Chef Walter Ishizuka Adds French Touch and Japanese Flair at Prime

Pairing Flavours

Classic French dishes and delicate Japanese flavours were united in a single menu when Chef Walter Ishizuka made his debut at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s award-winning restaurant, Prime, between 21 and 25 November last year. Behind his bold, simple flavours was an impressive resume that offered an insight into his cooking. In his hometown of Lyon in France, he was mentored by the three Michelin-starred chef Paul Bocuse, then went on to hone his skills at Hotel Ritz’s L’Espadon in Paris and Brasserie Joel in London.

“Food is evolving and restaurants are constantly moving, so it’s always good to have a guest chef. This is about sharing what I learned and what I know,” Ishizuka remarked. Of his lunch and dinner menus, his most indulgent offering – a seven-course dinner (priced at RM650 with wine pairing) – reached for a harmonious fusion of two distinctive culinary cultures. Although Ishizuka’s starters were solidly French in style, ranging from a cauliflower veloute to a mushroom and truffle vol-au-vent, he swiftly introduced elements such as miso to a main of salmon, baby artichoke and beetroot gnocchi.

The gaminess of a duck fillet was lightened by a sharp ponzu sauce, accompanied by truffle polenta and pear poached in blackcurrant. Meanwhile, a sprightly yuzu and lemon tart came with hazelnuts, bite-size meringues, and mandarin ice cream. A velvety glass of Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rouge ‘Sauvage’ 2012 made for a well-chosen partner to the duck fillet, just as a golden-hued Carmes de Rieussec 2013 rendered a fig chutney and French cheese platter all the more delicious.

Le Meridien

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