Malaysia’s iconic The Datai Langkawi tantalises tastebuds at the resort’s famed The Dapur cooking school – an immersive culinary experience where guests learn to create one of the many iconic dishes by the property’s award-winning restaurants. Meaning ‘kitchen’ in Malay, The Dapur offers a hands-on gastronomy journey with the resort’s team of Malay, Indian and Thai resident chefs, dedicated to the melting pot of the old spice routes of Asia and utilising fresh ingredients grown in the resort’s Permaculture Garden.
The culinary journey begins with a guided walk through the resort’s Permaculture Garden to forage for fresh ingredients. Home to an innovative and sustainable zero-waste organic food production system that includes a closed-loop waste management process, guests are invited to pick from a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs, including Ulam Raja (King’s Salad), Galangal (Siamese ginger) and lemongrass.
The journey continues back at The Dapur, a full-set-up cooking studio tucked deep into the rainforest. Enchanted by the captivating sounds of wildlife, The Dapur is located within the resort’s authentic Malay restaurant The Gulai House, built in the traditional kampung house style. Guests have a choice of curated two-course menus they will learn to cook, showcasing an authentic selection of specialties from Malay, Indian or Thai cuisine. Donning chef hats and aprons, guests explore the art of preparation, cooking and presentation of food led by the resort’s resident chefs, picking up the requisite skills to produce some of the resort’s signature dishes.
Highlighting the generous use of spices, Chef Jais showcases Malay cuisine with signature dishes including Kerabu Udang Kelapa Parut (Langkawi prawn salad tossed with fresh grated coconut, green island herbs and chili paste) and Rendang Ayam Utara (slow-cooked chicken, lemongrass, galangal, roasted coconut, turmeric leaf and local spices); with an emphasis on strong aromatic and spicy flavours, Thai chef Som Keat’s signature dishes include a traditional Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn soup), and Gai Phad Khing Sod (stir-fried chicken with young ginger and wood ear mushrooms); and utilising the whole flavour palette, Indian chef Ari’s showcases include Chana Salad (chickpea salad) and Methi fish curry (Indian fish curry, fenugreek leaf, masala spices, tomato and cream).
Guests are invited to enjoy their culinary creations with a specially paired glass of wine, before being presented with a certificate of accomplishment.
The Datai Langkawi also invites children to join the resort’s Executive Pastry Chef Baharudin at The Dapur with its ‘Little Chef’ class; a hands-on experience to sharpen life-skills and creativity. The fun activity aims to build confidence by familiarising budding young cooks with baking techniques while providing a safe and conducive environment for interactive learning and self-discovery. Recipes range from peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies, ‘monkey muffins’ and profiteroles.
Continuing to elevate the dining experiences at The Datai, the resort recently welcomed Chai Chun Boon as Senior Chef de Cuisine. Bringing his trademark farm-to-table approach to the resort’s all-day restaurant, The Dining Room, Chef Chai showcases the natural bounty of the island with a nine-course degustation menu embracing the technical and experimental aspects of gastronomy.
For more information on the dining experiences available at The Datai Langkawi, click here.