Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner 2015 : It gets better every year!

It is one event that manages to top itself every year.
The Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner returns, and I got myself an exclusive invite again thanks to dearest Marian and the Norwegian Embassy.

And oh, hi again Chef Frank Naesheim aka the “Salmon King“. ūüôā

Norwegian seafood gala dinner 2015

While I haven’t grown, he hasn’t aged either!

The food display is all too familiar now.
As I made my rounds of the buffet I recognised the variety and marked my favourites.
Yes, I know the taste even before the buffet begin.

In fact, most of them are consistent and that is a good thing, for food is lip-smacking delicious every year. This being my 3rd year, I can confidently attest to the quality and workmanship that goes into the preparation of this spectacular spread.


As expected Chef Frank Naesheim did his rounds prior to commencement of dinner. His sharp eyes inspected the long buffet lines as his team of culinary professionals from Norway, Malaysia and Singapore worked assiduously getting all the food ready and duly displayed for the 700 guests.


Tables groaned under a tonne of seafood specially flown in from Norway which was presented in modern Norwegian, Scandinavian and Asian cooking styles.
Most Asian preparations were under the hot food section, while the freshness and succulent sweetness of the seafood were given due highlight in the myriad of almost raw preparations which includes smoked, tartar and on ice and lightly poached.


Live stations action was by notable chefs such as Norwegian guest chef Markus Dybwab, Sam and Forest Leong (hubby and wife team from Sg) and Malaysian Chef Kenneth Loke; all familiar faces from past Norwegian Seafood Gala dinners.


The chefs’ specialties were prepared ala-carte at their stations and understandably, majority of the guests made a beeline for them the moment dinner commenced, myself included.

My first stop was at Chef Sam Leong’s for “Ah Sammmmm’s King Crab Leg La Mian with condiments“. This milky bowl of slippery la mian¬†in rich seafood stock is how I began my Norwegian feast each year.


Another favoruite of mine this year was from his wife, chef Forest – the “Sea Scallop Carpaccio with Shallot & Spring onion oil”.
This dish consisted of layers of scallops with a dash of shallot plus spring onion oil. Textural crunch came from the tiny puffs, while petite leaves sat on top of it all.


Here’s Chef Forest’s station as below. I queued for her scallop carpaccio 4 -5 times that evening. It was so good!


The other live station offerings were (1) Norwegian Diver Scallop Wild Cosmos, Dill Oil, Starfruit Gazpacho, (2) Sterling Halibut with Black Olive & Tigers Milk, (3) Mackerel, Cucumber & Sour Cream and (4) Norwegian Sweet Shrimp, Natural Yogurt, Young Mango, Roselle Pollen all in single portions and thus easy to digest. Or, overeat.




BELOW: Sterling Halibut with Black Olive & Tigers Milk by Chef Markus Dybwad.


BELOW: Matjes Herring “Nadda” by Chef Markus Dybwad.


BELOW: Mackerel, Cucumber & Sour Cream by Chef Markus Dybwad.


BELOW: Norwegian Sweet Shrimp, Natural Yogurt, Young Mango, Roselle Pollen by Chef Kenneth Loke. 


This Norwegian salmon with Kaffir Bleak Roe, Creme Fraiche and Horseradish looks simple but the components that went into each assembled portion made each mouthful heaven.


The crisp fish skin¬†“cracker” provided a nice crunch.


Well, the night ended too soon!
I hope to see everyone again next year. The chefs are all too familiar now, some attendees are friendly faces and with this being my 3rd year, I felt as if it is an annual gathering of sorts!
It was good to see Chef Ricky of MO again as well as the MO team on duty. Some recognise me already and helpfully held my handphone for better lighting and adjusted the dishes so I could take my photos.

We even discussed the ice cream flavours each year. Usually 3- 4 flavours are offered but there is a new or unique flavour each year.

In 2013 it was lingonberry while last year it was the Honey Apple Ice Cream.
This year we had Almond Ice Cream, made using the Chinese almonds and thus an acquired taste but I love it!

Thank you chefs for your time and “friendship“!



Here are the rest of the delectable feast of the Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner, an oceanic feast as bountiful as ever annually.

Array of smoked salmon:
Smoked salmon loin with black sesame seed paste, Hot smoked salmon with black pepper, Tandoori hot smoked salmon, Hot smoked apricot salmon loin, Double smoked salmon belly, Salmon signature Thai style, Smoked salmon Singapore fillet.


Carving station: Salmon Gravlax. 


The centrepiece of the buffet spread Рthe majestic ice sculpture with its display of the , perfect poster backdrop for thousands of pictures that night.


The monkfish. Ugly but delicious.


Poor monkfish was made into a delicious Monkfish Kapitan dish, as my friend Chris had confirmed.
PS: I hope I used the right photo. 


Fresh, succulent seafood on ice. Everyone’s favourite, more so¬†for the cooked King Crab Legs¬†and¬†Snow Crab on ice.


When there is fresh seafood, sashimi and sushi are staples.
That evening guests helped themselves to maki rolls (amaebi, saba mackerel), nigiri (salmon, halibut) and cucumber maki rolls.
For sashimi there were succulent cuts of salmon trout, halibut, mackerel and norwegian salmon.





Whole cold poached salmon & medallions.


Baked whole salmon fresh herbs & spices, Thai red curry gravy.


Baked whole salmon with spicy red shrimp sauce fennel & citrus salad.


Sweet sour salmon with onion and cloves.


Salmon tartar.
Gravalax tartar.



Hot Smoked Pepper Mackerel.


Marinate Herring with Asian salsa.



Smoked Rainbow Trout Fillet.


Thousands of shrimps and 4 -5 hours of labour are necessary for this¬†careful formation¬†– ‘Norwegian Cold Water Shrimps Tower’.


There are salads too, though usually ignored. But this is one salmon salad I’ll eat everyday :¬†Seared Pepper Salmon Nicoise with quail eggs, potato and green beans.



This one was interesting; spicy, sour, fruity and bursts of flavours from the olives : Salad of salmon, avocado, green chillis and pink grapefruits.


And we have more salmon; smoked salmon fillet with citrus pepper.


Bet you never had Hot Smoked Apricot Salmon Loin have you?


These fresh seafood are best consumed well, FRESH, but the extravagant spread included hot dishes as well, cooked mostly Asian style to showcase the suitability of use for the seafood in varied preparations.

Some lightly steamed, some in rich curries and some fried, the repertoire of hot dishes are popular with the local and foreign guests as it is a hosted dinner with many nationalities in attendance.
I did notice that the Asian preparations (biryani, curries) was popular with foreign guests.

Halibut fillet steamed with Chili Lime & Coriander.


Black halibut fillet with black bean sauce, Stir-fried lobster tails with green chilli paste.



One of my must-haves every year: The salt crusted turbot with light Normandy sauce.


Chinese style steamed Cod Fish with Hong Kong supreme soy sauce.


Baked Salmon with Green Mango Salad.


A luxurious fried rice – with lobsters, crabmeat and prawns.


Biryani “Hyderabad Jheenga” with Norwegian shrimps – looks plain but flavourful.


Grilled Norwegian King Crab legs with blood orange and butter sauce.


“Bacalao” dry salted cod fish, tomato, potatoes and olives.


Pan-fried turbot supreme with seafood sauce, sweet beans, semi dried tomato.


Delectable crab cakes, paired with piquant sauce and salsa.


Flavorful spicy curries; Goan style haddock tails curry and “Salmon Jalfrezi”, sauteed salmon cubes in rich tomato and chilli gravy.



A feast isn’t complete without DESSERTS.
The foyer of the ballroom was dedicated to tableful of sweets.

The centrepiece last year was a 40kg Viking made from chocolate. This year, this sugar art piece of a Viking Junk ship stood proudly at the desserts table.

The Princess Cake (prinsesstarta) made its annual appearance too. A side view of the strata of the inside of a prinsesstarta would reveal sponge cake topped with a layer of raspberries, the raspberries topped with vanilla cream, the pastry cream topped with whipped cream and the whole shebang royally enrobed in a thick cloak of green marzipan.

It is a Swedish specialty & served at special-occasion cake, ie birthdays, graduation, etc.


Another Norwegian sweet – ‘the sweet soup‚Äô.


Cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, puffs and puddings shared the space with local kuih, Asian desserts and ice cream.
It was difficult not to overstuff oneself every year!



But the gala dinner isn’t just about the food.

Every year this dinner is also held in conjunction with the Malaysia Norway Business Council (MNBC) Award.
The Malaysia Norway Business Council was established in 1990 with the objective of stimulating business and trade between Norway and Malaysia and the MNBC Award recognises companies that have contributed to increasing business, technology transfer and cross-cultural understanding between both countries.

This year, the award went to Bandak Sdn Bhd which is a one-stop manufacturing centre primarily for turnkey deliveries in subsea and subsea products.
It has a projected revenue of US$11 million (about RM45 million) this year.

Other highlights of the gala occasion was Ole Edvard Antonsen, one of the world’s leading trumpet soloists and one of Norway’s greatest international stars.


While the magnificent spread during the gala dinner is by exclusive invite only, you can have a taste of Norwegian seafood from 12 – 18th Oct 2015 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel too.
Details are as below:

** Norwegian Seafood Adventure
Delight in a dazzling array of Norwegian seafood, renowned for its quality and delicate flavours. Guest Chef Markus Dybwad will showcase the best of Norway’s coast in a feast that includes lobster bisque, snow crabs, Norwegian herring, a variety of smoked salmon, red and black lumpfish caviar, and more.

12 to 17 October (Dinner only) ‚Äď MYR 198 per person
18 October (Brunch only) ‚ÄďMYR 178 per person

For more information, please call +60 (3) 2380 8888 or email [email protected].

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