Saturday, November 26, 2011
Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner 2011
One of the most important events for a foodie is the Norwegian Seafood Gala Dinner.
Held every October, this is THE event since a seafood smorgasbord is served that contains the best of Norway's oceanic bounty - salmon, mackerel, Atlantic halibut, caviar, oysters, scallop, herring, crayfish and king crab.
In simple words, a must for any seafood lover.
Hosted by the Norwegian Embassy, the gala event is also held in conjunction with the Malaysian Norwegian Business Council Innovation award. This year, BASS that does marine management systems took home the award.
Invited guests include members of the media and Norwegian companies that have business in Malaysia such as Digi, Jotun and etc.
Strangely enough, even though this is the third time I've attended the gala dinners (including the special royal one when Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited Malaysia last year), it is my first time blogging about it.
One of the reasons why I look forward to the gala dinners is the food prepped by the famous Flying Culinary Circus. These globe-trotting chefs cook up fantastic food all the time. The four members of this group each specialise in different aspects, one is the seafood expert, another handles the sauces, the other does the meats and one does the herbs and vegetables.
This year saw them serve salmon that was "smoked" and served with herbs, pine nuts and an olive oil based dressing. Needless to say I went for numerous helpings for this great item. The other item they served, which I also loved was their lobster bisque served with grilled king crab legs. Lovely flavours that reminded one of the sea. Everyone on the table had seconds as it was darn good.
I also look forward to the caviar spread they put out with the different kind of roes in various shades that you can eat with eggs, cream and finely chopped spring onions.
Utter bliss indeed.
What is good is if Western dishes are not your preferred cooking style, they also serve various Asian styles.
You get an abundance of fresh sashimi and sushi. There is even steamed halibut from the Chinese kitchen and even tandoori salmon for those missing the Indian spices.
One must not forget the amazing spread of desserts too by talented pastry chef Holger Deh. I always look forward to his delicious chocolate ganache cake with the lingonberry jam. They also served the princess cake, a traditional Norwegian favourite and lots more goodies made from unique to Norwegian ingredients such as the cloudberries.
Entertainment was provided by well-known Norwegian singer and composer Alexander Rybak and of course tunes from the most iconic Norwegian band aka a-ha who had the hit, "Take On Me" in the 1980s.
* Note, the gala is strictly by invitation only and was held at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. For more pictures of this year and last year's gala offerings, see my Norwegian Seafood Gala collection set on Flickr.