Entertainment Review: One Night in Langkawi – Chef Sho Naganuma; and Restaurant Review: Hide Yamamoto, Marina Bay Sands

If “one night in Bangkok makes a hard man tumble,” what does a night in Langkawi do to a man? Celebrity Chef Sho Naganuma invites you to spend a hot night with him.

Chef Sho, protege of renowned Chef Hide Yamamoto, gained international experience working in America, Japan and Southeast Asia. For the launch of BMW’s latest 7 series car, Chef Sho was invited to create his signature menu for 7 dinners over 7 nights for 420 guests at Four Seasons Resorts in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Hide Yamamoto MBS - Chef Sho Naganuma

The single one-hour episode shows the creative process of Chef Sho: how he designed the menu, sought inspiration, and sourced for ingredients. The latter half shows his days in Langkawi: he played hard in the day, getting to know Malaysia’s culture and food, and worked harder at night.

Hide Yamamoto Singapore - Chef Sho Naganuma VS Christopher Lee
Separated at birth? (Photo of Christopher Lee from TNP)

Although some parts are cliches, the obstacles in the kitchen that Chef Sho underwent were very real and thrilling. At certain moments, I was at the edge of my seat. The show gives me a better understanding of what goes on in kitchens and how chefs solve the problems. Besides, the Christopher Lee-lookalike, Chef Sho, is easy on the eyes. You know “Sho” in Hokkien means “hot,” right? He is sho handsome and sexy that a (straight) male journalist asked him, “How come you’re so goodlooking?” And shy Chef Sho blushed!  Cute. Everyone at the tasting event was smitten by him. He has charisma that will slap you senseless like Chris Brown did to Rihanna. Psst… you get to see him topless in the show. He jet-skis and wakeboards like a pro.

Hide Yamamoto Sg - Chef Sho Naganuma
A serious man is a sexy man. Chef Sho demonstrated how to slice raw tuna—very, very carefully, in case the meat was destroyed by careless handling. But more importantly, his hands touched the tuna that went into my mouth and body. OMG OMG OMG!

Some quotes from Chef Sho:

On his philosophy of food: “The smell of a flower gives me very good inspiration… This is how I see my food, elegant, sensitive, fresh.”

On his first dinner at Langkawi: “I might get fired tomorrow!”

On obstacles in kitchen: “I like drama in my life, not in my kitchen!” I think Chef Sho may be more Korean than Japanese since, you know, Koreans have lots of drama in their lives as you can tell from tv. A lover has to die in every episode of Korean drama.

“One Night in Langkawi” premiers on Asian Food Channel, channel 435, 17 Jun, Mon, 10pm.

Hide Yamamoto Marina Bay Sands - Chef Sho Naganuma at Work
Grilling the roasted chicken, so that the chicken got beautifully golden and had a smoky aroma.

Although I wasn’t invited to spend one night in Langkawi with Chef Sho–I SHOULD HAVE, BMW!–he cooked for some of us a 4-course menu at his turf, Hide Yamamoto Restaurant at Marina Bay Sands, a restaurant that I had been wanting to go for the longest time. This menu was the similar to the one in Langkawi.

Hide Yamamoto menu - chawanmushi with sea urchin and truffle oil
Started with chawanmushi with sea urchin and black truffle flan ($15) which had a consistent smooth silky texture. Somehow, the ingredients came together to produce an almost imperceptible pleasing bitter aftertaste. Very fantastic.

Hide Yamamoto Menu - Assorted Sushi
Chef Sho does his sushi the traditional Japanese way, that is, the soy sauce and wasabi have already been added to the sushi, so you should just eat it straight. The medium-fatty tuna sushi was a tad chewy for my liking but the other two, sweet shrimp and ikura (roe) were fantastic. Especially the ikura, one of the best I had, plump bubbles of joy bursting in the mouth.

Hide Yamamoto Review - Young Chicken
Slicing truffle onto the chicken

Hide Yamamoto - Young Chicken
But the star dish had to be the young chicken stuffed with truffle butter rice ($68), first roasted then grilled over charcoal. Chef Sho encouraged us to use hands to eat the chicken–which is my philosophy too! I have always believed that eating chicken with hands makes the chicken tastier because there is a direct contact with the food. The charcoal aroma hung onto the skin and the flesh was moist and tender. Topped with truffle shavings, the chicken by itself was already spectacular. Throw in the fluffy truffle buttered rice: this was one of the most orgasmic things I’d eaten this year.

Hide Yamamoto - oshiruku
The Japanese are not known for their desserts but Chef Sho adds an Asian twist to the traditional oshiruku (red bean soup, $19) by including coconut, matcha ice cream, crisp bits of black sesame meringue and green tea jelly. The result was a well-balanced, not-too-sweet, textured dessert.

At first, I thought such a handsome chef can’t cook because, let’s face it, good looking people bat their eyelids and minions do their bidding. But after the meal, I find Chef Sho sexy and talented. The world is not fair.

From start to end, this is one of the perfectest meals I have this year. These dishes can be found at Hide Yamamoto.

Hide Yamamoto

8 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands #02-05, Singapore 018955
T: 6688 7098
Hide Yamamoto Menu 


Rating: 4.250/5 stars (based on food alone)

ps: Thanks, Pradnyesh, Liyana and Fairenza, for the invite.

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