A Celebration of Malaysian Flavours: Meet the Star Chefs of Curate

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Walking into the bright, airy interiors of Curate, guests are instantly enveloped by a sense of warmth and vibrancy. It’s a wonderfully Malaysian feeling, one that goes perfectly with the homegrown flavours and lively celebrations that have come to define the all-day dining restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

While Curate caters to palates and preferences from around the globe, its offerings are rooted in the spirit of Malaysia. Helming the team is a trio of exceptional local talents – Chef Hanif Ahmadiah, Chef Mohammed Alif Muazzam Saffarudin, and Chef Putri Farisya Amirza.

As passionate custodians of Malaysian culinary traditions, all three chefs give top billing to indigenous ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques. “The culinary heritage of Malaysia is a beautiful mosaic of different influences,” says Chef Putri. “Here at Curate, we love to explore and honour this diversity through our offerings.”

“More than anything, we Malaysians love to sit down with our family and friends to share a good meal together. That’s something we all have in common!” adds Chef Hanif with a smile.

Each chef brings a different expertise and passion into the kitchen. Chef Alif loves to enhance the flavour of dishes by cooking them with charcoal and coconut fibre – an increasingly rare technique from the east coast of Malaysia. Chef Hanif, meanwhile, is a wizard with the wok. His well-seasoned stir fries sizzle with bold Malaysian tastes – a crowd-pleaser in every season.

For Chef Putri, Ulam (ginger flower) holds a special place. Every state in the country has its own Ulam, each with a unique flavour profile: “for me, this ingredient symbolizes the rich variety of Malaysian cuisine.”

Must-try specialties at Curate include:

  • Curry Laksa by Chef Hanif - An iconic Malaysian dish made with staples such as coconut milk, chillies, lemongrass and ground spices. Chef Hanif raises the luxury quotient by adding salmon and caviar, which pair beautifully with the crispy egg noodles.
  • Nasi Ulam by Chef Putri - “My mother, who is from Perlis, taught me a lot about the cuisine of northern Malaysian,” explains Chef Putri. She uses a traditional family recipe to make her favourite Iftar dish for guests – traditional steamed rice with herbs and vegetables.
  • Apam Gula Hangus by Chef Alif - Soft, spongy and succulent, this traditional caramel-flavoured cake is typically served during Hari Raya. “It’s a must-have in my family,” says Chef Alif, who recommends eating the cake with jackfruit, coconut ice cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Malaysian ingredients and cooking techniques also form the base for innovation at Curate. The team loves to combine local elements with global inspirations, lending the menu touches of surprise. Take, for example, the Coconut “Cha Cha” Creme Brûlée. This playful fusion dessert by Chef Alif blends the classic European creme brûlée with the tropical local coconut. The recipe also swaps regular sugar with Gula Melaka, an unrefined palm sugar with a distinctive caramel flavour.

Curate also welcomes talented Guest Chefs to showcase the cuisines of other regions. In April 2023, Chef Abd El Rahman from Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh brings a bevy of Egyptian delights to the festive buffet. Diners can sample an array of authentic recipes from Egypt, including Stuffed Pigeon, Lamb Fatteh, Okra and Meat Tagine, Muammar Rice, and Molokai and Shrimp Soup.