Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

They’re turning Japanese at the Westin resort

Posted by Kimberly on August 23, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 23, 2007, page 2 (609 words)

The Westin Resort Macau is currently in the throes of promoting it’s Japanese buffet this month having flown out two of the best chefs from their sister property in Myako, Japan.
Chefs Hajime Nishikawa and Masaki Kumagai flew in from Japan last week and have been spending their brief spare time getting to know Macau by visiting local restaurants and the Sands casino.
“We took them to dinner on Wednesday night to Tuk Tuk in Taipa,” said Westin Macau’s Executive chef David Halliday.
“We’re going to take them to a Portuguese or Macanese restaurant. We took them to Sands so they could see the first American casino in Macau after the introduction of the new casino rules,” he said.
In the meantime, the two chefs are busy ensuring Westin’s Japanese food promotion is a success.
“We asked our guests what they’d like and we got a good response for the possibility of having a Japanese food promotion so we contacted all our sister properties in Japan,” said David.
What followed was a series of correspondence sent to and fro, detailing recipes and a market list.
Products were sourced as far away as Australia for fresh fish, which was delivered two weeks prior to the event.
“The teppenyaki is what you’ll get back in Grandview and the sushi is the same. Some things are a little bit different,” said David.
“They have different names for fish. They may be called something else but basically it’s the same as what they’d get back in Japan and a little bit cheaper,” he added.
That’s not to say it was easy to obtain all the necessary ingredients. A particular chilli used by the chefs had to be brought over from Japan, as it couldn’t be found here in Macau.
Then there was the soy sauce.
“Where we use just one type of soy sauce, they’ll use three or four different soy sauces and other ingredients to make just one sauce,” said David.
“So we were able to purchase eight different types of sauces for them to mix and make their own sauces,” he said.
He added that the chefs have had to find their way around, as the buffet they are used to in Japan is vastly different.
“The Japanese have more etiquette. They enjoy their dinner more, they take more time,” said David.
He adds that while Thai food is the “biggest thing” at the moment, they felt it was time to do something different.
“Japanese is a little different and it’s foreseen as not a cheap promotion to do.
“We had 32 kilos of fresh fish flown in from Australia, American beef, American pork, salmon roe, soy sauces, it’s not cheap.
“It sometimes puts people off,” he said.
And it’s not just the patrons who enjoy the benefit of the visiting chefs.
“My guys in the kitchen have learnt so much just in the last few days. I want them to take notice and write down, watch and learn,” said David.
“Even though we’ve got a good start with our promotion, I want to be able to do it again in three months time, recreate that soup or make that same sushimi,” he added.
The Japanese food promotion includes a buffet from Friday to Sunday and an a la carte menu available daily when the buffet is not.
The a la carte will include such dishes as Squid Marinated with Welsh Onion, Miso Paste and Vinegar and desserts such as White Sesame Blanc Mangar with Fresh Berries.
It will end on August 26 and while the team admit to being currently “90 percent full” there’s still room for a few more.

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