Midsummer Nights Feast @ Starhill Gallery 2010 – Celebrity Chef Stephen Mercer showcasing modern Australian cuisine

If God is in the detail, then dining at Mercer’s is heaven” – such was an accolade awarded by a food critic to Chef Stephen Mercer.

And I agree wholeheartedly, as it was a dinner nothing short of amazing.

Stephen Mercer, winner of the Australian Golden Chef’s Hat Award by Age Good Food Guide for 6 consecutive years!

Stephen8Mb

As an invited guest of Executive Chef Kevin Cape, I languished in the company of 4 master chefs & had the opportunity to have my taste buds stimulated with Chef Stephen Mercer’s modern Australian cuisine. Yes, it was an excellent night. :yes:

From top left to right: Chef Stephen Mercer, Leaf – PA to Master Chef Jacqueline Qiugiong of Shook! Shanghai, Taya – wife of Chef Kevin Cape, Chef Wai of Pangkor Laut Resort, Master Chef Massimo Martina, Exec Chef Kevin Cape.

Bottom left to right: Rebecca Saw 😉 , Master Chef Jacqueline Qiugiong of Shook! Shanghai, Soo Yee – PA to Chef Kevin Cape.

rebecca saw, stephen mercer, kevin cape, Massimo Martina, Jacqueline Qiugiong

Chef Stephen Mercer’s menu: RETURN OF THE OZ

stephen mercer Return of Oz

Mercers Restaurant

Chef Stephen Mercer


6th July & 7th
July

Amuse Bouche
Smoked salmon royale with horseradish foam
****
Carpaccio of Beetroot with Goats‟ Curd Panne Cotta, Asparagus and a Truffled Walnut and Honey Dressing

****

Seared Scallops with Ox Cheek Tortellini, Black Bean Puree and a Chilli Glaze

****

Assiette of Lamb with Potato Fondant, Summer Peas, Mint Oil and Shiraz Reduction

****

Mille Feuille of Strzelecki Blue with Port Wine Gel

****
Callebaut Chocolate Mousse with a Mandarin Puree, Raspberry Sorbet And Spiced Rice Paper

****
Coffee
&
Petits Fours

Even before the amuse bouche was served, decadence in the form of black truffles (at EURO40 /100g) pizza landed on our table. Truffles, according to Master Chef Massimo Martina are best either raw or very lightly heated, just enough to incorporate their essence into the dish, hence you’ll find that most truffles are shaved/slivered over food, and it’s aroma & taste so distinctive that it lends a flavour of its own.

truffle pizza stephen mercer

Our Amuse Bouche of Smoked salmon royale with horseradish foam was prepared with pureed salmon, cream, tomato juice & eggs. It was wonderfully creamy, the horseradish foam surprisingly tasted very mayo-like & the tomato juice was what that gave it a distinctively different taste that saved it from being a common salmon mousse.

Smoked salmon royale with horseradish foam

Smoked salmon royale with horseradish foam

It was a wine pairing dinner, and the wines indeed flowed freely throughout dinner. (Names of wines as per menu above).

wines-1

Carpaccio of Beetroot with Goats’ Curd Panne Cotta, Asparagus and a Truffled Walnut and Honey Dressing. The beetroot is sweet, the walnuts are sweet, there are slivers of truffles on top again & the goat’s cheese was smooth, creamy & tofu-like. Tastewise? The best I can manage is “Unusual” 🙂  .

Carpaccio of Beetroot with Goats‟ Curd Panne Cotta, Asparagus and a Truffled Walnut and Honey Dressing

Carpaccio of Beetroot with Goats‟ Curd Panne Cotta, Asparagus and a Truffled Walnut and Honey Dressing-1

Who says chefs doesn’t take pictures of their food? 😉

Chef Massimo Martina takin pics!

Seared Scallops with Ox Cheek Tortellini, Black Bean Puree and a Chilli Glaze.
Lightly seared & fresh scallops is a formula that never fails.

Seared Scallops with Ox Cheek Tortellini, Black Bean Puree and a Chilli Glaze
But it was the cheek tortellini with the salty black bean puree that does it for me. Though not a fan of beef, this little bulb opens up to meltingly soft flakes of red meat that was faultless.

Seared Scallops with Ox Cheek Tortellini, Black Bean Puree and a Chilli Glaze

Assiette of Lamb with Potato Fondant, Summer Peas, Mint Oil and Shiraz Reduction. Assiette‘ means simply a plate, platter or assortment of a certain food in French. Here, I had an assiette that consisted of a lamb cutlet, lamb roulade & breaded lamb croquette. Each cut of lamb was wonderfully pink & juicy, with a hint of gamey-ness of which I opined should be presence in lamb anyways.
I absolutely love, love, love this dish. :heart: It’s probably the best I have ever had; & shall be my benchmark for preceding similarly- prepared lamb dishes from now onwards.

Assiette of Lamb with Potato Fondant, Summer Peas, Mint Oil and Shiraz Reduction-3

I wish to have this everyday for lunch. Yup, it was seriously that well prepared. Stephen Mercer indeed did lived up to his reputation. Hence the deserving “If God is in the detail, then dining at Mercer’s is heaven” .

Assiette of Lamb with Potato Fondant, Summer Peas, Mint Oil and Shiraz Reduction

Assiette of Lamb with Potato Fondant, Summer Peas, Mint Oil and Shiraz Reduction-1

As per my previous launch dinner, the master chef of the night does a demo of one or two of  his/her dishes for the night. Chef Stephen Mercer here prepared the amuse bouche & his dessert – Mille Feuille of Strzelecki Blue with Port Wine Gel.

Chef Stephen Mercer

Chef Stephen Mercer 1

Mille Feuille of Strzelecki Blue with Port Wine Gel. This is seriously a matter of preference. I like my desserts sweet. And non-pungent. This is blue cheese. What do you think?

Mille Feuille of Strzelecki Blue with Port Wine Gel

Ahh…this is my kind of dessert 😉 . Callebaut Chocolate Mousse with a Mandarin Puree, Raspberry Sorbet And Spiced Rice Paper. Callebaut is the name of the company which was originally Belgian but is now partly Swiss owned. It produces chocolate for consumers and for professional chocolatiers.

Callebaut Chocolate Mousse with a Mandarin Puree, Raspberry Sorbet And Spiced Rice Paper 1

It was dark, rich & not overly sweet. As how a perfect chocolate dessert should be.

Callebaut Chocolate Mousse with a Mandarin Puree, Raspberry Sorbet And Spiced Rice Paper

Chef Massimo Martina is as adept with his iPhone camera as he is with his kitchen utensils 😉

camwhoring chefs

Petits Fours. The macarons were really barely edible.

dessert

That’s it. The week of Haute cuisine menus known as the Midsummer Nights Feast Festival @Starhill Gallery. Watch out for it next year!

I am anticipating even more & perhaps, even bigger names for next year’s festival? Too bad I missed out on 2 Stars – Michelin Chef Burton-Race’s dinner. Reservation was full weeks before he arrived!

Note: This dinner is part of the Celebrity Chefs menus for the Midsummer Nights Feast Festival @Starhill Gallery 2010, 2nd – 9th July 2010.

Note: Each outlet in StarHill Gallery runs their own special menus for the week of Midsummer Nights Feast every year. The special menus for each outlet this year is HERE.

I had dinner here just a week before at their launch, where 3 master chefs showcases their individual specialty dishes. Pics & review HERE!

LOGO - Midsummer Nights Feast 2010

Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03 2782 3855