Adam Haywood: Making culinary waves

By Julian Matthews
Published in StarMag, The Star, Nov 27, 2005

Adam Haywood

THERE is something fishy going on at the Still Waters restaurant in Hotel Maya. Swimming nonchalantly at the bottom of your appetiser’s bowl is a live Siamese fighting fish.

“Guests love it,” said chef Adam Haywood. “It’s great way to get the meal off to a good start with some animated conversation. We recently held a winemaker’s dinner and some of the guests were so captivated by the concept they’d even forgotten all about the wine.”

He confirms, with a smile, that the fish is not meant to be eaten, that it’s just a garnish of sorts for the restaurant’s amuse-bouche, a bite-sized treat before every meal (the phrase is French for, literally, ‘‘mouth amusement’’).

Haywood was barely a week into his new appointment as the executive chef of Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur when he came up with the idea with chef de cuisine Michael Koh.

“We try to surprise the guests with the amuse-bouche; sometimes it’s a prawn salad with warm mayonnaise or mixed seafood with mango, or chicken fillet in a crispy basket,” he said.

Adam Haywood
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