“On Thursday 5th, 6th and 7th of October 2017, the London-based and native Malaysian Masterchef Norman Musa, will open a POP UP restaurant in Restaurant Gaanderij in Leiden. And you are selected to join the press table!”
Immediately, this email from Caroline Wimmers (Marketing for Foodies), got my full attention. Yes, yes, yes, I definitely don’t wanna miss this event, so I sent her my motivation. Afterwards I have been chosen to take place at this 8-course dinner. Happy me! But do not worry, you can visit Norman Musa in the beginning of December in Rotterdam. Scroll down for more information.
Did someone said tea pairing?
An 8-course dinner includes an arrangement of beverages. But instead of wine, they serve you tea. Tea from an authentic coffee and tea shop in the heart of Leiden. All the teas are matched with Malaysian dishes. From Ling Ching tea and Halmari tea, to Lemon green tea (my favorite), Bancha Houjicha and Lapsang Souchong. The last tea was smoked. In Holland we would say, it tasted like rookworst. Never had something like this before, but I won’t order it again. It wasn’t my cup of tea ;-).
We start with an “Exotic Malaysian Black Rice Canape”, which was absolutely one of my favorites The taste of the hard black rice was so surprisingly that I didn’t left a grain. Combined with the freshness and bitterness of the pomegranate made it delicious.
Our official first course was made with a scallop and was named “Crispy Asian Fusion Salad with Seared Scallop & “Kloppert”. Hmmm, it was so perfectly cooked that no words are needed. Perfection. Really!
Our second course was the “Cress Prawn & Laska Bisque” and was received pretty spicy to us. I love spicy food but it should not have been much more spicy. It was a taste explosion of spices. Great but now give me something less spicy s.v.p.
Hot, hot, hot
Then we hit it to the third course, the “Fungi Fungi Pulled Duck Rendang with Home Made Bun”. It was exactly what I needed at the moment. This course was really tasty and not that spicy as the bisque I had before. The group before us found this dish way too spicy. So Norman and his crew made it less spicy. We remain Dutch residents, so thank you for that Normam! The Fungi flavor was a big surprise for me. I didn’t really know what to expect before but it turned out really well.
Then we had the “Crispy Salmon with Curried & Herbal Mashed Potato” for our 4th course. It was tasty, it was really crispy and perfectly cooked. The salmon was still a bit pink from the inside and really soft. After those spicy dishes it was nice to have a mild taste like this in my mouth. The potato was flavored the currie but really subtile.
And just when you think you’re full, there’s a deliciously prepared sign for your nose. Hello “Haute Nasi Lemak with Squid Sambal”. I had squid before where I didn’t really liked the texture. But hey, let’s give it a try because Norman kept surprising me. And wow, he totally rocked it! I did’t have to chewing it for a hour before I could eat it because he made it really tender. And then we have those anchovies on the side. They were salty but soooo good and crispy. The combination of white rice and those little fishes were received really good in my mouth. Together with the refreshing cucumber and tomato, yummy!
I didn’t want this amazing diner come to an end. Our 7th dish was coming and was called “Chicked Nyonya Capitan with Glutinous Rice”. It was a good quantity and I was a big fan of the quite spicy chicken, together with the sweetness of steamed glutinous rice with a touch of cocos.
After a long range of hot dishes, we arrived for a refreshing dessert “Malaysian Flavored Yoghurt ice Cream”. The pomegranates made it very sour. A taste I do not like by itself. Together with the yoghurt ice-cream I did like it better bit still wasn’t a huge fan. I looked forward to the next course already.
“Teh Tarik Shot, Peanut cookie, Onde-Onde Buah Melaka & Exotic Chocolate Brownie”. What a big surprise were those little cookies and round.. things! I was not familiar with the Asian desserts before but my table companions were and told me to try the Onde-Onde Buah Melaka. An Onde-Onde is a boiled rice cake, stuffed with liquid palm sugar and is covered in coconut bits. It’s difficult for me to explain the taste So the only option is to taste it yourself.
Thank you Norman
Afterwards we were allowed to see the kitchen where Norman and his team prepared this wonderful 8-course diner. It was really nice to see them do the working.