Chef Sayan Isaksson Fuses Nordic and Japanese Influences At The Mandarin Grill Takeover

Chef Sayan Isaksson has accumulated Michelin stars with notable frequency, from his culinary pursuits in Esperanto and Imouto to his most recent endeavour, Nour. Having journeyed all the way from Sweden, Chef Isaksson is lending his culinary expertise to the Mandarin Grill in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur until 3 March 2024.

Chef Sayan Isaksson.

The Mandarin Grill takeover will delight guests with an exquisite fusion of Nordic and Japanese influences, echoing the culinary approach of Chef Isaksson’s acclaimed style at Nour. For this occasion, he has introduced a menu titled ‘Simply Scandinavian’, drawing inspiration from Asian street foods such as the Chinese Steam Bun, which is stuffed with Shiitake then served with cultured cream, as well as the Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savoury pancake topped with cabbage and elevated with winter truffles.

Coral Grouper Sashimi with Wasabi and Shio-Ponzu.

Recognised as the number one chef in Sweden, Chef Isaksson is also known as a culinary maestro who firmly embraces Nordic traditions, expertly infusing the age-old technique of cooking over embers and fire. The menu is further enriched with techniques borrowed from Thailand, a place deeply cherished by the chef as an adoptee. “We make our own fish sauce [versatile] for [delivering that] umami punch,” Chef Isaksson says.

Oyster ‘Taco’ with Caviar and Fermented Rice Emulsion.

And what an umami punch the dishes pack! The flavours are an instant hit, with standout favourites being the Marbeled Quail Eggs with eggplant and black garlic, which explode with delectable richness, as well as the Oyster ‘Taco’ accented by caviar and fermented rice emulsion, which will leave an indelible mark upon guests memories.

BBQ Quail ‘Farci’ with Bouqet Fumée and Braised White Turnip.

Aside from being celebrated as the ‘King of Broths’, Chef Isaksson proudly declares his love for mimicking the diverse forms found in nature. “I’m very into shapes of nature and I often try to imitate that in my style of cooking, taking inspiration from trees and leaves to creating edible oyster shells,” he says. This passion is reflected in the Pineapple and Coconut dessert, served alongside a Pineapple ‘French Toast’—I myself heard, and expressed, appreciative murmurs of delight.

And as for Chef Isaksson’s future plans, diners can look forward to exciting new ventures on the horizon. “I would really like to look into fast food, with a healthier approach featuring sushi elements but deconstructed into an ecological salad-bar. But we will see what I will end up with,” he shares. Additionally, Chef Isaksson has also revealed new elements that he’s been experimenting with in the kitchen. “I have a side project that involves a really tasty chili oil infused with a lot of chilies, of course, but also other spices such as cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds and long pepper.” It looks like the future holds a spicy journey in store for Chef Isaksson.

Red Snapper ‘Binchotan’ with Seaweed Cracker, and Koji-Beurreblanc.

Chef Sayan Isaksson will be in the Mandarin Grill in the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur from now until 3 March 2024. There are two lunch menus and two dinner menus, with the lunch menus beginning at RM158 for two courses and RM198 for three courses. The dinner menus begin at RM368 for five courses and RM398 for eight courses. Wine pairings are available with the dinner courses, from RM158. For reservations, contact +60 (3) 2330 8888 or email

Mandarin Oriental

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