Dining Hotel

Art Meets Cuisine: Graze and Artist Collaborate to Create the ‘Uccello Azzurro’ Series

We recently visited Graze at Hilton Kuala Lumpur (Sentral) to try the curated menu titled “Uccello Azzurro – The Blue Bird” which is in collaboration with a talented artist Tan Ken Ming, whose work draws inspiration from the natural world. The artist is currently exhibiting his artwork for sale at the restaurant throughout the collaboration period, while Graze has a curated menu, Uccello Azzurro, The Blue Bird, to reflect the artist’s unique style and vision.

Tan Ken Ming is a 24-year-old artist who was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome with comorbid inattentiveness at the age of 12. Born in 1998, his early development was typical. He first showed signs of having a disorder at the age of one, whereby his development slowed drastically and soon after he started showing signs of hyperactivity. His parents brought him for assessments during his formative years, and he attended speech and occupational therapies. During his early primary school education, he was guided by a clinical psychologist, Dr. Lua, who worked with special needs children. This has helped him to develop his language skills and basic social skills.

Drawing since he could hold a pencil properly, Ken Ming has always had a passion for the arts. After finishing his secondary education with an IGCSE, he began taking lessons in an art college. He persisted in pursuing his love of the arts, studying painting methods from numerous instructors. With the help of his family, he is currently working independently on his art. He sold some of his early works, with the money going to various charities.

In addition to painting, Ken Ming likes to read, travel, and watch films, particularly anime series, from which he gets inspiration for his works of art.

The main dining area at Graze
There’s an open kitchen where you can witness the culinary team in action
There’s also a private room which you can use to have private gatherings

Hilton Kuala Lumpur shows its continued support and dedication to diversity and inclusion through a variety of customised experiences and channels. Through an immersive, multi-sensory eating experience that appeals to all the senses, Graze’s Art of Dining: A Feast for the Senses offers a platform to promote awareness of the Autism Disorder Spectrum and celebrate creativity.

The chefs at Graze have developed a menu with dishes that incorporate elements of the flora and fauna shown in the artist’s works. The meal promises to be a feast for the eyes and the palate, comprising subtle floral accents to bold and hearty meats.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with such a talented artist. His work is truly inspiring, and we wanted to create a dining experience that would showcase the beauty and complexity of the natural world in a new and exciting way. This is our way of giving back to the community and by supporting young talents, such as Ken Ming, this enables us to spread the warmth and light of hospitality and incorporate it not only in our working culture but sharing the experience with our guests as well.”

Linda Pecoraro, General Manager of Hilton Kuala Lumpur

“We are excited to be sharing Ken Ming’s vision with the world. Through this collaboration with Hilton Kuala Lumpur, we hope to inspire others to see the beauty and wonder of the natural world, to create a sense of connection and appreciation for all living things as well as for aspirational individuals like Ken Ming.”

Veronica Chung, Ken Ming’s mother

From 24 March to 23 May 2023, you can enjoy the artist’s stunning paintings while savouring the flavours and textures of the curated menu titled Uccello Azzurro, The Blue Bird. Inspired by Ken Ming’s piece, Blue Bird in the Woods, the 3-course menu features Sicilian Crudo, Stuffed Free-Range Chicken with Truffle along with a Yogurt & Honey Panna Cotta, and is priced at RM228 nett per person.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s Aviary Bar, the home of the world-renowned Jungle Bird cocktail, is also serving a limited-edition “Blue Bird in The Woods” cocktail that is named after one of the artist’s pieces. The Blue Bird cocktail is a rum-based cocktail, priced at RM 49 nett per glass, while the Virgin Red Bird mocktail with pink grapefruit tonic is priced at RM 38 nett per glass. Both beverages are served in a bird-shaped glass to compliment the Uccello Azzuro set menu.

My partner in crime for the evening with the Blue Bird cocktail
The Blue Bird cocktail is really refreshing and makes an excellent aperitif!
Sicilian Crudo – Marinated Sicilian mix of seafood, heirloom pickled beetroot, and orange vinaigrette

Stuffed Free-Range Chicken with Truffle – Stuffed free-range chicken, highland petit vegetable puree, and truffle jus

Yogurt & Honey Panna Cotta – Granola, raspberry dust, missed berries coulis, edible flower

I believe that the fairer sex would really appreciate this highly Insta-friendly and artsy three-course menu. The menu was well thought out and very pleasing to the eyes!

The seafood in the Sicilian Crudo was incredibly fresh, making an appetising dish that I quickly devoured. The main was a unique work of art with every main being slightly different while keeping to the theme. It was interesting to match the chicken with the various purees. The Panna Cotta was as delicious as it was pretty and came with berries that are high in anti-oxidants!

As it was just a three-course menu, we also decided to try three (3) signature dishes at Graze.

Caprese Salad – Buffalo Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Modena Aged Balsamic (suitable for vegetarians)

Pasta al Nero di Seppia Aglio Olio-Squid Ink Spaghetti Aglio Olio served with jumbo prawn and flavourful seafood bisque

Tiramisu – Fresh Espresso infused ladies finger biscuits with Mascarpone Cream, Amaretto Liquor and Cocoa Powder (there is also a non-alcoholic version on offer, just make the request and it will be prepared accordingly)
Also worth a mention is the complimentary Focaccia with organic olive oil served at the start of the meal. Being someone who loves bread and pastries, I really enjoyed this and secretly wished I could bring it home for breakfast the following morning.

The Caprese Salad was a delightful little starter which combined the creamy Buffalo Mozzarella with the piquancy of the Heirloom Tomatoes and Modena Aged Balsamic resulting in a very balanced yet appetising dish!

The pasta’s jumbo prawns were very fresh, and the combination with the squid ink pasta provided loads of umami flavours of the ocean. The Tiramisu is a MUST-ORDER dessert at Graze as it is decadently flavourful and most importantly – not too sweet!

We were most impressed by the new menu at Graze. Service was warm and friendly to all guests dining in Graze which was certainly very nice to witness. It was indeed sad to see it halt operations during the Covid years, but its rebirth adds a good modern Italian dining option to the Kuala Lumpur Sentral area!

For more information about the collaboration, including details about the menu and the artist’s work, head over to EatDrinkHilton.com or call +603 2264 2264 or email KULHI_FB@hilton.com

Thanks for having us over!


Photos shot with the vivo X80 Pro

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