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Kuala Lumpur – Doubling The Deliciousness
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Kuala Lumpur – Doubling The Deliciousness
PHOTOS BY: Alvin Toh
Kuala Lumpur – Doubling The Deliciousness 04. July 2018, Photos by Alvin Toh
All in the family…

For two siblings to become chefs is a pretty rare occurrence. But for both to work in the same hotel is almost unheard of. Meet identical twin sisters, Pooi Fern and Pooi Fong, who grew up together, learned how to cook side by side and are now cooking their way through the pastry and Chinese kitchens at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

This hardworking pair started out as interns and worked their way to be Chef De Partie and Assistant Chef in their respective kitchens. Pooi Fern has a passion for baking while Pooi Fong loves the intricacies of making dim sum.

They both start and end the day together, and if one has a pocket of free time, she will help the other out in any way she can. In the high pressure working environment they both work in where the work is fast paced, intense and demands perfection all the time, it’s comforting to have someone who is always there to help. Most importantly, everyone who works at the Concorde Hotel consider each other as family, as a large number of the staff have been working there for decades.

Let’s look at a typical day for twin sisters.

0400hrs- The day begins before sunrise for the sisters, as they wake up to prepare for work.
Before they set out, a short chat with the family, including the family pet, is a must.
0500hrs-It’s still dark as they leave home, but they prefer to start the day earlier in order to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams as they head into the city.
0630hrs—The city is barely waking up as the sisters reach Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, where a long and busy day awaits.
 
0640hrs—The staff locker room is engulfed in silence, as the sisters are the first to get in to work.
0640hrs—The staff locker room is engulfed in silence, as the sisters are the first to get in to work.
0700hrs—Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even for chefs. The sisters are enjoying some breakfast from the buffet spread in the staff dining room.
0700hrs—Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even for chefs. The sisters are enjoying some breakfast from the buffet spread in the staff dining room.
1000hrs—The restaurant opens and the dim sum pushcart is rolled out, piled high with freshly cooked dishes. The content of the pushcart can only last for a few tables, and the chefs have to quickly replenish everything every 15 minutes.
Each dish is meticulously handmade, with the finishing touches added just before a dish is served.
1200hrs—1200hrs to 1300hrs is the most hectic time of the day, so the chefs and staff can only stop for lunch after 1430hrs when the restaurant closes for a break.
1700hrs—The chefs start preparing for the evening service, which begins at 1830hrs. They will often take turns to break for dinner as the evening service is just as busy as lunch.
 
1900hrs—The sisters call it a day, signing out and handing in their aprons before starting the long drive home.
1900hrs—The sisters call it a day, signing out and handing in their aprons before starting the long drive home.

The girls’ passion for food is obvious, as they love cooking for family and friends even on their days off. In fact, they will make it a point to check out other eateries whenever they are free, so they can constantly improve on their craft. According to Pooi Fong, her favourite dim sum eatery that serves up innovative fusion concoctions is Ruyi & Lyn Restaurant in Bangsar.

If you’re ever in Kuala Lumpur, remember to drop by at Concorde Hotel to experience some of the girls’ creations at Xroads Xpress, a calming oasis in the city, or Xin Cuisine, a favourite amongst locals and
the city’s expatriates.

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