Malaysian chefs have been making a significant impact on a global scale, and one such chef, Paul Liew, hailing from the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur, is currently leaving his mark in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His restaurant, Sago, is a testament to his culinary prowess, skillfully blending European and Asian flavours to create a menu that reflects his extensive experience and unique style.
Chef Paul crafts each dish from scratch using only the finest local ingredients, including his famed roast duck, once served to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Chef Paul's culinary journey began with his first restaurant, Straits of Malacca, where he specialized in traditional Malaysian street food. His expertise and craftsmanship were honed further in the United States, where he trained and worked at various establishments across greater Cincinnati.
This caught the attention of renowned restaurateur and TV host Guy Fieri, known for his multiple food shows on the popular Food Network Channel.
Guy Fieri introduces Chef Paul on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" as a Malaysian chef who hailed from Malaysia to the US at the age of 41 whilst describing Sago as "the one-way ticket to Malaysia."
The episode features an array of local dishes, including curry mee with Hainanese chicken, nasi lemak with beef rendang, roast duck noodles, and more.
According to Fieri, Sago is the kind of place that might be overlooked at first but, once noticed, transports you to another country. Chef Paul guides Fieri through the preparation of nasi lemak and demonstrates the creation of his signature roast duck dish, complete with hoisin sauce for the noodles.
After tasting the dishes, Fieri describes the nasi lemak as a beautiful dish that needs to be "destroyed" by mixing its components, appreciating the tenderness and deliciousness of the Malaysian national dish with beef rendang. Customers echo this sentiment, some proclaiming it the best meal they've had despite extensive travels.
Chef Paul's roast duck also impresses Fieri, who marvels at its tenderness, juiciness, and unique preparation, emphasizing the richness of moisture and perfectly rendered fat in the meat.
This culinary journey exemplifies the rising influence of Malaysian cuisine in international culinary circles, deserving due recognition!
Watch the full video here: