Sharone Hakman @ BIG – Ben’s Independent Grocer, Publika

Just a few weeks back I sank my teeth into the juicy duck Sharone whipped up at Mid Valley. Now he’s serving us wagyu rib eye at Ben’s Independent Grocer in Publika. Hello Sharone, you love Malaysia don’t you? 🙂

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But it’s always to good to see Sharone! In my previous post I had gushed about how wonderfully genuine he is, admired his passion for cooking that resonates from every core of his being and how effortlessly charming he is with everyone.

Last week he’s back for a shoot with HSBC Malaysia before flying to Taiwan for further  media commitments. Happily for us, Ben’s at Publika hosted him for a cooking demonstration and lunch and invited us over. 🙂

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Just like the previous visit, Sharone started with an informative and fun “marketing” tour in Ben’s Independent Grocer. Informative because he generously dishes out tips on the best possible produce or meat/seafood to use for certain cooking methods and fun because well, he’s Sharone Hakman! 😀

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Sharone chose a red snapper and wagyu rib eye this time round. Lovely, I thought. I love both! 😀

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Previously I got to savour duck and squids. Today I had fish and beef. So Sharone, if you’re come around again, I’m going to request for lamb and pasta alright? 🙂

Sharone’s Wagyu Ribeye.

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Sharone’s Red Snapper in Coconut Cream sauce with Spices. (Yes, I made up the name for this one.)

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Fish and meat done, Sharone grabbed some spices and greens before we trailed him to the check-out counter and subsequently got ourselves seated in front of the Masak-Masak area at Ben’s Independent Grocer. I watched in amusement as he gets acquainted with his favourite modern cooking device – the induction stove!

Sharone: “Give me a proper stove with fire please!” . :DD

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Ingredients for lunch: Butter, sweet peas, coconut milk, garlic, grapeseed oil (his favourite), lemon, lime, leeks and more!

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Sharone started with the cream sauce for the red snapper. What went into the sauce was a medley of herbs (Sharone loves herbs!) of ginger, garlic, curry leaves, bunga kantan ( torch ginger bud ), lemongrass and leeks (yes I know this is not a herb).

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As the sauce simmers in coconut milk, Sharone prepped the red snapper next.

At the Mid Valley demo, I learnt his method of cutting up a duck. Today he showed us how to fillet a fish.

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Meanwhile, the rib eye was given some generous shakes of salt and pepper before it went into the pan.

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Cooking the rib eye was simple; just as how it should be. A few minutes on one side, then repeat on the other side. No flipping it around or poking allowed.

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Once done, the whole piece is left to rest for a while. The reason it wasn’t cut immediately was to ensure that all its juices remained within. By cutting into a still-hot steak, you are allowing a substantial amount of its internal moisture to escape in the form of steam and tangible juice, resulting in a drier steak. When allowed to rest, a hot steak will retain the majority of its moisture.

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After 15- 20 minutes, Sharone cut the rib eye and served it with his Hak’s sauce! 😀

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Look at that gorgeous hue of red!

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Next it’s the fish’s turn. Sharone grated the rind of the lemon (be sure to avoid the white part as that’s bitter) to rub on the fillet. That imparts a bit of zest to the overall flavour of the fish.

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In addition to butter, lime juice was added into pan and the fillet was left to cook on its skin 75% of the time which results in the highly desired beautiful crisp skin yet retaining moist and flaky flesh.

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Some vegetables are stir-fried and Sharone gave it a quick squeeze of lemon juice prior to serving. Again that was supposed to impart a bit of zest and flavour to the greens.

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BELOW: Plating the Red Snapper dish.

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Finally it’s sampling time. We devoured his delicious rib eye and red snapper; sauce, vegetables and all. Oohs and ahhhs was heard over and over as the whole group happily feasted, no doubt wishing there was more!
Luckily that wasn’t all. We adjourned for a proper lunch courtesy of Ben and was served salad, Curry Laksa, Nasi Kerabu and dessert. Throughout lunch Sharone sat and chatted with everyone present. Yes, we were a lucky bunch that day! 🙂
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Thank you Ben and Carole for the everything! 🙂
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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Sean

    that rib eye really does look perfect! of all the food photos i’ve seen this week, i think that’s the dish i’d wanna try the most! 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hhaha yes, the reddish doneness gets to me all the time! 😀

  2. Param

    Watched MasterChef Season 1 and I was rooting for him all the way

  3. Daniel

    MasterChef Australia is good too. I wonder will you be meeting any of the finalist/winners next bec?
    Oh, I do watch the US series. Sharone can cook, undoubtedly.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Ahh.. meeting the Australian ones would be interesting no doubt!
      The closet I had to meeting one was Adam Liaw when he was here last year for the Guinness infused menu..I sampled his recipes prepared by another chef in El Meson but I wasn’t at the event he was at. Missed that chance 🙁

  4. Calvin

    Lucky u! I love him too! (his cooking i mean…)

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