If you missed it, you’ll be disappointed to learn that across the month of October The Boathouse, Phuket hosted the ‘Feastival of Indulgence’. And yes, it was as delicious and decadent as it sounds.
Unless you’ve got a Flux Capacitor, a DeLorean going at a steady 88mph and a spare 1.21 gigawatts you’ll just have to wait until next year. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about and believe I may still be under the influence of my indulgences… see Back to the Future.
One of the finale events of the ‘Feastival’ was a five-course degustation menu presented by guest Chef Evert Onderbeke. The award-wining Belgian chef’s signature is in combining his considerable skill in contemporary European cuisine with his travels and learnings across Asian flavours and regional ingredients.
Chef Evert has brought his approach to much acclaim at Soleil Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur. Fortunately for us, Phuketians had the opportunity to sample his restaurant’s fare at The Boathouse, who exclusively invited him to the legendary restaurant for two nights on October 26-27.
“European cuisine is at the root of my skill and training,” said Chef Evert, who started early at 15 years old in the industry which saw him mentored by two star Michelin Chef Roger Souvereyns. “When I was young I travelled and fell in love with Asia. The feeling when you are here, the people’s way and the food.”
For Chef Evert the heart of his cooking is all about the flavours and old-style techniques of traditional French cuisine. What’s striking is how he then brings in Asian elements and ingredients that not only support but lift his creations.
Across the five-course pairing menu were several inspired examples of precisely this artful skill.
In the Seared Hokkaido Scallop, the sweet meat of the Japanese clam was balanced with an incredible Mentaiko butter. Mentaiko is made from the roe of the Pollock fish, and reduced as a butter it brought strong flavours of the sea to the supporting tagliatelle.
The Grilled Lamb Loin was presented as a medley of taste sensations, with a cosmopolitan accompanying cast of lamb sweetbread wrapped in a Vietnamese nem, turnip, asparagus and a base which was infused with ras el hanout spices from North Africa, giving a Moroccan edge to the dish’s composition.
For the dessert Chef Evert reverted to his Belgian roots with a Dark Chocolate Cremeux. To say the supporting caramel ice-cream was salted would be an understatement, but this is much to my liking. A sprinkling of passion fruit crispy gave yet another dimension to the rich chocolate finale.
If it sounds like a complex mixture of international flavours under the roof of one sitting, you’d be hitting the mark.
It’s down to Chef Evert’s refined craft that the flavours make for an inimitable and considered coupling of Western cuisine with Eastern influences.
The Boathouse, Phuket
182 Koktanode Road, Kata Beach,
Phuket 83100, Thailand
Tel: +66 76 330 015-7