Onyx Premier Dining
I was recently invited to an exclusive dinner together with some of Ipoh’s ‘who’s who’ to the Infinite Room at the top of Regalodge where Onyx Premier Dining was launched.
I had reservations about accepting given our pandemic situation, and the idea of mingling with a large group filled me with trepidation. My fears were soon allayed as I entered the room and discovered that a very long and beautifully laid out table was set for 14 people, each seat socially distanced but close enough for conversation across as well as on both sides.
The host for the evening Madam L.C. Ng, a most affable and gracious lady, lawyer by profession but a gourmet at heart, had been nursing a desire to launch a fine dining venue and what better place to have one than in Regalodge, a small, centrally positioned hotel in Greentown which her husband Steven Yeoh, acquired two years ago.
And what a successful launch it was. A beautifully printed information kit at each place setting heightened my anticipation of a good evening to come. And I was not disappointed.
The stellar menu was curated by Jeff Yeoh, the young and innovative Sous Chef who has packed more than 18 years experience in operations for renowned restaurants with the last 10 years in Singapore, including 5 years as Sous Chef in Marina Bay Sands Singapore in his last posting before returning to Ipoh. He is proficient in numerous cooking techniques and cuisines, with a talent for working with ingredients from countries around the world. General Manager, Christopher Wong was the one responsible for sourcing and bringing in all the gastronomic delights.
The specially curated menu that evening was a masterpiece, both in gastronomic and artistic terms. With skillful sourcing, the marriage of ingredients worked perfectly for each dish and the result was as well a feast for the eye as the palate.
Paired with specially selected wines from Geovinum Sdn Bhd, Edward Chong, who is a Spanish Wine Scholar candidate with 8 years of experience in the wine industry, was on hand to brief us on each wine as we worked our way through the extensive menu. Geovinum is an exclusive distributor of many boutique wineries as well as iconic winemakers like Carlos Moro, Alvaro Palacios, Maria Luz Marin, Peter Sisseck, Mariano Gracia, Yves Cuilleron and Gérard Gauby. The creme de la creme of the evening in addition to the various wines served was the Cognac Pierre De Segonzac “Extra” Selection 1st Cru 50 years Grande Champagne, smooth like honey and velvety caramel going down my palate.
We had an extravagance of appetizers to start. The first was tuna tartar cubes with Osetra caviar on a buckwheat blini, topped with a quail egg and a delicate lattice of spinach puree crisped by molecular magic into a lacey wafer. Edible flowers completed the plating and I felt almost guilty breaking up the alluring presentation. Paired with a Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Rose Brut 2004, this first appetizer augured well for the dishes to come.
The second appetizer was an imported Japanese shrimp: the amaebi, a high-end ingredient in Japanese restaurants. Cooked in the shell to a degree of perfection (slightly under-done), the meat was sweet, yielding and umami. Served with Romanesco broccoli (or cauliflower as some call it) fresh flown in from France, which has a similar but milder, sweeter, and nuttier flavor than both broccoli and cauliflower. It is also almost impossible to get in Ipoh and is highly prized and highly priced. Avocado, cucumber rolls and a mango relish complete the dish. Paired with a Chateau Bonnet Blanc AOC EDM 2017.
The third appetizer was fresh Sea Urchin, the Bafun Uni (red in colour) flown in direct from Hokkaido with Hokkaido Scallop and slivers of Black Truffle from Italy. This was a totally decadent flirtation of torched scallop with velvety smooth uni and the earthy aromatic dimension of truffle, the flavours shimmering on your tongue, darting between the elements of earth and sea. Paired with Vina Soledad Reserva 2006.
Now for the fourth appetizer (they just kept on coming!!), White asparagus with lemon and served with Orange Beurre. White asparagus is a delicacy which I haven’t had in years and certainly not in Ipoh. The few that I have come across in high-end supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur were usually sad and withered-looking as most people would never pay the high price demanded. So there it was: all five pieces of shimmering white, fat asparagus decorated with edible flowers sitting on a bed of orange butter. Juicy, succulent and fresh, the orange butter adding a citrusy touch. Paired with a Margan Aged Release Semillon 2009.
For the main course, I opted for the Tournedos Rossini, served with imported Foie Gras from France, Truffle and a Madeira Sauce. The tenderloin, a piece of Wagyu M9 was so tender, you can almost cut it with a fork and the very generous piece of foie gras was pan fried to perfection, its fragrance heady and mesmerising. Topping it with slices of black truffle was really the “icing on the cake” as I lingered on the last slice, hoping it would last forever. Paired with Bodegas Roda Cirsion Rioja 2009 and Bodegas Matarromera Pago Las Solanas 2001.
For dessert, the Double Boiled Bird’s Nest with Coconut Milk was a pure delight. 5th grade 5A birds nest double boiled for 4 hours topped with coconut milk, an ambrosial offering fit for the Gods. Paired with the Cognac Pierre De Segonzac “Extra” Selection 1st Cru 50 years Grande Champagne which was smooth and mellow, a fitting ending for an unforgettable meal.
Onyx Premier Dining can host a maximum of 20 people and surprise, surprise, a minimum of 2.
According to GM Christopher, someone actually booked the room, arranged a sumptuous meal and proposed to his girlfriend. Now with a menu like the one I’ve just described, can any girl say no??
The meal is priced at RM300-RM900 per pax depending on the menu preselected, excluding wine pairing where the sky’s the limit.
131, Jalan Raja Ekram, 30450 Ipoh.
7am-10pm, opens daily
For Onyx Premier Dining, call Sherry Chan: 019 510 5925