The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur’s inspired culinary series, Two Friends-One Cuisine, continues at The Library, bringing two culinary minds together in a menu fusing different cultures and flavours.
The brainchild of YTL Corporate Executive Chef Wai Look Chow, Two Friends-One Cuisine is based on the award-winning coffee table book of the same title and Chef Wai’s literary collaboration with friend and contemporary, Michelin-starred Austrian chef Johann Lafer. The book won the Special Award of the Jury (Germany and Malaysia) and Best Cookbook of the Year (Germany) in 2014 at the annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, often hailed as the Oscars of the cookbook-publishing world.
This time, the series pairs Chef Wai with Japanese tastemaker, Chef Machi, the resident Japanese chef at Yukibana at Shook! This collaboration could not be more inspired, with fresh ingredients flown directly from Japan and deftly prepared, employing Western and Japanese techniques.
To start, petal-soft Bafun uni from Hokkaido becomes proffers its creamy texture and ocean freshness heightened by the buttery crunch of a toasted brioche baked in-house. The dish is served with distilled Amera tomato consommé scented with garlic and basil then garnished with semi-dried Amera tomato chips. The Japanese tomato’s berry-like tang and sweetness offsets the uni perfectly while a round of Izumibashi Junmai Daiginjo Tonbo from the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan lends a honeyed, elegant tinge to the proceedings.
The humble chawanmushi is given a fairy-tale transformation with the savoury custard made from free-range eggs and four-hour, slow-cooked chicken stock. The dish is pure culinary poetry when topped with steamed fresh Hokkaido snow crab and Japanese green onion shoots, a single Japanese gingko nestled within the chawanmushi. Koikawa Junmai Ginjo from Yamagata makes for the perfect companion with its delicate, floral notes of hibiscus.
Roasted rack of lamb and Japanese olive flounder are both showcased as mains. The former is prepared medium rare and drizzled with a shiro miso sauce, accompanied by a side of mashed Japanese eggplant and roasted Hokkaido bamboo sprouts. The lush blackberry and spicy oak notes of Bonpas Croix de Bonpas from the Côtes-du-Rhônes-Villages marry well with the lamb’s robust flavours and the smokiness of the eggplant.
Japanese olive flounder is the more nuanced dish where a fillet of flounder is carefully removed of its skin, then gently rolled in mashed prawn, seasoned with herbs and poached in its own stock before being presented with a lobster reduction and a light bean ragout. The award-winning Alkoomi White Label Chardonnay from Australia’s Frankland River provides the right match of fruity notes and flavours of green apple, nectarine and white peach.
The menu’s East-meets-West sentiments culminate in the Green Tea Mont Blanc, where matcha and chocolate mingle over an adzuki bean-layered tart shell, served with sweet adzuki bean ice cream.
Experience the new Two Friends-One Cuisine menu at The Library, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur at RM300 per person; or RM450 including the wine and sake pairing. Available from Mondays to Saturdays, till 13 May.