Saturday, July 9, 2016

US Independence Day Gala Dinner @ Hotel Equatorial Penang.

To commemorate the 240th Independence Day of the United States, the American Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) has collaborated with its organizing committee- First Solar, Jabil, Hotel Equatorial Penang, Celestica, Tech Dome Penang and Venessa Diamonds to organize a gala dinner on 1 July 2016. The charity event aims to raise funds in supporting the community and to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and the United States. The event was held at Hotel Equatorial Penang's grand ballroom.

Many Thanks to Hotel Equatorial Penang for hosting us that evening. 


Each table was selling at Rm 3,000 (Rm 300 per ticket) and the Diamond Sponsors of the evening were First Solar and Finisar while other Gold and Silver sponsors include CTC, Ideal Property, IDT, Intel, Jabil, Nation Gate Group, Plexus, UGL, Agilent Technologies, JW Marriott KL, Motorola Solutions, St. Jude Medical and the Ritz Carlton. 


Speech by Dato S.H. Wong (Chairman of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce) 


Speech by His Excellency, Mr. Joseph Yun (the US Ambassador to Malaysia) followed by the National Anthem of the US


Speech by YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng (Chief Minister of Penang) followed by the Malaysian National Anthem 

The prestigious event saw the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Joseph Yun (The US Ambassador to Malaysia), the Right Honorable YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng (Chief Minister of Penang) and 400 distinguished guests from both public and private sectors. 

Some of the main highlights of the evening- Toasting Ceremony and the marching-in by the US Marines. It started off with His Excellency, Mr. Joseph Yun's speech, followed by the marching-in and the playing of the US National Anthem. The same for YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng and the Malaysian National Anthem. The speech giving ceremony ended with a Toasting Ceremony with all the guests. 


Tiger Prawn. Fennel. Citrus-Ginger Emulsion


Corn Velouté


Roasted Beet Salad. Goat Cheese Crema. Hazelnut Crumble. Cherry Vinaigrette

The 5-course US-inspired dinner was carefully designed by Chef Jean-Claude Plihon (Executive Chef of Grand Hyatt Dallas Fort Worth Hotel) in collaboration with Chef Ronney Teo (Executive Chef of Hotel Equatorial Penang). 

We started the US gastronomical journey with "Tiger Prawn. Fennel. Citrus-Ginger Emulsion", a pretty safe starter that relies on the seafood sweetness of the Tiger Prawn. The appetizing-citrusy sauce complemented the crustacean well. The next course- Corn Velouté, takes us to a playful journey. Chef Jean-Claude friskily paired Cream of Pumpkin with unsweetened Pop Corn; the soup was tasty but we didn't like the hard-chewy texture of the condiments.

Goat Cheese Creme proved to be one of the best dishes to pair with the Wines for the dinner. The Goat Cheese was well-inflected in the form of a blob; the flavor was bold and best to wash down with a sip of Wine.


Mango Sorbet


Roasted Chicken. Seabass. Chanterelle. Asparagus. Romesco


Fromage Blanc Cheese Cake. Apricot. Pistachio. Honey Ice Cream

The palate cleanser- Mango Sorbet reminds us of Pomelo Sago with Cream, the famous dessert hailed from Hong Kong. The Mango flavor was strong, with a hint of Coconut Cream. The main course- Roasted Chicken and Seabass; the Chicken was tender and well-marinated but the elements were too safe and can be easily forgotten. It did not leave us a very strong impression. The Seabass on the other hand, paled in comparison with the Chicken. The texture was rough and an odd fish-stench can be discerned. The dollop of Tomato Puree did help a little but could have provided more surprising factors. 

Before we end the meal, we had the seemingly flamboyant sweet treat but to our surprise, it was probably the best dish for the evening. The Fromage Blanc Cheese Cake was mind-blowingly good. The Cheesy flavor was bold but well-balanced with a sleek and comforting acidic. The Honey Ice Cream worked well by introducing an icy-dimension to the dish. We mopped the entire plate in no time. 


Glamorous Fashion Show by Venessa Diamonds


Charity Auctions- Yellow Citrine & Blue Topas Pendant by Venessa Diamonds/ Double-Strand Pearl Necklace by Venessa Diamonds/ Golden Tianmen by Dato S.H. Wong/ Hudson Baby Bourbon Whisky/ Stalls in Penang watercolor painting by Lee Eng Beng.


Mock Cheques presentation to 3 beneficiaries- AMCHAM-MACEE Scholarship, Tech Dome Penang and Dream Zephyr Foundation.


China Southern Airlines- one of the main sponsors of the event