Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series kicks off with CHEF FRANCISCO ARAYA’s showcase of Modern European Cuisine.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Guest Chef Francisco Araya

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is delighted to kick-off the highly anticipated Guest Chef Dinner Series 2018 at The Library with award-winning Guest Chef Francisco Araya. Chef Francisco, of Chilean descent and a maestro in the culinary scene, is set to curate a stunning seven-course modern European cuisine showcasing a fine selection of seafood dishes.

Based in Shanghai, Chef Francisco has built a remarkable reputation in the industry with fine dining restaurant NAPA Wine Bar & Kitchen where he is presently the Executive Chef, Alegre restaurant in Chile and 81 Restaurant in Tokyo where he was awarded one Michelin star for the casual fine dining restaurant serving borderless cuisine with a mix of Latin American, European and Asian influences.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Guest Chef Francisco Araya

Adding on to his impressive wealth of experience, Chef Francisco has also spent a season at the legendary three Michelin-starred restaurant El Bulli in Spain under the tutelage of world-renowned Chef Ferran Adrià.

The five-day promotion will see Chef Francisco meticulously crafting seafood specialties opening with a fanciful amuse-bouche of crispy scallop and herbs, smoked celeriac hen egg, tomato, shrimp and watermelon, beetroot tartelette, followed by mains – oyster served with caviar and cauliflower, scallop ceviche with ginger and cilantro, Arroz Verde consisting of Carabinero shrimp, Arborio rice and spinach, shrimp prepared with yuba, caramelised onion and dill and Japanese Orange Sea Bream with calamari and zucchini blossom.

 

Ladies and gents, let me walk you through this gastronomical journey of tastebud wonder. The meal begins with the Amuse-Bouche.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Amuse-Bouche

An assortment of seemingly unrelated ingredients on one plate, this was a fascinating combination of food pieces. There was beetroot tartelette which was a pastry topped with beetroot sauce, the flaky tartelette crisping up the sauce, shrimp soaked with tomato and watermelon and smoked celeriac hen egg, an egg like no other, something so unique we haven’t come across it before. It was an egg cracked open at the top and within, the egg, a texture with the likeness of cream and a curious, rich smokey flavour.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

But my favourite piece on this platter was the crispy scallop and herbs. Ever wondered what crispy scallop tastes like? It’s the ultimate and most satisfying crisp ever!

And don’t get me started on the flavour. The taste of scallop still fresh and present, leaving the taste of the sea in your mouth, a beautiful after-flavour to bask in.

 

The next dish is my absolute favourite!

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Oyster with caviar and cauliflower

A picture of simplicity, the Oyster Caviar and Cauliflower was a refreshing amalgamation of prime ingredients. All my favourite things come together on one plate!

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Feel your eyes roll back from orgasmic pleasure as you savour the succulence of the oyster and caviar bathed in savoury, yet not overpowering cauliflower sauce.

So much yum, the meal could have ended right there for me and still exude satisfaction.

 

Then came the Scallop Ceviche Ginger and Cilantro.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Scallop Ceviche

Another breath-taker, this uncomplicated dish was a play on fresh scallops soaking in ginger and cilantro sauce. The scallops, perfect and supple, had the ideal bouncy texture that begs the next bite, which I GLADLY took of course.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

 

The Arroz Verde was a unique rice dish, one that we Chinese Malaysians will not be accustomed to, but will be amazing to hop on for this spinach-filled ride.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

Arroz Verde

Garnished with deep fried shrimp leg, the rice itself does taste strange, starchier, drier and tougher than usual but definitely something worth trying.

Ritz-Carlton KL Guest Chef Dinner Series

 

The Shrimp Yuba, Caramelised Onion and Dill was a sight to behold.

Shrimp Yuba, Caramelised Onion and Dill

Probably the dish on the menu with the most grandeur, the tiger prawn displayed proudly across the platter dominated the entire set.

Superb presentation, the unique crafting of Yuba hiding the dill sauce from view was a fascinating and explorative dining experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the caramelised onions, their sweetness perfectly complimenting the mild refreshing supple flesh of the fresh tiger prawns.

The tiger prawn definitely was the highlight of the dish. Creating ambrosia in the mouth, it was at the brink of being raw, one that’s perfect for consumption.

 

The Japanese Orange Sea Bream Calamari, Zucchini Blossom was another impressive dish, playing on the interesting combination of vegetables and sea critters.

Japanese Orange Sea Bream Calamari, Zucchini Blossom

Chef Francisco managed to stuff prawns into a Zucchini.

Want to see how the master does it? Come in for a taste, he won’t disappoint!

The Sea Bream though, was disappointing. Slightly too salty for my taste, but texture-wise, PERFECT! Did not care much for the squid ink sauce present in this dish. Overpowered the simple flavours of the calamari and the sea bream.

 

A decadent dessert of luscious pandan ice cream, financier and late harvest concludes the culinary journey.

 

All in all, a spectacular meal, superbly crafted by Chef Francisco.

Kudos to him and his majestic creation and to Ritz Carlton for bringing fantastic chefs to come play in their kitchens! Looking forward to more Guest Chef appearances!

 

Available from 6 to 10 March 2018 from 7pm until 11pm, the seven-course dinner is priced at MYR350 nett per person with an option of wine pairing at MYR500 nett per person. For reservations and enquiries, please call +60 3 2142 8000 or email dining@ritzcarlton.com.my.

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