Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Musical Soirée @ 1885, Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel Penang.

*Updated: The next Musical Soirée will be coming to you real soon on 7th of November 2013; for more information, kindly refer to here.*

October 3rd, 2013 marked another grand milestone for Eastern & Oriental Hotel, one of the most prestigious hotels in Penang for successfully organizing a Musical Soirée at its swanky and elegant fine dining restaurant- 1885. Priced at Rm 200++ per person, guests were served with some of their carefully crafted and stupendous dishes, accompanied with symphonic and soul-reaching music; it was indeed, a memorable night for the guests. The musical performance was led by three talented musicians- Zhang Chi, Teresa Ong and Sean Ooi. It was my honor to be invited as the media to cover the event. 

Many thanks to Ms. Eileen Chong (Communications and Public Relations Manager of E&O Hotel Penang), Mr. Jaya (F&B Director of E&O Hotel Penang), Mr. Harold Rainfroy (Resident Manager of E&O Hotel Penang) and Mr. & Mrs. Martin Rutherford for extending the invitation.

Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa

Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche

Vichyssoise completed with Norwegian Salmon Tartar

Our dinner kick started with all these beautifully presented appetizers. Trio Appetizers- Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa, Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche and Vichyssoise completed with Norwegian Salmon Tartar. The gigantic Scallop was perfectly cooked, it was pleasingly firm in texture but not hard to the bite while the extra touch of Salmon Roe provides an additional burst of seafood sweetness and salty essence to the dish. The buttery creamy Foie Gras was aesthetically pleasing, however, my only gripe was the overpowering flavor from the Mushrooms. Nevertheless, it was still a delectable dish to go with the house wine. The last appetizer- Vichyssoise was flavorsome and good on its own but even better with the additional Salmon Tartar. The combination gives a very lively dimension of seafood sweetness and textures to the dish. Extra marks awarded for the Vichyssoise as it didn't conceal the freshness of the fish. These enticing appetizers definitely whet the appetite of the guests. 

The Bread served with a roving basket was indeed a tummy-pleaser. It was simply too futile to resist all these warm, fresh yet fluffy breads with their butter. 

Zhang Chi- Pianist

The first session of performance started after the guests have enjoyed the appetizers. Songs performed were: "Etude Op.15" (by Zhang Chi), "O Holy Night" (by Sean Ooi), "Xue Hua" (by Teresa), "If You Loved Me" (by Sean Ooi) and "Il Ba Cio" (by Teresa).Among the songs, "Xue Hua", a very calming song to praise the snow flake for sacrificing itself to nourish the earth, leaves a deep impression as compared to others. 

We were amazed by the generous portion for the main- Pan Seared Chilean Cod Fish & Poached Jumbo Prawn with Chick Pea Puree, Semi Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Basil Sauce. I was especially enamored for the thick slab of juicy and tender Cod, further enlivened with the Chick Pea Puree and Fresh Basil Sauce. The permeating aroma of Chick Pea adds another dimension to the dish. The fresh and plump Prawn, on the other hand, barely registered any flavor, a rather straight forward way of presenting the seafood. The main makes a good match with some of their redolent house wine. 

Teresa (left) and Sean (right)

Second round of performance started with Zhang Chi performing "Liu Yang River" followed by "Nella Fantasia" (by Sean), "E Pur Cosi/ Piangero La Sorte" (by Teresa), "Non Ti Scordar Di Me" (by Sean) and "Laughing Song" (by Teresa).

Sweet endings were Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli, Chantilly Cinnamon Mango and Bavarois Berry Lava Cake. Hitting the top notch among all three desserts was this well-executed Chantilly Cinnamon Mango, the velvety smooth cake was refreshing and light on the palate. Unlike the Chantilly cake, the Valrhona and Lava Cake appeared to be quite heavy albeit not cloying, I would personally prefer some dessert with a sour note instead. Not being a huge fan of Chocolate, the Lava cake was slightly monotonous and lacked of depth for me while the Valrhona leaves an impressionable quality but I could barely finish it off although chocolate lovers will find it tough to stop at a bite.  

Guests were also served with either a cup of freshly brewed Coffee or selection of their Gourmet Tea. 

Teresa (left) and Sean (right)

The final round of performance was led by Zhang Chi's "Waltz Op. 64 No.2 and Op. 34 No. 5", followed by "All I Ask of You" and "The Prayer" (Duet- by Teresa and Sean). The spiritual song "The Prayer" was absolutely brilliant, the musicians received a standing ovation from the guests after their last song performance.

A group photo of the bloggers and the musicians. From left, Ms. Eileen Chong (Left 1), Jerilyn See (Left 3), Sean Ooi (Left 4), Teresa Ong (Left 5), Zhang Chi (Middle), Constance Ann (Right 5), Chloe Cheng (Right 4), Criz Lai (Right 3), CK Lam (Right 2) and yours truly (Right 1).

Additional Information:
Address: 10, Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown, Penang.
Contact: 604- 222 2000
Website: http://www.eohotels.com/