Chef Desmond Chia’s Masterclass in Pullman Miri Waterfront

How I Got Into This Delicious Adventure

Sometime last week while I was doing household chores, my cellphone rang. Its ringtone, “Simon Says” by Pharoahe Monch, triggered a visualization. A figment of my imagination produced an image of the blasphemously godlike Godzilla wreaking havoc in a strange metropolitan far far away. My husband installed the tune in my cellphone as a prank (we prank each other from time to time). I scrambled up the stairs to get to my cellphone but it stopped ringing the moment I touched it.

I glimpsed through the call logs and thought one of them looked kind of familiar, but I could not pin point where I had seen them before. No doubt the numbers are looking very auspicious from feng shui perspective.

“Maybe they’re from Astro,” I speculated. “Or TM Net. Or a bank trying to promote their new insurance plan.”

This isn’t Player Unknown, but Callers Unknown:

callers unknown

At the same time, my friend who happens to be the coordinator for Miri-based Sarawak Bloggers – Ladybird, informed me that she had passed my number to Abang Daizrulizam.

When I finally managed to answer one of the calls, a familiar voice came through. It was indeed Abang Daizrulizam, an amiable guy I got acquainted with via Sarawak Bloggers, and someone who shares similar interest in everything Star Wars like myself; although, if we are to end up in an alternate Star Wars Universe, he would definitely be a Jedi, and I – a Sith. I found out that my ‘Jedi’ friend has started working in Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel recently, a move I believe is very favorable for both him and the hotel management.

No wonder that beautiful phone number on my missed call logs looked familiar… it belongs to Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel ! I’ve stayed in the hotel before, I’ll tell you about it later.

Pictured below, Abang Daizrulizam (in the background), and Chef Desmond Chia inside Pullman Kitchen, Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel during the Chef’s masterclass in making Shanghai Xiao Loong Bao and Hand Pulled Noodles on April 27, 2017.

Chef Desmond Chia teaching us how to make Xiao Loong Bao

A Little Throwback

In December last year, my husband and I had a pleasant stay at the hotel. We have dined in the spacious kitchen and enjoyed the hotel facilities. I still keep some pictures of the stay in my photo archive. If you don’t mind me making a couple of throwbacks, please continue scrolling:

room 1808

Pictured (above) was the room number we were allocated at, and below is an image I captured right before my first dining experience in the spacious and airy Pullman Kitchen.

Pullman Kitchen sign

Pullman Kitchen is located at the ground floor of Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel and is operational from 6:30 am to 11 pm. It is halal, if you are wondering.

During my stay there, I spent quite a substantial amount of time around the infinity pool and the gym. By the way, Pullman Fitness has VIP Membership Package to offer to the public. VIP members will have full access to the gym, infinity pool, jacuzzi, steam, and sauna rooms. In addition to that, they will have 10% discount on best available rate on accommodation, 15% discount on food and beverage (on single bill), and 25% discount on all treatments at fit & spa lounge.

Also available is the Basic Membership Package which gives its members 10% discount on all treatment at fit & spa lounge, 10% discount on food and beverage (on a single bill), and usage of Pullman Fitness facilities which include gym, infinity pool, jacuzzi, steam & sauna rooms (during off peak hours – 6:30 am to 5 pm).

Below: The spot I was standing while taking this picture is the entrance to the spa.

spa entrance.jpg

My apologies… My cellphone camera did not do justice to the serene infinity pool:

Pullman Miri Waterfront infinity pool

It was a quick, relaxing getaway for us. I believed I was having a major writer’s block syndrome and needed to get away from my claustrophobic writing space at home. I didn’t want to venture too far from my hometown though, so we agreed that Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel is an ideal choice for our short and a-stone’s-throw-away-from-home getaway.

Back to the issue at hand, I was thrilled to receive an invitation (from Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel) to attend Chef Desmond Chia’s Masterclass in making of Shanghai Xiao Loong Bao and Hand Pulled Noodles on April 27, 2017.

Chef Desmond Chia’s Background

Born in the year of the Dragon (1976), Chef Desmond hails from Bahau, Negeri Sembilan. Before moving to the capital of Malaysia, he worked as a Dim Sum Chef. He joined Genting, Resort World Berhad in 2004 and was appointed as Sous Chef. After three years, he moved to China as a Chinese Chef, thus beginning his Asian journey. Then he was invited by Sheraton Hanoi, Vietnam to do a Mooncake promotion. He continued his career in Shanghai Pull Noodles Restaurant, Hong Kong, as a Dim Sum Chef.

In 2010, Chef Gallery (Australia) employed him as a Noodles & Asian Food Sous Chef. He worked with two restaurants in Singapore as a Dim Sum Chef from 2013 to 2015. He returned to Malaysia in 2015 and worked with Zanith Hotel, Kuantan. Currently, he is employed in Pullman Kuching as a Dim Sum Chef.

Elena joined the Masterclass

I am immensely grateful to Pullman Miri Waterfront Hotel for inviting me and my friends to the masterclass. I never thought a day like this would come so soon, but hey, it did!

Chef Desmond Chia will be in Miri for a month, so if you happen to be in Miri and feel like attending the masterclass (it’s about 2 hours), do give them a call to secure your spot. The number is +6085323888.

Believe me when I say we had so much fun during the masterclass. Just look at the gleeful faces of these three representatives from Sarawak Bloggers.

we had fun at the masterclass

Every participant of the masterclass got the chance to make their own Shanghai Xiao Loong Bao:

25.04.17 participants in Masterclass by Chef Desmond Chia in Pullman Miri

Inside this small bamboo steaming basket are the Xiao Loong Bao that me and another participant ‘crafted’. They ain’t pretty but they were definitely yummy. Not too bad for a first attempt, eh? They’re ready to be steamed.

the Xiao Loong Bao that we came out with

After the dumplings were cooked, participants of the masterclass sat down and enjoyed ‘the fruits of their labor’.

happy faces - masterclass by Chef Desmond Chia in Pullman Miri

beautiful participant in the masterclass by Chef Desmond Chia in Miri Pullman

After Xiao Loong Bao, the next lesson was hand pulled noodles. Chef Desmond Chia was under hawk-eyed scrutiny from his students, who showered him with questions which he often answered with a good sense of humor.

participants listened and observed attentively to Chef Desmond Chia

Kneading dough the traditional way:

knead the dough

Chef Desmond Chia twirled the dough with his strong arms:

Chef Desmond Chia making noodles in Pullman Miri

He continued to twirl the dough for several times.

Chef Desmond Chia in action in Pullman Miri

Chef Desmond Chia showing Petrus (aLoM) how to correctly twirl the dough:

Chef Desmond Chia showed aLoM how it is done in Pullman Kitchen

Dough ready to be pulled:

the dough

Needless to say, please wear comfortable footwear if you decide to attend the masterclass. Me and Pei Pei are both heels lovers, and we both had other appointments prior to the masterclass, as well as after it; therefore we didn’t have time to change our foot wear. Mine (left) and hers (right) – letting the flour hit the heels:

the flour fell onto our heels too


Below: A pretty participant enjoying the noodles that she had successfully hand-pulled, while a feature writer from The Borneo Post, Mdm. Cecilia Sman looked on.

Cecilia and one pretty participant

Pullman Miri Waterfront shares cooking tips by Cecilia Sman

Would you be interested to learn how to make delicious Shanghai Xiao Loong Bao and Hand Pulled Noodles for your loved ones? Chef Desmond Chia will be in Miri for a month and possibly more (depending on requests). Opportunity to attend a masterclass such as this may not come that often in Miri, so what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone, call +6085323888 and book your spot in the masterclass. See you around! :-)


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