Saturday, August 29, 2015

In Style Hong Kong Jakarta Celebrate with Walter Kei

You can always reach people's heart through food. That's why the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) invited celebrity chef Walter Kei to cook and introduce us his three signature dishes. The best one being Banana Brulee with Chinese Sticky Ball.
Chef Walter Kei's introduction
Held at Hong Kong Cafe as a part of In Style Hong Kong city wide promotion, the cooking demo (and competition) brought food bloggers together. Chef Walter Kei described Hong Kong cuisine as a mix of East and West. "Even though you know HongKong is mainly Chinese, but the food served are more of the contemporary Chinese cuisine because Hong Kong is a place that keeps moving and changing. Back in the early 90s, we're still a fishing village but in 1940s, we're already a melting pot."

The vibrant and friendly chef cooked three simple dishes: Beef Roll with Vegetables, Steamed Chicken with Chinese Mushroom and Banana Brulee with Chinese Sticky Ball. 

Beef Roll with Vegetables
"The Beef roll is inspired by Korean food and the idea of California roll. It's actually healthy because you're eating a lot of vegetables," he explained as he started making the rolls. The rolls are surprisingly easy to make with just shredded Cucumber, Carrot and Enoki Mushrooms bind together with Angus Beef Slices. The key of making this dishes is the mix of Korean chili paste, truffle oil and black pepper sauce which create an interesting and familiar Chinese flavor.

Then comes the main dish, Steamed Chicken with Chinese Mushroom, which Chef Walter described as "a simple concept with a twist." While the main ingredients are only chicken and mushroom, the list of seasonings used are far from few. Sesame Oil, Shaoxing (Chinese) wine, oyster sauce and light soy sauce are among them. "I realize Indonesian people takes food with strong flavors, but in Hong Kong, people just add a little bit of flavor. We also love steamed things."

Steamed Chicken with Chinese Mushroom
He does seem to have tons of energy and we're glad he decided to put them into cooking delicious dishes.

We figured with two healthy dishes, we can go all out for the dessert. A competition was held for the food bloggers, putting them into four different teams to create our own version of Banana brûlée. Seems easy, but there are a couple tricks to go with making the sticky ball and covering them with ground peanuts. The mochi-like peanut-butter-filled sticky balls are fun to make and is something you can easily do with your child. Just be careful with the torching. One tip from Chef Walter, if you want to have perfect caramelizing, the banana needs to be frozen for at least 24 hours. Then you can get that banana ice cream taste.

We even have to do our own plating and here's what we came up with.

Banana brûlée
Just like how celebrations are, we end the gathering with a party. Tables are filled with familiar Chinese foods like Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Ha Kau), Steamed Chicken & Prawn Dumpling (Siew Mai), BBQ Chicken Bun (Char Siew Pao), HK Crispy Fried Carrot Cake, and Fried Chicken Orange Sauce. 

Fried Chicken Orange Sauce
Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Ha Kau)
HK Crispy Fried Carrot Cake
We love the funny Chef Walter who described himself as a "lifestyle person" instead of just chef. The accidental chef recalled he started out with fashion before joining the culinary world. He joked how eating out is expensive so that's why he started cooking. Now, beside running a small gourmet, he went into writing, interior designing and also entrepreneurship.

Celebrating the In Style Hong Kong, which would be held on September 17 to 19 at Jakarta Convention Center, Hong Kong Cafe will serve the signature dishes of Chef Walter Kei along with other delicious food on their menu all month long in September. Check out what's happening in town at In Style Hong Kong Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you stop by and be a part of the style.

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