Frederick Kho is the new chef at the Golden Sands Resort in Batu Ferringhi, and he brings a wealth of experience in different countries to his new post, coupled with an inspiring commitment to eating healthily. A native of KL, his first job was at a patisserie in the capital, and he has subsequently worked in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
“Chefs need to be open-minded and to gain experience in different places in the world,” he says, and explains how, regardless of the country and culture, there are certain things he feels are essential and timeless. “Freshness is key, as is simplicity and finishing a dish well.” Frederick likes to create food which is not too spicy, emphasising the original aromas and flavours of the ingredients. The cuisine in a resort, he feels, should be easy-going, and offer the relaxed approach to eating that people would enjoy at home.
My lunch with Frederick started with a salad of fresh leaves and home cured salmon. The ingredients were delicious, but the intriguing dressing put the salad in a different class; I could taste Dijon mustard, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, but there was also something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Perhaps horseradish? A creamy, wasabi-like flavour tickled my palate.
Next was a filling Crab Soup which boasted a strong, powerful flavour; the first mouthful was spicy, but then the taste mellowed. I had thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the bowl, but it was addictive; the more I ate, the more I wanted.
Frederick then contrasted two pasta dishes: Angel Ham Marinara (with ham and fish) and Olio Pasta with an egg on top, the latter of which is an interpretation of pasta carbonara with bacon.
After these two wonderful pasta dishes, Frederick surprised me with an Angus Steak with Ragout, which was cooked slowly to preserve moisture and tenderness. A small ragout of peas and diced carrots garnished the dish and the sauce was tasted of balsamic vinegar and ho shi mishi mushrooms. This elegant steak with its well-balanced flavours was the polar antithesis to a slab of meat hastily barbecued, and very enjoyable.
The next, and last, course was Chargrilled Caramelised Pineapple served with Ice Cream and Strawberries. Cooking pineapple reduces its aggressive acidity and tones down its digestive enzymes, and the smooth, high quality ice cream complimented the smokiness of the pineapple perfectly.
There are delicious fruit drinks on offer at Sigi’s, and I enjoyed a glass of the crushed green apple juice and well as my favourite iced water (which I am happy to report was up to standard!). As I left the café, I reflected on the relaxing, home-style environment and quality of the food. With such busy lives, people simply don’t have time to do this kind of preparation, so I am glad that Frederick Kho is here to provide.
Sigi’s Bar and Grill
Golden Sands Resort
Jalan Batu Ferringi
Tel: 04.886 1852
Fax: 04.881 1880
Open daily 11am-12am
Source: Penang International August-September 2012
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