What exactly are the flavours of spring?

At The Library, every dish comes with a story. Chef Wai who spearheads the fine dining restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur is passionate in expressing his philosophy and experience on a plate — each meticulously created with novelty, care and creativity.

In the season of Spring, Chef Wai invites you to “Journey into The Library” with its Spring Sojourn as he believes that every season tells a new story. Allow your senses to delight in new flavours of the stunning lineup of spring-inspired creations that front some of the most exquisite ingredients flown in from all over the world, as well as top quality local produce.

While there are ala carte items to choose from, we’d recommend the Tasting Menu for you to sample the best of spring in this 5-course meal — that also comes with a special wine pairing. But first, let us break down the dishes for you.

A Slew of Starters

In one deep breath, you’ll enjoy the lightness and ease of spring with a selection of Hokkaido Scallops or Tea-Smoked Sturgeon to start.

The scallop dish is absolutely divine as delicate flavours intertwine with the sweetness of homemade tomato jam and subtle taste of the sea. Pair this with the Frescobaldi Rémole, a white wine from Tuscany and you get a crisp accent to bring the flavours together.

Hokkaido Scallops

If you’re a big supporter of locavorism, make no mistake with the Tea-Smoked Sturgeon — undoubtedly the best sturgeon dish we’ve ever tasted by any local chefs. These sturgeons, farmed from Tanjung Malim, Perak are also known for its caviar. Here, Chef Wai cleverly introduces nuances of tea to elevate the fresh-water fish into an exquisitely tasting dish.

It’s paired with a select chardonnay from Victoria’s De Bortoli vineyards that is matured in oak barrel for six months — giving an intense body to balance the heavier notes of the dish.

When it comes to the White Asparagus, we are blown away by the beautiful scent of truffles, and enjoyed together with a newly introduced Famille Perrin Luberon Blanc from Rhône Valley that exudes a scent of full-rounded brightness as well as rich nutty and floral notes.

Veggies are not easy to cook but this dish showcases Chef Wai’s flair and finesse. Air-flown from Peru, these seasonal white asparagus are carefully prepared and poached in milk — resulting in a soft and delicate texture with great flavours to match.

Choice of Three Mains

Choose between the Corn-Fed Chicken Breast, Female Salmon or Wagyu Two Ways as your main course. If you’re the curious kind, the Female Salmon is definitely something that you’d gravitate too — how does a female salmon tastes like or is there a difference with male ones?

Most apparently, the flesh is fattier and more tender — but there’s no way you can tell an evident difference. In spring generally, salmon farmed in the wild from the sea is especially soft in texture and delicate in flavours. Enjoy its natural sweetness with plump oysters and a crustacean veloute that bind the flavours together.

For light eaters, the Corn-Fed Chicken Breast is a good choice. The flavours are bang on with layers of savoury notes taking over your palette. Double that experience with poached truffles that help intensify the protein, sous-vide to achieve a delicately tender texture.

If you’re feeling indulgent, the wagyu dish is a home-run. Grilled MB5 wagyu tenderloin and beef cheek braised in chef’s signature style are served with spinach puree and buttered seasonal vegetables — a perfect pairing that will never go wrong especially with a glass of shiraz from De Bortoli. Take a whiff and enjoy the umami fragrance. Taste wise, every bite is as comforting as having your classic meat and potatoes.

The Semai Chocolate Fondant comes with a touch of zesty orange to complement the rich chocolatey flavours.

Verdict

As you finish with a dessert of either the Artisan Cheese Platter with homemade fig marmalade or the Semai Chocolate Fondant that we’d absolutely come back for seconds for, you’ll find a sense of contentment that is not overwhelming. The menu is well-balanced and not overkilling your tastebuds.

The dinner concludes with a few interesting takeaways. One; there is a lot to appreciate when it comes to the simplest looking dishes that explode with complex flavours. Two; if the restaurant promises fresh ingredients, you are already one foot in to a memorable dining experience. And three; never be deceived by how a dish looks, especially in fine dining — there’s always an underlying component that never cease to surprise you.

A Spring Sojourn Tasting Menu starts at RM300 nett per person.

Martin Teo
Content Editor
Martin loves traveling the world to see ancient ruins and classical architecture. He enjoys the culinary experience of various cities but (still) refuses to eat anything insect-like. On a daily basis, he finds time hitting the gym to compensate for the amount of food he needs to eat just to write an article.