Up Close & Personal With Chef Shan

Avanti Italian-American Ristorante
Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa



This time I get to meet up and get close with Chef Shanmuganathan or in short Chef Shan, a passionate man with his cooking especially Italian dishes. One of his unique and distinctive skills is to infuse traditional Italian fovourites with contemporary tastes, resulting in time-honoured recipes bearing novel flavours and modern presentation. I was told that his work was like magic in creating delicious dishes especially the skills he inherited and using only freshest and best quality ingredients enhance his creation even further.

Chef Shan looked at me, smiled and told me this, “It’s all about freshness with a strong sense of harmony in taste, aroma and style.”

Chef Shan had a few achievement in his culinary journey, he had won the Culinaire Malaysia(Federal of Hotels Association) 2005 for Hot Cooking and also the Culinaire Penang(Asia Region) 1995 for Plated Dishes.

Chef Shan performs his cooking creation at Avanti Italian-American Ristorante and for this month he had created a special and seductive menu, the Gourmania (A Trilogy of Flavours) for Avanti during this Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . got to say I was very lucky enough to fork myself into Chef Shan’s creation which was very well interpretated and a very togetherness of fine techniques, in creating a novel balance of flavour, visual inspiration and a very pleasurable lunch.

Chef Shan believes by working through every steps in culinary is the best way of being a succesful chef and no short cuts will achieve such a rewarding and satisfying career in life.

When asked about the most adored food, in his reply was “Defintely pasta, . . . such a versatile ingredient and creates a lot of delicious meals, something I adore most, simple yet taste awesome.” When comes to kitchen tools, Chef Shan can’t do without his sets of kitchen knives!

I found out a secret of Chef Shan, he is known for his Maltagliati pasta with rabbit ragout in light beer jus. He churned out flat cut fresh pasta and topped it with rabbit mince meat and braised with light Belgium Beer, sounds awesome delicious to me and I defintely drive myself to taste it one day when he is not busy.


Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa celebrates Gourmania, a trilogy of flavours embodied by exquisite cuisine, exceptional beverages and the finest dance music for the 21st century. Taking centre stage from saturday,1 November to Sunday, 30 November 2008, Gourmania sees three distinct establishments at the Hotel – Avanti Italian-Amrican Ristorante, West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant and Ministry of Sound – EUPHORIA at Sunway Lagoon Resort – converging for a truly irresistible and all embracing gastronomical affair.



Avanti Italian-American Ristorante, located on the lobby level of Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, encapsulates a vibrant setting witha welcoming ambience for a pleasuranble, entertaining and homely dining experience.


My journey into Chef Shan’s Gourmania creation:

Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pear, Endive Salad, Aged Balsamic & Chive Emulsion


Maltagliati Pasta with Braised Venison
Espresso Sherbet with Coconut Candy

Main Course

Pan-Fried Veal stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato, Apple Chips, Baby Vegetables & Black Truffle
Slow- Roasted Fillet of Blue Cod with Caramelised Shallot, Braised Ceps Mushroom, Basil Risotto Cake & Sea Urchin Sauce


Spicy Mango Passion Cheese Mouse with Mango Mint Salsa



Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pear, Endive Salad, Aged Balsamic & Chive Emulsion, the presentation was lovely, finding soft shell crab here sort of interesting as something you usually find in a japanese cooking. It is surprisingly tasty and blended well with the salad but what makes me ticked was the petite bowl of deep orange soup next to it and came with 2 thin slices of crispy bread. It tasted so good and I think it must be a condensed roasted red belly pepper soup. . . I had it cleaned sparkling.


Maltagliati Pasta with Braised Venison, the pasta was soft, tender and very fresh. The taste of the minced rabbit meat blended through the pasta, so refined. The sauce from the braised venison enfused the dish further, a very exciting flavour and taste.


Espresso Sherbet with Coconut Candy this petite espresso sherbet was so amazingly good, you can sure taste the bitterness of the espresso and coconut candy complimented the sherbet, not too sweet at all.


Pan-Fried Veal stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato, Apple Chips, Baby Vegetables & Black Truffle I just loved my main course, the veal was done to perfection, soft, succulent, juicy and just melted in my mouth, it was so effortless in chewing, awesome. The sun dried stuffing brightened up the veal and enfused a lovely aroma of taste, just perfect.


Slow- Roasted Fillet of Blue Cod with Caramelised Shallot, Braised Ceps Mushroom, Basil Risotto Cake & Sea Urchin Sauce I did not get the chance to taste this blue cod as I had the veal instead, but sure this babe looked awesomely chic and good.


Spicy Mango Passion Cheese Mouse with Mango Mint Salsa, this dessert was so thrilling with excitement due to the tangyness of the mango cheese mousse, the mango mint salsa as just adorable, complimented the dessert perfectly. Raspberries and blueberries, my favourite too. I just love the presentation and wanting to own the serving plate too. Hahahaha I must put in a note to Avanti so that I can served my guests with such a beautiful plate. Well just a wish, my birthdayis just around the corner, lol!

It was an exciting journey of taste created by Chef Shan, delicious lunch created with fresh interesting ingredients, truely Chef Shan . . . . tasted by Sunny Yaw

p/s: I really wish for a new camera on my coming birthday this month as to perfect my photos. hehehhehe …… I hope Nikon or Canon will read this! hope they can sponsor me a good camera
Gourmania at Avanti:
RM88++ per person without wines
RM138++ with wines
For dining reservations and enquiries on the Restaurant’s Gourmania offers, please call (603) 7492 8000 Extn. 3176



  • shavedicesundays
    November 10, 2008 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Whatever camera you’re using, you’re doing a really great job with it. I hope you get your new Nikon or Canon toy soon!

  • ck lam
    November 11, 2008 - 2:07 am | Permalink

    The Roasted Fillet of Blue Cod looks tempting…would be lovely to try out this fish with the unique sea urchin sauce.

  • my simple food
    November 11, 2008 - 5:06 am | Permalink

    What camera are you using? I am using a normal digital camera for now. I will wish for a SLR later :)

  • mº¿ºsh, brecht and nora
    November 11, 2008 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    dear boys thanks for this review, we both love all things italian esp food! we shall keep this place in mind the next time we r in asia or KL for a visit! Hope u get that camera! ; )

  • "Joe" who is constantly craving
    November 11, 2008 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

    wah ur pics r alr awesome..wat u wan to upgrade to??

    November 12, 2008 - 12:27 am | Permalink

    “It’s all about freshness with a strong sense of harmony in taste, aroma and style.”.. well said! and that cod fish looks divine! i hope you get your camera too 😀

  • cariso
    November 12, 2008 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    This is too tempting! Hey, your pics are great odi! :)

  • Nic (KHKL)
    November 12, 2008 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

    ooohhh….black truffle!! i like, i like, i like! :)

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