Let's look East for this MIGF installment, checking out Chinese cuisine at Genting Highlands' Imperial Rama and Korean at The Intermark KL's Onsemiro.
First up, Imperial Rama, where the four-course MIGF menu kicks off with a duo of lobster preparations, one chilled with ebiko and the other warmed up with asparagus and mushrooms. Both mighty fine, especially for crustacean enthusiasts.
Double-boiled guinea fowl soup, thick with traditional herbs to keep things flavorful.
Fish and fowl meet: baked sturgeon with duck roll. Playfully surprising, the sweet-glazed fish tastes like char siew, while the crispy roll is evocative of curry puffs.
Wrapping up with more Chinese decadence: cold bird's nest with pear and avocado puree. Sure, it's not the most adventurous of desserts, but it's really refreshing.
The MIGF menu here costs RM238++ for food. Quite a sum for a modest-looking four courses, but components like lobster and bird's nest are inescapably expensive.
An extra RM100++ provides three glasses of wine (prosecco, chablis and moscato). Thanks to Genting's Resorts World for inviting us for this complimentary tasting.
Tea and after-meal grappa is also included in the menu ...
... as well as a cool traveling kit of metal chopsticks and cutlery.
Keen on somewhere closer to the city center? Onsemiro is one option, bringing Korean recipes for the first time into the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival.
Starters here comprise crisp, cold bites, like a Korean-style seafood salad in mustard vinegar, as well as a veggie spring roll stuffed with crab meat and soy bean paste ...
... plus sweet-spicy seasoned abalone with rice noodles and a hot bowl of porridge brimming with chicken, chestnuts, dates, gingko and ginseng.
Onsemiro's bibimbap is satisfactory, vibrantly flavored with beef and egg, both raw, to be mixed with mushrooms, veggies and red pepper paste.
We love the pollack-and-tofu soup, as delicious as broths get. All the essential side dishes are offered too, including lotus roots, mung bean starch jelly and white kimchi.
Beef chuck flap tail and short ribs, juicily grilled at the table over Oakwood charcoal and served with a dipping sauce that features no less than 50 secret ingredients.
Service at Onsemiro is gracious and exceptionally accommodating; we only ordered and paid for one MIGF set to share between two of us, but the manager insisted on pouring us two servings of wine to pair with our meal instead of one. Much appreciated.
Love the desserts: persimmon sorbet, made with 100 percent naturally ripened fruit that supplies a honeyed pulpiness, as well as sweet rice cakes and cinnamon fruit punch.
Onsemiro's full MIGF menu costs RM198++ without wine, RM298++ with.
Highlands Hotel, Genting Highlands.
Second Floor, The Intermark Mall, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.