Chefs Chai & Cheng @ Bistro a Table

June 23, 2012

Too many cooks spoil the soup? Chef Isadora Chai proved that proverb false recently, inviting Canadian-raised Vicky Cheng, executive chef of Hong Kong's Liberty Private Works, to collaborate on a one-night-only degustation dinner to mark Bistro a Table's birthday month.

Ladies first: Isadora led the way with her signature coddled maple syrup egg with Fleur de Sel and crouton dust, a creation that's increasingly imitated but never bettered.

Vicky landed in KL less than 24 hours before this meal; he then scoured the morning markets to secure produce for this constellation of calamansi-marinated hiramasa, soy-tinged tuna and baby-fingernail-big blood cockles with a savory gravy evocative of Malaysian spicy sauces.

It's been a year since Isadora first unveiled her deconstructed Caesar salad soup. One of the highlights of our earliest meal here, and tonight, it remained as remarkable as before.

Our should-eat sense tingled insistently for this egg yolk raviolo with yabbies. Creamy comfort, testifying to why patrons of Private Liberty Works must make reservations weeks in advance to sample recipes by Vicky, a boyish-looking alumni of New York's Daniel who's still in his 20s.

Isadora's turn: rice pops with saffron veloute and Italian veal floss. A textural treat: think crunchy, cereal-like grains with a pleasurably heavy broth and chewy slivers of meat.

And as far as flavors are concerned, it's a playful twist on osso bucco with Risotto Milanese.

Duo of Italian venison, comprising a lusciously roasted loin and a meat-stuffed "tourtiere" pie that seemingly pays homage to both Vicky's Canadian heritage and Hong Kong career. Exceptional, enhanced by carrot puree, goji berries and local veggies.

The sweets were immaculately Isadora's: her palate-pleasuring pavlova of Ipoh-grown pomelo, cassis coulis and candied lime, followed by passion fruit cheesecake mousse with cookie crisps and crumble wafers.

And with that, after a full year of being fabulous, Bistro a Table officially embarks on what will hopefully be another 12 months of mouthwatering marvels. Bring it!

Bistro a Table,
Section 17, Petaling Jaya.