1932, 13, or 15, but no such luck. Otherwise, we would have won ourselves some Tiger Beer :p Instead, we've got 6 and 4, which we could either put as 64, or 46.

We decided to go with 64, which earned us a big packet of muruku ikan. They have so many old school choices there, like Haw Flakes, Nano Nano, Ding Dang, the 20cents bubblegum, and Nyam Nyam!

Just as I was about to leave the tikam wall, I saw behind it, the most amazing sight of the night. There was Hawker Chan getting ready to chop up the chicken for serving! Look at the rows upon rows of soy sauce chicken! The delicious smell wafted to my nostrils and I was hungry immediately. 

Sitting down at the VIP tables reserved for us, we were greeted with a chinese style table arrangement, and our choice of Tiger Beer.

Our menu for the night. Everything looks intriguing, and I can't wait to try it out! It was truly a menu of contrasts by both chefs, as each brought a different kind of experience to the table.

First up was the appetiser by Chef Ramsey called ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ an intriguing take on well-loved local favourites nasi lemak and roti banjir. The ingredients were blended and inserted into a test tube, with the sign drink me, which brings me back to the fable, Alice in Wonderland. I was half expecting myself to shrink after drinking it, but no such thing happened.

This was followed by ‘Laksa Injections’, tubes packed with the flavours of three types of laksa. From the North (Penang) Asam Laksa to Klang Valley (Selangor) Curry Laksa all the way to the East (Sarawak) Sarawak Laksa, these three flavours were inserted into little droppers and served with prawns. I'm not entirely certain how to eat them, but i just popped the prawns into my mouth and squeezed the sauce in after it. There were a burst of flavours in my mouth, which was kinda unique, as it was different from what I am accustomed to. Flavours of the different laksa were distinct, but I would have prefered a hearty bowl any day :p

Hawker Chan’s signature Chicken Rice was next on the menu, giving the crowd a chance to taste the dish which attracted the attention of the Michelin judges.The first time I heard about the Michelin Star, I was immediately curious. I mean, how special is this chicken rice that warrants it a Star from the highest accolades of cuisine in the world?

After trying it, I would say, it is good. The chicken is soft and tender, and the soy sauce is delectable. My only gripe with it though, is that it was served with white rice (not chicken rice) and there's no chili as accompaniment. I mean, chicken rice without the chili, is not chicken rice :/ But, apart from that, it's delicious.

Those with a sweet tooth found delight in the dessert, a collaboration between Hawker Chan and Chef Ramsey called ‘Two Makes a Blossom’. This culinary masterpiece, created exclusively for Tiger STREATS, featured an aromatic combination of Asian pears with a rosewater and honey mousse that enhanced the homely taste of the classic flower jelly. Fermented Roselle and its syrup coupled with a mint garnishing topped off this breezy dessert. This is one dish that I absolutely love. It tastes awesome! Presentation wise was a little off-kilter, but apart from that, the flower jelly tastes exquisite, and the poached pears were sweet.

All in all, I loved the experience, and I was glad I managed to meet these two culinary greats in my lifetime. Suffice to say, it was truly a night to remember.

For more information on Tiger STREATS and to view photos from the event, please visit Tiger Beer’s Facebook page

Til the next time, stay beautiful!


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