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SukaSucre Bistro
Paris Via Rembau
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Walking into SukaSucre Bistro, there is an unmistakable homely vibe that hits you the minute you step through the sliding doors. Your eye is immediately drawn to the scrumptious cakes and pastries that sit in a shiny showcase on the far end, while a colourful collection of light fixtures cast a multi-hued glow over the interior. A jumble of decorative items from around the world sit on various shelves, while plush, button-backed chairs, comfy couches and even a parasol complete the charming ambience.

These are of course the headquarters of Dato’ Fazley Yaakob, a man who has enjoyed wide spread acclaim as a singer, actor, writer, motivational speaker and chef. After conquering the charts with six albums (his seventh just around the corner), the multitalented father-of-three completed a culinary degree at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and then went on to win Celebrity MasherChef Malaysia Season 1 in 2012.

Dato' Fazley and his team

Focussing his efforts and drawing upon his roots and time in Paris studying culinary arts, Yaakob opened SukaSucre Bistro, an eatery spearheading the modern bistro movement in Malaysia. His unique fusions combine the best of traditional Malay cuisine with time honoured French techniques and plating to create remarkable dishes. The celebrity chef went all out wowing diners at a recent MIGF menu review, taking them on a gastronomic journey from Negeri Sembilan to the French capital.

Among the guests that evening were Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, Festival Advisory Committee members Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir, David Teh and Key Soon Yue, Malaysian Dutch Business Council Executive Director Marco Winter, New Zealand Trade Commissioner – Malaysia and Brunei Nick Ormrod and Sunway Le Cordon Bleu General Manager Ming Ho.

Violinist Joanne Yeoh serenades guests while they soak up the ambience

Marco Winter, Huza Radzi, Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja'afar, Dato' Fazley Yaakob, Ming Ho

Huza Radzi, David Teh, Pitt Lee, Ming Ho and Key Soon Yue

Chef Sylvian Dubreau, Chef Rodolphe Onno, Ming Ho and Dato' Fazley

Nick Ormrod, Stephanie Bishop and Tunku Naquiyuddin

Dato Fazley, Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir, Datin Tina Ali, Datin Su Wai Fun and Dato' Steve Day

The dining group for the evening

Arriving guests began their journey with one of Yaakob’s signature creations that brings together quintessential Malaysian and French fare. A savoury turmeric French macaroon with pulled beef rendang, fresh sweet basil and charred cherry tomato. Sweet, savoury, and spice laden, the unlikely combination paved the way for the meal ahead.

Savoury Turmeric French Macaron with Pulled Beef Rendang, Fresh Sweet Basil and Charred Cherry Tomato

“The theme of the restaurant is From Rembau to Paris – I was raised in Negeri Sembilan and after studying in Paris, at Le Cordon Bleu, I wanted to marry these two worlds. The result is SukaSucre Bistro. For me it’s a dream come true, to create beautiful food for those that love eating it,” said the chef as he welcomed guests to his restaurant.

Alongside his cooking and singing careers, Dato' Fazley is also a sought after motivational speaker and judge for culinary shows around the world

Before dinner however, guests were given a tour of the cooking studio on the first floor, where among other things, MasterChef Malaysia auditions have been filmed as well as ASTRO programs which Dato’ Fazley himself hosts. The impressive facilities are also home to a school which has seen over 3,000 students pass through in the last two and half years, learning everything from French pastry to locally based cuisines.

Class is in session! Dato' Fazley showing guests the facilities 

Following the tour, guests returned to the restaurant where Dato' Fazley and his crew swung into action, pushing out the first course of his menu – a creamy, dreamy tri-colour tomato soup with roasted duck and yam crisps. Well balanced and coating the mouth in a rich, flavourful film, the addition of the yam and duck put a Malaysian twist on a western classic.

Dinner is served!

Tri-Colour Tomato Soup with Roasted Duck and Yam Crisps

For the next course Dato' Fazley threw the spotlight on the much loved fiddlehead fern salad, or kerabu pucuk paku. Made with a heady mixture of red chillies, toasted belacan (shrimp paste), lime juice, sugar and salt, the salad was served with crispy soft shell crabs, lemongrass croutons and native rembau wild mushroom cream. Light on the palate with contrasting flavours and complementing textures – a crunch from the fern and a crunch from the crab – the dish was immaculately presented and much loved by all.

Dato Fazley putting the finishing touches on the next course

Kerabu Pucuk Paku with Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Lemongrass Croutons on a Native Rembau Wild Mushroom Cream

More seafood delights came with main course 2, which featured a tender lobster tail sandwiched between a cili padi turmeric éclair. This came served with Portobello mushrooms, creamy coconut sauce and daging salai lemak cili api, a piquant sauce. As the plates emerged from the kitchen, so did Chef Fazley with kitchen torch in hand, toasting eclairs in front of diners eyes before they were served. There’s nothing like a pyrotechnics show to take the meal up a notch!

Flame on! Dato' Fazley singes the eclairs

Lobster Salai, Charred Portobello Mushrooms on Toasted Cili Padi Turmeric Eclairs, with Lemak Kuning Mousseline with Daging Salai Lemak Cili Api Cream

Rounding out the main courses was Chef Fazley’s version of the traditional French stew, beef bourguignon. Made here with pulled beef, the hearty stew was accompanied by Madagascar vanilla creamy mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and sambal minang, a tangy chilli sambal from Indonesia that gave the ensemble a spicy edge.

Pulled Beef a la Bourguignon with Madagascar Vanilla Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms and Sambal Minang

Chef Fazley’s forte lies in dessert, holding a Diplôme de Pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu and advanced Masters of Sugarcraft degrees, and for the night’s sweet ending his skill was on full show. Composed of a myriad of ingredients, the dessert brought together the best of the two worlds that have shaped his culinary career. Salted caramel tart, early grey panna cotta cubes, brûlée cempedak (a fruit similar in taste to jackfruit and durian), a transparent pluie cake (French for raindrop), banana butterscotch sauce, macaroon soil and vanilla ice cream. There was little to fault on such a dish with many commenting that the addition of the cempedak was a brilliant stroke.

Salted Caramel Tart with Earl Grey Panna Cotta Cubes, Brulee Cempedak, Pluie Cake, Secret Sand, Pisang Emas Butterscotch Sauce, Macaron Soil with Vanialla Ice Cream

Guests were then treated to a private performance by Chef Fazley, who took off his chef’s hat and grabbed the microphone to sing a few numbers, including Beautiful Maria Of My Soul and the Cantonese classic, Pang Yau. The singing chef received a thunderous round of applause for the mini-concert.

The meal ended on a musical note courtesy of Dato' Fazley

To close the dinner a few guests rose from their seats to say words of thanks in closing. First among those was Festival Advisory Committee member Key Soon Yue who spoke passionately about the unique flavours and style of presentation on Chef Fazley’s menu: “Congratulations to all of you – keep sticking to your roots and combining the wonderful flavours in your menus.”

Key Soon Yue was imperssed with the immaculate presentatin of dishes

The final words went to Tunku Naquiyuddin, who hails from Negeri Sembilan and served as its regent from 1994-1999. “C’est formidable, merci beacoup!” exclaimed the Prince as he addressed the gathered restaurant team. Having just returned from Paris and dined at a Michelin star restaurant there, the Prince mentioned that SukaSucre Bistro far surpassed the starred dining experience and that he would be returning soon with friends and family to taste more of Chef Fazley’s fare.

Tunku Naquiyuddin thanks Dato' Fazley and his team on behalf of the guests

Before departing and as a final flourish from the restaurant, guests were presented with a gift box of macaroons – a sucre ending to such a memorable meal.

Sweet parting gifts before guests made their way back home

Take your own culinary journey from Rembau to Paris at SukaSucre Bistro this MIGF from 1st to 31st October! The full Festival Menu is available for only RM149 nett per person without wines and inclusive of Chef’s special plated dessert.

For more on SukaSucre Bistro head to facebook.com/sukasucrebistro