If you told me that I would be able to buy Malaysian-made caviar a few weeks ago, I would have laughed, thought it was a joke, and brushed it aside. But that was then and this is now, especially after having sampled T’Lur’s “tropical caviar” at a recent dinner collaboration at Southern Rock Seafood. It was evident that this was no joke.
“We are the first organisation to successfully farm caviar from sturgeon in South East Asia without the use of climate control, despite our tropical conditions,” says Shaun Simon, T’Lur’s head of marketing.
Modern French restaurant Entier and contemporary Asian eatery Sitka, avid supporters of local produce, are some of the first restaurants to serve T’Lur. If you’re looking to enjoy these briny black pearls at home, one can purchase directly from the producers themselves, with a 30g tin of Amur and Siberian caviar currently fetching RM500 and RM400 respectively.
According to the experts, the best way to experience the full depth of these precious eggs is to eat it from the back of your hand. “After getting your first taste, we should then play around with various condiments – egg white, egg yolk, shallots, chives and cream with water crackers,” Simon advises.
While the Tanjong Malim-based caviar producers served two types of Sturgeon eggs on the night of its collaboration dinner – Oscietra and an “experimental” MSG-laced variant – it was the latter that proved unique, with an appealing level of saltiness followed by an umami punch.
T’Lur’s farm in Perak is 3.3 acres, housing about 20,000 fishes, equating to a production rate of 25kg of caviar a month.
Simon hopes that this new Malaysian product will show the diversity and quality of our produce. “Our goal is to share the delights of caviar with the people of Malaysia and the world. Aside from making fresh caviar available any time of the year, we believe Malaysia has the vast potential to pave the way for this industry,” he says. “It will open up a whole range of employment opportunities for locals and will help to diversify local produce”.