It was on Sunday, with the sun shining brightly with a clear blue sky and all of us are on a task which leads us to a bungalow house covers with some jati wood on the porch, a classic wooden door open concept shower on the compound with some long plants growing and covering part of it which is just by the side of a swimming pool that located at Shah Alam. Up Close and Personal with Chef Najib and Taff Family
If you every come across these names ’ Serai Satay Bar @ Pavillion Mall, Serai Thai Restaurant @ Section 3 Shah Alam (a new restaurant coming up in SS15 that we shall keep it as a secret at the moment)’we are on the way to meet up with Chef Najib which had recently return back to home ground after 10 years of experience at Australia and Taff family with 19 years of experience in F n B industry.
With flowers booming and the scent of fresh flower with natural air around the compound makes it so relaxing for us.
crystal clear water on the pool with hot sun burning in the sky and jumping into this cold pool would be the ideal idea.
and to shower off and head to our agenda for the day.
With a dinner table setting next to the pool, Ken and Tai disscussing how to coordinate the whole photoshoot.
a wooden table with gold lining plate place on the table, pair with a shinning bright silver cutleries side by side end with a bohemian glass and 2 small lavender pot to place on the table as decorations.
While everything is setting up, we received warm hospitality from the host themselves Qistina and Liyana along with their grandfather by preparing us with ‘Homemade Lemon Lime Honey’ and in this hot weather, certainly this drink is very refreshing and I could say that I nearly finish one jug of it while Chef Najib is busy managing the kitchen at that moment.
While waiting, we are ready to cut through any food that comes on our path.
Then comes with some light food for us as they worry that we had not eaten anything before proceed here, to start off our day while waiting for the 3 sifu to coordinate everything up.
Not long after the meal, we are good to go. Every one of us taking opportunity to shoot on all item in different angle.
Andrew getting himself comfortable to make his perfect shoot.
Behind the scene, most of us were like, rushing into that item when the camera flash stand is place nearby, as it is to share by everyone that I am so happy that Ken is actually sacrificing is flash for us to trigger around.
I start to shoot what I feel is right and I am quite satisfied with what I shoot but with comments, there are more rooms for improvement. While shooting this, ‘Portobello Mushroom Pesto Bruschetta’ . . . . . .
I got so hungry by the smell of the freshly toasted bread top with mushroom and mint, not long after that, I snapped 3 slices of it and the taste of it is awesome!
‘Chilled Watermelon Cubes topped with Persian feta, Basil and Balsamic vinegar’
when this dish was served, I stared at it blankly and wondering what kind of combination is this, but I am very eager to try on it as it looks very unique with persian feta. When we started eating, me and Valentino non stop taxing it, as it taste a bit sweet with watermelon taste yet the feta gives the extra unique combination of salty that makes it taste good. Great combination as we would say~
After first round of shooting and eating that had made our stomach warming up, little Dylan had went into the pool to cool off himself, judgging from his active’ness in the pool we believe that he is a person who loves swimming and he is just so adorable.
The dad, Valentino had him for drying up session while waiting for second session but during that time, it was quite windy and just momemts dark clouds moving in covering half of the sky and we have to relocate into the house living room.
With the support from Ken holding on the lighting to place above on the food to get the best light, we were all lining up to get each individual shots of it.
I love the taste of it, as it is well balance that the tomato ingredient and feta did not overpower the taste of mushroom yet at the base of the mushroom it was grilled perfectly.
Flame-Grilled Sirloin Angus (with pumpkin puree, onion relish, filed mushroom and sautéed asparagus)
Not every chef can grilled a medium steak consistently, but he did a good job by maintaining the freshness of the Angus steak cooking it medium, cut through it there are blood flooding out. We were taught to eat dip it with pumpkin puree.
That grills with skills to ensure that the outer layer is a bit brownish but its pure white when you cut through it with knife. A slice of cod that put into my mouth that separates into slices and melts shows it was a fresh cod! Accompany with clamp and baked potato.
Shooting half way, and I could not leave my eye sight on this cake when Liyana bring out this cake, and I knew it was ‘Tiramisu’ which is one of my favourite cake.
Soak with coffee as the base, layers covers in mascarpone cheeze and top with roast walnut is just something which is irresistible, soft cake base yet the flavour is just right.
Yet another desert that caught my attention ‘Banoffee’
Banana was cut into slices and cook till it is soft and aromatic that is not too sweet, put into almond cup base and baked a while end it with cream and top with chocolate flakes. I had 2 of this tart.
After the whole food shooting and testing finish, Dylan is so cute that he is playing by himself and I join him too.
with me having my chance to carry on Baby Dylan that he is so happy to ride on my shoulder and making him fly like a superman~ Dylan likes Liyana too smile and laughing all the way.
Ken preparing everything for the last set.
Me the white mouse to test on the lighting and it pass (actually I wanted to be in it, :p)
Me and Chef Najib
A young chef with vast foreign experience that had work his way through from bottom till become a head chef in a famous restaurant in Melbourne, while he is a head chef, he is monitoring four restaurant to ensure daily operation and to ensure food that serve out to customer are top notch.
Not until recently he decided to come back to home soil and wanted to share his experience and culinary skills to make good food for Malaysians to try out. He and his fiancé Qistina will run a new restaurant with his skills and with help of own family members that the siblings are going to help out including Liyana.
With his excellent food preview for all of us, we are looking forward for the new opening which is happening very soon.
Qistina and fiance Chef Najib
The excellent management team that helping out to operate their existing restaurants.
It was a tiring day till the evening, but it was worthwhile that we get up close and personal with Chef Najib and Taff family, certainly I am very glad full to know this warm hearted and friendly family, Ken and Sidney for making all this happens.
It was a great Sunday outing, looking forward for more and some pictures I borrow from Valentino.