Think about it as a sensory backdrop to complement the food served, which is what Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur has created from the decorations to the events at each of its restaurants for Christmas Eve and Day as well as New Year’s Eve.
To get a sense of the upcoming holiday gastronomy offerings, a treat of festive samplings prepared by four of the hotel’s chefs — Ramiro Moya of Prime, Domenico Piras of Favola, Sazli Nazim Ismail of Gastro Sentral and Chong Huan Ling of Latitude/ArtCacao — was in order at Favola.
There was a celebratory feel in the air as the first dish was brought out — Moya’s Pan-seared Foie Gras, Citrus Meringue and Grapefruit Coulis — as it was not only a sight to behold but a welcome tease for the palate.
Never had I seen such an accompaniment but more importantly, an accomplishment in pairing bold-flavoured, contrasting ingredients.
The fatty foie gras and subtly sweet meringue may sound outlandish, but it worked, and Moya admitted he went through some trial and error with this dish.
“It was an experiment of different and unusual flavour combinations. The three predominant characteristics here are the fat from the foie gras, sweet from the meringue and tang from the grapefruit. “However, we could not steer too far away from the box because we still need to please local palates,” he said.
Next was Piras’ architectural mastery of the stacked Poached Boston Lobster, Red Onion Rings, Amoroso Tomatoes, Baby Potatoes, Fresh Basil, Maldon Salt and Extra Virgin Oil.
Gentle is the operative word for this dish, especially the lobster that was delicately poached in a stock with different herbs.
Moya made his appearance again in the main course with his 200-day Grain-Fed Australian Beef Tenderloin, Mascarpone Polenta Cake, Shaved Truffle and Kataifi White Asparagus.
The succulent meat melted in the mouth and like the foie gras, played the lead role in this richly flavoured ensemble.
The other choice for mains was Sazli’s Warm Apple Yuzu Smoked Duck Magret, Citrus Confit Duck Leg Roulade, Foie De Canard Gyoza, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Glaze.
This was “Christmas” laid out on a plate, with a clever play on duck prepared three ways.
Dessert was definitely concocted out of the box with Chong’s bold move in using blue cheese for a tart-like arrangement in the Warm Flan of English Stilton Cheese with Xmas Cookie Crumble, Truffle Raisin Flavoured Christmas Pudding and Fig Jelly.
She pushed the envelope with the Stilton, and it panned out, reflecting her skills as a pastry chef.
“Flan as we know is creme caramel, but I wanted to play with cheese, in this case blue cheese, and I had to be subtle as too much of it would have been bad,” she said.
There is a tart base for texture and structure, and Chong used Chantilly cream as well as praline powder on top of the pudding to add sparkle.
Gastro Sentral presents a three-course Christmas Eve dinner at RM188 nett per person and a four-course New Year’s Eve dinner at RM218 nett person that includes a complimentary entry to the year-end countdown party at Pool Bar & Grill@8.
Prime’s Christmas Eve four-course dinner is RM388 nett per person (RM428 nett with a glass of Champagne) and New Year’s Eve five-course dinner at RM488 nett per person (RM528 with a glass of Champagne).
Favola’s Christmas Eve four-course dinner is RM318 nett per person (RM348 nett with a glass of Prosecco) and New Year’s Eve four-course dinner is RM358 nett person (RM398 nett with a glass of Prosecco).
At Latest Recipe, the Christmas Eve buffet dinner is RM218 nett per person, Christmas Day brunch is at RM198 nett and buffet dinner at RM178 nett per person.
The New Year’s Eve buffet dinner is RM228 nett person, New Year’s Day brunch at RM168 nett person and buffet dinner at RM178 nett person.
Until Dec 31, ArtCacao at the hotel’s lobby has festive goodies such as Christmas stollen, gingerbread house, Yule logs, panettone, eclairs and puddings.
LE MERIDIEN KUALA LUMPUR, 2, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral. (Tel: 03-2263 7434).
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
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