MIGF 2015 Review – Qba at The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Pearl and I headed over to Qba at The Westin Kuala Lumpur to try their special Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2015 menu.
Now Qba has been around for some years now and it was previously one of the happening spots where Latin dance enthusiasts would congregate for some wine and dancing. Obviously as I’m not much of a dancer, I decided to come try their special MIGF menu instead which was prepared by the restaurant’s culinary team together with Director of Kitchens, Chef Rudy Junaidie featuring a special 4-course menu that highlights the essence of Latin American cuisine through traditional ingredients in seductive modern presentations.
Qba Latin Bar & Grill consists of a Wine Bar & Cigar Lounge, a Latin Grill dining room, an Island Bar and an Alfresco dining area, steeped in Havana culture. With a Latino inspiration, Qba presents distinctive Cuban gastronomic experiences with fresh ingredients and rustic flavours, matched with a wide variety of rum blends and South American fine wines. The restaurant’s interior features charming Havana architecture, pre-Castro nostalgic fittings which are complemented by live Latin rhythms.
Chef Rudy Junaidie has enjoyed a long and prosperous career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, with roles dating back to 1995 when he started with Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort as Executive Sous Chef before taking over as Executive Chef. He then spent three years as Assistant Director of Kitchens at The Westin Kuala Lumpur, where he was a crucial member of the pre-opening team. His next challenge was Director of Food & Beverage at Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers, before returning to the kitchen – where his true passion lies – at The Westin Kuala Lumpur for a further four years and then two years with Sheraton Macao Hotel, the Starwood Hotels & Resorts largest global property.
With an impressive 20 years of extensive exposure and experience across various regions, Chef Junaidie now helms the culinary team as the Director of Kitchens of The Westin Kuala Lumpur.
Throughout his career, Chef Junaidie has competed in numerous Malaysian and international culinary competitions, often as Team Leader, achieving great success personally and as a team. Other career highlights include representing the Malaysia National Culinary Team in the World Cup Culinary Competition in Luxembourg and Singapore Salon Culinaire in 2002.
GAMBAS DE SUDAMERICA aka “qwehli prawns duet”
quinoa crusted on Peruvian causa, calamansi cured on chunky avocado-corn salsa
Paired with the Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado Rose Cava
Essentially prawns done two (2) ways – the first being a lovely fresh prawn and the other with a quinoa crust. Both were lovely and we ate them with the creamy salsa and sweet potato puree which added even more sweetness to the dish! The quinoa crusted prawn was quite interesting as the quinoa crust gave it a nice and crispy texture! The way to eat this dish is from the bottom to the top!
The cava was refreshing, dry and with a hint of sweetness and notes of fruits and citrus. Went so well with the prawns while the fine and persistent bubbles refreshed the palate with every sip.
FIDEO A LO MACHO aka “rocoto seafood chowder”
cod, scallop, razor clams, assorted seaweed with homemade squid ink fettucine
The chowder was nice and light and not the creamy and heavy type which is usually quite fattening! We were pleased to see a lot of seafood inside the pot before the broth was poured in. Flavourful and not cloyingly rich, this was a nice and hearty dish that went well with the cava that is also paired with the appetizer. Seafood and cava – what a beautiful combination indeed!
SOURSOP SORBET (Palate Cleanser)
I don’t normally say much about palate cleansers but this one was so addictive that I pretty much finished it! The tart flavours totally refreshed the mouth and got us ready for the main course.
SALMOTENE aka “red mullet with edible crystals”
“Pedro Ximenez” beet emulsion, braised fennel
Paired with the Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay
A beautifully cooked and delicate fish that went well with the citrus notes of the berries.
The Chardonnay had a fresh and fruity aroma with dominant notes of peach, white plum, and grapefruit, with touches of toasted hazelnuts and paired well with the delicate fish.
PABELLON LATINO aka “beef eye fillet”
With stuffed hearts of palm, “sofrito” choron, “wagyu cheek slow cooked in carmenere” with golden beets, artichoke chips
Paired with the Miguel Torres Cordillera Carmenere
This was my favourite dish of the night. A gorgeous and tender fillet and a 48 hour sous-vide wagyu beef cheek which literally melts in the mouth. Both were just bursting with flavour and really…I didn’t quite bother with anything else on the plate besides the beef. They were simply so so awesome! I must come back to Qba to try their steaks another day. If you eat beef, do yourself a favour and order this main. It’s not that the fish is not delicious, but this beef is just heavenly!
The Carmenere is a wine that expresses the character of the Carmenère varietal with hints of forest fruits, eucalyptus, and leather, with notes of torrefaction – laurel and clove – licorice and black pepper. Matched the awesome beef well and added another dimension in flavours.
TARTA DE MANJAR BLANCO
dulce de leche & oreo cookies cake with caramel ice cream
Paired with the Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro
This creative dessert is meant to portray the planets in our solar system in line with this year’s MIGF theme of “Galactic Chefs”. I’m not much of a dessert person but I finished up the whole thing (much to my own amazement). It was the combination of ice cream, caramel, oreo cookies and chocolate that made this one irresistible dessert.
The Moscated is a sweet dessert wine with aromas of orange blossom, Turkish delight and honeyed fruit, accompanied by delicious spicy notes of tobacco leaf and clove. A nice pairing with the dessert but you can’t drink much of it because it’s so sweet!
The special MIGF 2015 menu at Qba runs throughout October 2015, and is priced at RM220.00 nett (without wines) or RM380.00 nett (with wines).
Chef Jasper Chow started his culinary career in Dubai at a young age in the butchery of The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi. His passion for food and his natural culinary talent soon saw him advanced as a Commis in the award-winning restaurant Tang of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi. Under the guidance of Tang’s Executive Chef Stephane Buchholzer, Jasper was trained in the conventions of molecular cuisine for fine French dining.
Chef Jasper’s spent six (6) years working for various renowned restaurants and 5-star hotels, before returning to Malaysia to become the Junior Sous Chef in Qba Bar & Grill of The Westin Kuala Lumpur.
He is excited to be able to work with new ingredients and spices making Cuban and Latin American food, applying his experience and unique cooking techniques to this very down-to-earth and traditional cuisine.
Qba is a really romantic spot to bring your date to and if you have a special occasion to celebrate in October, you might as well take advantage of the MIGF menu at Qba to have an unforgettable dining experience.
Qba Latin Bar & Grill is located at:
Lower Ground 1 & 2, The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: +603 2773 8338
Monday to Thursday (5.00pm – 1.00am)
Friday to Saturday (5.00pm – 2.00am)
Closed on Sundays
Photos shot with the Leica C. Read more about it at https://timchew.net/2013/11/19/leica-c-launch-with-malaysias-hottest-bloggers/