The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Sunway’s natural five-star sanctuary in Ipoh, has announced an exciting new culinary collaboration that will bring together two iconic Malaysian chefs – Daniel Yap, Co-owner and Head Chef of GOODDAM in Kuala Lumpur, and The Banjaran’s own Executive Chef, Lee Choon Boon – for the “Four Hands Dinner,” a truly original and exclusive epicurean event.
Chef Boon hails from Ipoh and enjoyed a stellar career at Asia’s leading hotels, including Shangri-La Singapore, before returning home to become Executive Chef at The Banjaran. Passionate about local produce, he sources many ingredients from the Sunway Organic Gardens, a vast 20-acre working farm, to craft regularly rotating menus at the resort’s restaurants. These include Jeff’s Cellar, the award-winning signature venue which is set inside the softly-illuminated chamber of a limestone cave.
Chef Daniel graduated from the prestigious La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana in Parma and went on to work at top restaurants in Italy before moving to the Michelin-starred STUD!O in Copenhagen. At GOODDAM, the highly acclaimed restaurant in KL, he uses fresh produce to showcase his “new style” of Italian cuisine, inspired by the regional dishes of Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany.
Together, these Malaysian trailblazers will treat diners to a highly innovative tasting menu melding modern European and local ingredients. This curated culinary journey will highlight a new set of ingredients, including house-cured and smoked tongkol hitam “katsuobushi,” nasturtium hot sauce, Chef Boon’s own aged rice wine, and of course, a bountiful harvest of fruit, vegetables and herbs from The Banjaran’s gardens, which have been certified with a myOrganic license from the Malaysian government.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

This epicurean odyssey commences with a selection of snacks, including Chef Boon’s Buah Nipar (foie gras mousse with glazed onion, palm sugar & glazed palmfruit) and Petai Belalang (mini tart filled with pulled beef cheek, ricotta labneh, wild petai and fried shallots), and Chef Daniel’s Crudo (a cold soup of green hornet tomato & selom with cured snapper and candied kaffir lime), and Bonito Flan (house-made katsuobushi custard with confit calamari, nasturtium hot sauce and pomelo).
These light bites will be followed by a series of delectable dishes. Chef Daniel will present the Art of Yeast (Ipoh coffee-glazed Parker roll with roasted yeast butter), Game Ice Cream (Australian truffle ice cream with smoked duck bone caramel terrine, gooseberry relish & pucuk paku), Raviolo (with heirloom zucchini, fried sweetbread in emping padi, and hazelnut & kukur mushroom butter), and Surf & Turf (wagyu rump cap aged in koji, glazed Borneo lobster, breadfruit and caramelized pepper jus).
Tantalizing diners’ taste buds, Chef Boon’s inventive creations will include Kohlrabi (velouté with coconut, Amur caviar from Tanjong Malim and pickled kohlrabi with jungle wild pepper), Tanah Kita (organic vegetables from the resort’s farm with confit guinea fowl and fresh truffle), and Ikan Keli (dry-aged catfish with fermented ginger flower, sorrel and crispy bone).

Jeff’s Cellar, the multi-award-winning signature restaurant

A tempting trio of desserts will include Chef Daniel’s Rice (roasted bario rice ice cream, rice wine ice and pickled jicama mousse), Chef Boon’s Berries (highland strawberry mousse, dehydrated mulberry, bee pollen, oxalis and 12 years aged balsamic reduction), and a selection of Petit Fours (passionfruit pouches, pandan macaron filled with kaya & salted butter, pineapple & spice madeleines, and local Chemor dark chocolate with bario salt).
This multi-sensory experience will be staged in the serene surroundings of Jeff’s Cellar, a spectacular subterranean dining destination where guests are surrounded by stalactites, stalagmites and rippling water, beneath a 260 million year-old landscape of mountains and rainforest, to create an otherworldly ambience.

“After years of talking to host a cooking collaboration, we are over the moon to finally team up and cook a one-night-only dinner. To break out of our comfort zone, we will apply a new set of ingredients, very technically driven and with inspirations from each others’ backgrounds to this specially curated menu. We are super excited to cook up a storm together!” stated Chef Boon and Chef Daniel.
Nestled in a 22.7-acre valley in the Malaysian state of Perak, surrounded by ancient jungle, soaring limestone peaks and hidden caves, The Banjaran is an extraordinary destination for foodies. Along with Jeff’s Cellar, the multi-award-winning signature restaurant, Pomelo is an elegant all-day dining destination with indoor and alfresco seating, perched over rippling ponds, and the Star Deck is a stunning setting for cocktails and stargazing.
The “Four Hands Dinner” is available for one night only, on Saturday 22nd July 2023, priced at MYR990 nett per person. For more information and to book your place at this unmissable event, please call or WhatsApp +605 210 7777.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat and to combine this dining experience with a luxurious weekend stay, please visit

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About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more than fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on

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