Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur brings over Ricardo Chaneton, chef de cuisine at Restaurant Petrus in Island Shangri-La Hong Kong for a special Guest Chef takeover at Lafite. This marks the first kitchen takeover at Lafite whilst bringing a new dimension to the already established French fine dining restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.
Restaurant Petrus upholds a 28-year-long reputation on excellence in French haute cuisine and Chef Ricardo has applied his underlying principles in the preparation of the modern interpretation of classic French fare to complement the whole dining experience.
He now brings the same pizzazz to Lafite with a menu that harps on fine French cooking, beautiful fresh ingredients and bold flavours that resonate with the local palate.
Appetisers take on a refreshing route, both presented with most appeal and finesse. The Asparagus looks like art on the plate, presented in its organic form with a couple of raw asparagus shavings and microherbs as garnish. The taste, however, leaves you slightly gobsmacked with the introduction of honey yoghurt as it’s dressing. The sweet notes of Acacia honey paired with the tartness of grapefruit segments elevate the freshness of the asparagus that still maintains a pleasantly crunchy texture.
The second appetiser comes in a form of poached lobster and charred leeks. Again, simplicity is highlighted with two simple ingredients but the dish surprises with a green curry sauce.
“French cooking is very basic. Put together a lobster, potatoes and a sauce; you get a dish. Being exposed to the rich tastes and spices has allowed me to appreciate these strong flavours in Southeast Asia. In the menu, it is a blend of familiar southeast Asian flavours with modern French cooking,” shares the Venezuelan-Italian chef who reassures that he can handle the ‘heat’ in Southeast Asian cooking.
The winning component is the vibrant green curry sauce that lends a nice zing to the poached lobster. Enjoy together with the grilled baby leeks to get an extra soupçon of umami and smokiness.
Chef Chaneton proceeds by bringing out a 60K sterling silver presse to show how the lobster juice is extracted from the poached shells and heads. The glorious crustacean juice is served alongside a simple lobster tartare made using the meat from its claws — balancing the richness of the curry sauce.
The pressure point of this dish lies in the quality of each lobster. Even the best recipe may lack finesse if the main component is not as fresh as desired.
For mains, guests have a choice between a Crispy Japanese Amadai or the Australian Wagyu Sirloin A5. The former is an exquisite rendition that celebrates the sweetness of the fish, deep-fried quickly to ensure a crispy exterior while remaining succulent inside. The scales are also part of the cut, and it’s a crunchy delicacy that adds on a crispier texture to the fish. The dish is served with baby zucchinis and a lemon thyme sauce, garnished with nasturtium leaves for a nice peppery finish.
The wagyu dish, on the other hand, is a spectacle on its own. The meat, pink in the centre, is served with textures of Monalisa potatoes — mashed and fried — and a side of chimichurri sauce.
For desserts, diners can choose between the Spring Strawberry Eclair or the Valrhona Araguani 72% Venezuelan Chocolate. While the eclair maybe a tad simple — choux pastry filled with minced strawberries and topped with Madagascan vanilla ice cream — the textures of chocolate on the latter option is an elaborate platter to indulge slowly. The combination of cocoa ice cream, mousse and bitter orange jam is simply delightful to end the meal.
The dining scene in KL has definitely reached a threshold of optimism with more and more exciting dining events championed by luxury hotels in the city. Takeovers and guest chefs are really adding on to the vibrant dining experience here, with potential cross-pollination between local and international chefs.
At Shangri-La KL, it is just the start of many more exciting dining events to come. And this Guest Chef series with Chef Ricardo Chaneton lends a breath of fresh air to the familiar repertoire at Lafite.
Guest Chef Ricardo Chaneton’s exclusive fine dining experience at Lafite, Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur begins 19 March until 23 March 2019.