IN the spirit of preserving festive traditions amid modern times, a chef at a fine-dining establishment has found a way to include some traditions from his and his boss’ homeland while ensuring the culinary creations cater to contemporary palates.
“Italians usually eat more fish and seafood on Christmas Eve and enjoy meatier dishes on Christmas Day, ” said Francesco Fedrighi, the executive chef of Marini’s on 57, one of several restaurants established by The Marini’s Group founder Modesto Marini.
“The restaurant’s Christmas menu mainly features fish and seafood, but includes one turkey dish and a lamb option for the main course.
“Our New Year’s Eve menu is a bit more colourful. It is a celebration of flavours and a multi-course meal to slowly enjoy throughout a long evening.
“We have also included risotto, as grains of rice are a symbol of abundance and prosperity, ” said the 34-year-old from Verona with 17 years’ experience under his belt.
Fedrighi said this at a preview of Marini’s on 57’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus, which diners can enjoy as they take in an expansive view of the city from the restaurant’s sky-high setting.
“We enjoy creating quality dishes with personality, where the colours, tastes and aromas combine to create uniquely different dishes.
“We do our best to be innovative and creative but at the end of the day, we try to deliver authentic and fine Italian cuisine to the best of our abilities, ” he said, adding that this was in keeping with Marini’s vision of showcasing key ingredients yet remaining authentic.
The six-course Christmas dinner begins with an amuse-bouche of Tacos with Marinated Salmon, pickled vegetable and dill bearnaise, followed by an appetiser of Hokkaido Scallop on Parsnip Puree topped with black truffle shavings and caviar.
Tuck into some House-made Lobster Tortelli with macadamia nuts and citrus lobster foam, before moving on to seasonal treat Turkey Confit with roasted sweet potato foam and roasted cabbage.
For main courses, there is a choice of Coral Trout with cauliflower, leek gratin and shaved black truffle or a heavier Roasted Lamb Rack and Lamb Tartlet with porcini mushroom, truffle taleggio sauce and potato terrine.
An orange and basil sorbet is served to cleanse the palate, before indulging in Ivoire Chocolate Cremeux with rasberry sorbet and pistachio dessert.
The New Year’s Eve menu takes diners on a gastronomic journey with a seven-course dinner.
It begins with a trio of Wagyu Beef Bresaola served with Parmesan brioche bread and tarragon mayonnaise, Tuna Tartlet “Catalana style” and Potato and Mushroom “Cappuccino”.
The hot and cold platter is sure to whet appetites and set the mood for a celebratory dinner. A personal favourite was the air-dried, salted beef appetiser.
Savour briny hints is obvious in the Lobster Carpaccio with basil bearnaise, cherry confit tomato lemon zest and caviar. It is followed by House-made Wagyu Beef Agnolotti.
The agnolotti, a pillow-shaped pasta, is accompanied with
porcini mushroom, chives and shaved black truffle, and tastes absolutely divine.
The meal moves on to Carnaroli Risotto enhanced with shaved white truffles from Alba.
For main courses, there is a choice of Cod Fish with macadamia nuts, roasted cauliflower and caviar or the heavier Wagyu Tenderloin Marble Score 9 with parsnip, leek gratin, morel and mushroom sauce.
Next are the Truffle Taleggio with toasted brioche bread and Strawberry Sorbet with classic Italian sponge cake with elderflower essence.
The meal ends with a decadent serving of Hazelnut Cremeux and Sponge Cake with vanilla gelato, truffle essence, truffle slices and gold dust.
The Christmas set dinner is available on Dec 24 and 25, priced at RM480++ per person.
The New Year’s Eve set dinner is available only on Dec 31, priced at RM980++ per person for non-window seating and RM1,180++ per person for window seating.
A vegetarian menu is also available, priced at RM480++ for Christmas and RM628++ for New Year’s Eve.
MARINI’S ON 57, Level 57, Menara 3 Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2386 6030; website: marinis57.com). Business hours: 6.30pm to midnight, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.