I was extremely excited and honoured when David from The Gastronaut Diary invited me to the recent “Jumping Table” event. I read and got to know about this makan club through David’s blog when he posted their wonderful dining experience at Red Star Restaurant cooked by Masterchefs Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai. I was so very fascinated by the classic high-end Cantonese dishes from yesteryears (which David described as the golden 60s) recreated by the 2 masterchefs and wished I were part of the extraordinary gastronomical experience.
“The Jumping Table” is an epicurean club that focuses on such dining experiences which are specially planned and truly one-of-a-kind. Each event is unique and seats are limited to ensure quality. So, you could imagine my excitement when David dropped me an email invitation to join him and his like-minded friends last Saturday for a traditional Malay Wedding feast cooked by retired Chef Arni who used to run a well-known eatery at Far East Plaza, Scotts Road. Who in the right epicurean frame of mind would turn down such a dining invitation? I would not mind rescheduling all my appointments just to attend this wedding kenduri and to meet the Gastronaut himself! :D
The buffet-style dinner commenced after a short introduction of the chef by David. The 8-course Malay wedding menu was pretty impressive with traditional dishes and desserts of the kenduri including mutton, nasi brani, chicken, prawn, squid and pacheri. The full menu is as follows:
Nasi Brani Dum
Kabing Masak Rempah Brani
Mutton in Brani Paste
Ayam Masak Merah
Chicken in Chili and Tomato Paste
Sotong Masak Hitam
Squid in Black Ink
Mixed Vegetable Curry with Lentils/Spicy Cooked Pineapple/Cucumber Pickle
Kek Kukus/Bubur Kacang/Pisang
Steamed Caramelized Cake/Green Bean Dessert Porridge/Banana
I like spicy food and I fully enjoyed the Malay wedding feast. In my humble opinion, dishes worth special mentioning were the Nasi Brani Dum, Beef Rendang and the squid in black ink, which was also Chef Arni’s specialty. The sotong was cooked in its own ink with chili, shallots, garlic, ginger, onion and lemon grass – full of flavor and the texture was just nice, not rubbery as in most overcooked squid. Definitely a savoury dish that would appeal to all cephalopod and seafood fans!
Oh, I loved the kek kukus too. The steamed cake was moist, sticky and simply scrumptious. I had to keep reminding myself not to overindulge on the sweet treats.
This was my first “Jumping Table” experience and I loved it! The food was excellent but to me the most important thing was the opportunity to get to know so many like-minded foodies who were so talented and passionate about food. There were food bloggers, food forummers and administrators, restaurateur, food photographers, food product modeller, durian expert, home cooks, aspiring chefs and people who simply love eating! Most of us have our day jobs and/or other commitments and I did not know all of them personally before this. But food brought all of us together and here we were at The Jumping Table event, sharing experiences and enjoying good food.
A big thank you to David for the invitation and Mark for the excellent shots! Oh and Jimmy for booking the function room at his condo and sharing with us the three-flavored eggs from Taiwan after the dinner!
Food is our common ground, a universal experience.