07 Nov FLOCK @ W – KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
I (Ryan Matheson, Founder & Director of The Pink Table Project), recently treated myself to a dinner at Flock Restaurant at the W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. It was my 2nd last night in Malaysia, and I wanted to end my week in the beautiful city with a spoil, just me, myself & I, so I could take it all in.
And what a wise decision that was, traveling alone is awesome, sometimes its better. Granted the next time I go there, and it will be soon, I hope, as this is a perfect Launch Venue for The Pink Table Project on World Cancer Day 2019, where I would have a whole host people and media with me, because EVERYBODY should know of this incredible hotel and its offerings, but still there is something magical to be said about experiencing it alone, you really have the time take in every detail when dining by yourself, and wow, are there a million details to take in.
Firstly, I arrived at the entrance to the hotel, or as fancy people call it Porte Cochère, and I very quickly was like a fat kid in a candy store, it was PINK, the whole building was PINK, so apt, it was like coming home, this was were I needed to host a Pink Table function, more so this is where I needed to end my week in Malaysia. I soon realized that not only was the building pink but it changed colour every 2 seconds…it would have made me happier if it stayed pink though…must have chat with management.
So i waited for it to go back to Pink, and that’s when I got my shot, its beautiful!
And then I went inside to the Welcome Desk where I welcomed very passionately by two lovely hotel reception staff, well they bring the welcome desk to you, they don’t wait, they pounce, but yet they unobtrusively told me everything I need to know about the hotel, where the restaurants were and where the bars were, and what the hotel was all about, and they are lovely to look at. By the way, the whole reception/welcome area also changes colour every 2 seconds, and the design around the reception, as well as the WOO-BAR on the right of it , which also changes colour frequently, gives thanks to the rainy season of the region, the whole design feels like you are in a kind of magical rainstorm. Its beautiful.
Then, as I was a hungry South African boy with a big appetite, I asked to be escorted to Flock Restaurant, which a modern Australian Restaurant, a vibrant and energetic all-day-dining restaurant where their chefs express their imagination to the max. The restaurant serves both local specialties and Western favorites, and Head Chef Richard Millar was incredibly welcoming and allowed me to ask a few questions. One of which was, can I find healthier meal options in his restaurant, and his answer was an excited yes, absolutely. All their food is fresh and prepared daily, which is a key ingredient to healthy, in fact we believe at The Pink Table Project that’s the fresher the better, as it starts to eliminate additives, preservatives and other harmful chemicals, which are as important as sugar and salt concerns.
I was happy that it was fresh, and then made a b-line for a nice cosy spot to sit and relish in this beautiful restaurant, which by the way, had enough pink for me to feel at home, yet another reason why I need to go back there for an event. In fact, I moved twice so that each I could take in the restaurant from a different perspective.
After having discussed the healthier menu options and Chef Richards perspective on healthy, which let us tell you is right up there at the top, I decided to order quite a few starters, so I could savour as many tastes as possible, on a limited budget, and that was a good idea, it’s not cheap, but try many things and don’t go for the kill of one main meal, travel tip. I tried to find what I thought was healthier, on top of the freshly prepared provision, and I tried to make sure I had foreign tastes in my mouth, everything had to be a new experience.
I was first presented with what would ordinarily be a bread-basket I suppose, or their version of it at least, except, like everything else at the W, theirs was way cooler, and if I had a bag, I would have taken the containers it all came in.
Look here, cool right?!
And it represent all three cultures in Malaysia, Arabic, Chinese and Indian, if I am not mistaken. Chef, if you read this, I apologize for my misinterpretation, but never-mind my interpretation, IT WAS AMAZING, if I stayed in the hotel, I would order the basket as a snack, EVERYDAY.
And then I ordered four of the most delicious items off the menu, four items that had me having extremely restrained Foodgasms, cause you know, we’re in Fancyville, and we needs to be polite, but let me tell you, it was hard to be quite and restrained, I nearly had a full blown ‘When Harry met Sally’ moment there in the restaurant over food, WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!
And non of these were main meals, mostly starters…
First I had KINGFISH CARPACCIO, which was Pomegranate, Calamansi, Shaved Fennel, Avocado, Jicama, Pearls….DELISH!!!!!!! (Healthy Check: TICK, all fresh ingredients, was fish, so naturally better, I’m not sure how it was cooked, but I believe with lemon juice, could be wrong, and the other elements on the plate were both light in volume, and light in taste, so definitely not loaded with sugars, salts or butters)
Then I had STEAMED FOIE GRAS CHAWAN MUSHI, which no, does not contain actual Duck Liver Pate’, but its a similar consistency of Foie Gras, but without the harm. It consists of Shimiji Mushrooms, Edamame and a Chicken and Crab parcel in the center, its rather like finding nougat in the centre of Creme Brule’, that exciting. Again, (Health Check: TICK, most because it was freshly prepared, and was light in texture and taste, but OH SO GOOD)
And then I ordered SPICED BEEF SHORT-RIB SOUP, with Tendon, Tamarind and Fresh Herbs. It was a tint bit fatty, but a lighter portion so its forgiven, and there were loads of fresh veggies, carrots etc inside, and totally the best soup ever, very homey, like mamma made it, but better, because Chef Millar is WAY BETTER THAN MAMMA and less scary. (Health Check: TICK, fresh, simple flavours, not heavy, minimal salt, natural flavours, and skip the bread for dipping, but if you’ve been good all week, DON’T SKIP THE BREAD, it’s divine as a dipper)
Lastly, I ordered a really fun meal that they made me cook, haha, actually that’s what made it fun, its called a SALMON TROUT on HOT VOLCANIC STONE, and it arrives sizzling. Whatever you do, DON’T TOUCH THE STONE, its a cooking point. Simple, BUT DELICIOUS!!! (Health Check: Its Salmon Trout, DUHHH, and its cooked without oils and butter)
Wait, I’m not finished, I then treated myself to a dessert, called BERRYLICIOUS, and it was exactly that, and it came with Dehydrated Elderberries, White Chocolate Mouse, Raspberry Cheese, Red Velvet Cubes, Raspberry Sheets and Mascarpone Cremeux. I don’t know how healthy it was, but it was Friday dammit and I have been good all week by this point, so it was a little indulgence, and I only ordered it to photograph it, but it looked lonely, so I ate it, and I DON’T FEEL GUILTY, I REFUSE TO FEEL BAD, mostly because it was so AMAZING, that I forgot that this was a healthier eating segment, shhhhh, I wont tell the boss. The portion was actually quite light, so less guilt.
That was my dining experience, everything about the restaurant on its own was beautiful, let alone the hotel.
But do yourself a favour, before dinner go to the WOOBAR, and then after dinner go upstairs to the WET-DECK bar, its magnificent, vibey, incredible music and views, beautiful people, delicious cocktails, just ask the barmen to whip you up something cool and different each time, and trust me, they deliver.
The WET DECK is an all-night-worthy experience, and the W & FLOCK RESTAURANT truly a highlight of Malaysia, maybe book a night at the hotel for the true W experience, I wish I had, their rooms are exquisite and very unique.
We will be back for sure, as we believe we haven’t even seen the half of it yet, and some day time images of the food would do it justice.