Recently, we wrote about banker turned baker Zulkiflee Mawan who created an elaborate tiered cake for Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

A local establishment was also recently given the honour of serving another royal family member, not our own Malaysian royalty, but Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Dishes prepared by chef and owner Yeoh Kah Hock at the 32Mansion restaurant in Penang were served to the prince during the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2023 in Monte Carlo.

The Prince has reigned the Principality of Monaco since 2005, which is widely recognised as one of the most expensive and wealthiest places in the world. He is also famously known as the son of the late Grace Kelly, the American actress and beauty icon.

We spoke briefly to Yeoh about his distinguished guest and about how his unforgettable experience came about. 32Mansion restaurant is located near the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in a 1920s Italianate villa by the sea serving Western cuisine and selected Asian dishes. 61-year-old Yeoh has been interested in cooking since he was 12 and has worked in several hotel kitchens such as the five-star Rasa Sayang Resort.

Armed with his professional training background at the Ecole Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, Yeoh opened the restaurant back in 2000. He also owns a string of notable and picturesque Penang restaurants such as the Suffolk House Restaurant, ThreeSixty Revolving Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, and Chulia Court the Tavern under the YKH Group of Restaurants.

Speaking about how the eminent royal came to try his dishes, Yeoh shared, “A customer who became a friend, lives in Monaco. I have been visiting the beautiful city and my friend and this is my fifth time in Monaco. A prominent seafood restaurant La Pêcherie U Luvassu was chosen by the Hunting Club of Monaco to host the prince and the club members. I was asked then asked to serve a few Malaysian dishes as well.”

Coincidentally, our own Yang di-Pertuan Agong was a guest of the prince at the same time but was not present at the private dinner. According to the Istana Negara’s Facebook page, His Majesty was there by invitation of the Prince and was even seen onstage during the prize presentation ceremony.

The dishes that Yeoh served were nasi ulam with braised lamb, kerabu bihun, and satay. When asked about which of the dishes he liked, the Prince said, “Look at me. I like everything.”

According to Yeoh, “The Prince was very friendly and down-to-earth, and he shook everyone’s hand including the staff as soon as he arrived. I had the time of my life being in this vibrant and beautiful port city being invited to cook for the Prince during such a glamourous event like the Monaco Grand Prix.”

Yeoh even had the opportunity to snap a photo with the Prince. He also heard through the grapevine (the Malaysian ambassador told a close friend) that allegedly, the Prince even called our Yang di-Pertuan Agong to tell him that he had tried Malaysian food.

What an honour and it’s great that Malaysian food is being recognised worldwide! We hope that our cuisine and other amazing chefs will continue to make the country proud!

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Address: 32, Jln Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang