Michelin starred Chef Igor Macchia from Torino, Italy is definitely one that dares to be different. He has a reputation of being a chef that loves to tour around the world, showcasing his divine creations. He is also known to have one of the best restaurants in Italy -- Ristorante La Credenza in Piedmont, the northern region of Italy.
Chef Igor made a pit stop in Le Meridien KL in July and we had the privilege of savouring his specially curated 4-course menu which were paired with Frescobaldi wines from Italy.
Here's little teaser before the real deal. We had a classic Caesar Salad to work up our appetite, featuring single serving of fresh crisp Romain lettuce with croutons and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
The second appetiser was a rich combination of high quality Beef Tartare, Lobster and Foie Gras. This was a robust mix of chewiness and creamy texture from the beef and foie gras, while the lobster added a nice sweet crunch to it.
Both these appetisers were paired with a glass of sophisticated flavour of Albizzia Chardonnay Toscana IGT 2015.
We started our main course with a gorgeous plate of earthly greens. On plate are some steamed green asparagus, fondue cheese with freshly shaved black truffle. We loved how the black truffle wasn't the dominant flavour on the plate, as it was balanced off well with the creaminess of cheese and a nice, bright and subtle earthy undertones from the asparagus.
Next, we were served a tender warm salmon fillet. The salmon was delicate and perfectly cooked with its flesh so tender and flaky, yet moist. This was served with woody, sweet and smoked mayonnaise miso and sesame. These two beautiful dishes were paired with an elegant stylish glass of Pomico Bianco 2016. Pomico Bianco are a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot with intense frangipani and jasmine aromas mixed with the fruity notes of apricot and quince.
Chef Igor definitely pleased us with this full-bodied dish of Saffron infused Risotto, Burrata, Pan-fried Prawns and Coffee Powder. The addition of coffee powder with all these savoury ingredients may be odd to some, but it turned out to be pleasantly satisfying.
Expect a rich buttery taste of burrata (a mix of cow's milk and cream), sweet and firm de-veined fresh prawns a bed a perfectly al dante cooked aromatic saffron risotto in this. The fragrance of coffee gave it a unique appeal which paired really well with a glass of Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2012.
With me being a foodie with an ever curious palette, my attention was caught when I saw the lamb marinated in coffee, as it was quite a rare sight. I presume the coffee was a good choice of marination as it cut off the gamey scent of the lamb and I could taste more of the spices and ingredients used in the marination. With that, a generous amount of creamy sweet corn ragout and freshly aromatic cress slightly tossed in vinaigrette were served alongside the lamb. The unusual combination of this main course did tickle my fancy, however it wasn't my favourite for the night.
My colleague had the other choice of main course which was the Grilled Wagyu Beef. I enjoyed this dish more compared to the lamb as there was a merry combination of sweet and tangy cherry sauce, velvety rich foie gras, all this served with a medium cooked wagyu beef seared with a hint of simple seasoning of salt and pepper. Non-complex marination such as salt and pepper on a high quality grade wagyu beef is enough to have your palette content and even more so when it's paired with a glass of Caste Giocondo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013, a full-bodied red wine made with the finest selection of Sangiovese grapes.
Ending our night on a sweet note with Chef Igor's signature dessert, a deconstructed tiramisu paired with an exquisite glass of Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2017.
Instead of the traditional tiramisu with layers of dipped lady fingers sponge in a liqueur an coffee mixture, sabayon along with cocoa, Chef Igor has put his own magic into his rendition of a tiramisu. He separated each of the components and turned it into one whole element on its own. All these were accompanied with an aromatic, sweet and sparkly wine made with grapes from the Treiso village in the Langhe region. The moscato was so good that we even bought a bottle back home.
This was definitely a memorable night with Chef Igor and the team from Le Meridien KL. Not forgetting those divine wines from Sunrise Wines.
For more information on unique wine pairing events as such, do contact Sunrise Wines & Spirits Sdn Bhd @ 03-6276 3993.
Lastly, if you feel the need to have an Italian gastronomic experience or simply need a romantic night out with your other half, Favola restaurant at Le Meridien KL will definitely not disappoint.