Ong Chin Huat speaks with Chef Emmanuel Stroobant about his restaurant, Saint Pierre at the W Hotel Kuala Lumpur and why his taste buds have recently been sharpened.
Francophiles and lovers of modern French cuisine can now enjoy celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s “deeply personal and spiritual experience” food creations in the heart of the Malaysian capital.
Opened in September 2018, Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur is located on the 8th floor of the ultra-hip W Hotel and is the second restaurant to open under the same name, the first being in Singapore.
Having lived in Singapore for a good part of two decades, Belgium-born Chef Stroobant has made a name for himself in culinary circles as well as among gourmands. This is reinforced by several food awards most notably from Wine and Dine’s Best New restaurant 2002; Most Innovative Menu in 2002, 2004 and 2007 as well as World Gourmet Summit – Award of Excellence and Best New Restaurant in 2007.
Today Saint Pierre Singapore has two Michelin stars to its credit.
In town recently to introduce four new menus to celebrate the festive season, Chef Stroobant describes his own cooking as quintessentially French and with a strong focus on the ingredients.
“We don’t use organic because it is hard to verify and ascertain the source of organic products, but we are careful about genetically modified ingredients,” he says about this increasing food trend in Asia.
Differentiating Saint Pierre KL with his flagship restaurant in Singapore, Chef Stroobant said. “It is similar, but not the same there are similarities in the décor, and the menu is also slightly different.”
While both restaurants have a muted and neutral colour palette, the KL Saint Pierre has brass features which add some glamour to this already slick restaurant.
He highlighted one noticeable difference, namely the client profiles. In Singapore, he found more tourists frequenting his restaurant, while in Kuala Lumpur his clientele is predominantly comprised of locals.
“The ingredients are also slightly different as Malaysia produces more produce than Singapore, which tends to import more.”
Around 50 to 60 per cent of his dishes in KL are similar to those found in his restaurant in Singapore. The team at Saint Pierre KL is led by Penang-born acting Chef de Cuisine Lroy Lim, who honed his culinary skills at the two-star Michelin Domaine de Chateauvieux in Switzerland as well as Saint Pierre in Singapore.