Meet Simon Chen, the new Executive Chef of Hilton Bahrain, as he talks about his love for the Gulf region, why Hilton is ‘the way to go’ and how his Malaysian roots have influenced his cooking.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary industry?
My passion for the culinary industry was sparked by my family, especially my late father. Helping him prepare meals from a young age and the significance of family dinnertime left a lasting impression. As my love for cooking grew, I discovered the joy of creativity through ingredients. The combination of family influence, cherished memories and culinary exploration fuelled my career choice. Food’s power to bring people together and create lasting experiences continues to inspire me.

Your previous stint was also with Hilton in Doha and now, Bahrain. What major brand characteristic do you resonate with?
Hilton offers a variety of options for different luxury levels and full-service experiences. Whether you want something fancy or a comfortable stay, Hilton has got you covered. They prioritise customer satisfaction, maintain high brand standards and provide exceptional hospitality. If you’re looking for a fantastic hotel experience, Hilton is the way to go. They excel in accommodations and making guests feel at home.

As someone who’s lived in the Gulf for many years, how has your experience of the region been?
The Gulf region is well-known for its incredible cultural heritage, blending the best of traditional and modern values. And let’s talk about the food! The culinary scene in the Gulf is a true reflection of the region’s diversity, offering a rich tapestry of flavours and traditions.
When it comes to lifestyle, it’s all about striking a balance between tradition and modernity. You’ve got the fancy shopping malls, top-notch restaurants and luxurious five-star hotels that add a touch of glamour. But at the same time, there’s a strong emphasis on family values and community.
So, whether it’s savouring the delectable cuisine, exploring the modern attractions or cherishing those precious moments with family, the Gulf region has it all. It’s a captivating blend of old and new that truly makes it a special place to experience.

Is there a signature dish that reflects your Malaysian roots that we can try at the restaurant of Hilton Bahrain?
It’s none other than the mouthwatering Malaysian Curry Laksa! This dish is a spicy and creamy noodle soup that’s a big hit in Malaysia.
My version is made with a flavourful, spicy coconut milk-based broth, scrumptious noodles and a medley of amazing toppings. Think succulent shrimp, tender chicken, boiled eggs, fresh bean sprouts, long beans and so much more!
If you’re a fan of bold flavours and a little kick of spice, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this bowl of deliciousness. Swing by Origin Kitchen & Culture whenever you’re in Juffair and give it a try during your next brunch outing! ✤