It has been a while since Lafite at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur saw a guest chef arrive at their doorstep to cook up a storm. But this month, Lafite welcomed Venezuelan chef Ricardo Chaneton to their kitchen. For a short time period between 20th to 23rd March 2019, Chef Ricardo will present his delectable French creations to diners of Lafite.
The young chef comes to Malaysia from the bustling country of Hong Kong. There he worked as Chef de Cuisine in the prestigious Restaurant Petrus in Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong. Making it into Petrus is a high honour for Chef Ricardo, especially at his young age.
The menu that Chef Ricardo fashioned for Lafite consists of a choice of four-course meal or a six-course meal. The four-course option starts off with two appetisers. The Green Asparagus Salad with Grapefruit, Citrus Yogurt Condiment, Acacia Honey and Vanilla was the first to be served. It was the perfect palate cleanser to start the meal. The citrus yogurt condiment and Acacia honey was a refreshing mix that washes down the taste of wine that remained on my tongue after a few sips. The asparagus is nicely tender and goes surprisingly well with the yogurt.
Next was the second appetiser that Chef Ricardo demonstrated how he pressed the lobster essence out of the shell from a universal food press. He told us that he believes in not wasting his resources and makes sure that all he uses every part of the lobster. The meat from the tail is removed to form the beautiful dish known as the Poached Nova Scotia Lobster with Grilled Leeks and Green Curry Sauce. The claws of the lobsters were pulled apart and placed in a small bowl to be eaten with the essence that was retrieved from the lobster head and shell. All in all, the lobster had a delicious chewy well-cooked texture. Although I wished that the green curry sauce was either tastier or not even there as a condiment.
For the main, I picked the Crispy Amadai with Mini Zucchini and Lemon Thyme Sauce. This is the first time I have come across this fish, suffice it to say that the skin with its scale still attached was a novelty to me. Unfortunately for me, I enjoyed the fish without the crispy skin better as the soft flesh was well seasoned and cooked to perfection.
For dessert I was given the choice between Gariguette Strawberry Éclair with Madagascan Vanilla and Valrhona Araguani 72% Venezuelan Chocolate with Bitter Orange & Cocoa Ice-cream. As I do have a special spot for Valrhona Chocolate my immediate choice was the latter dish. The rich chocolate mousse is offset with a delicious bitter orange ice cream. This saves chocolate from getting too rich.
The experience with Chef Ricardo was one that shouldn’t be missed. Having started collecting multiple prestigious accolades throughout his short career, Chef Ricardo will see more great cuisine to come. Perhaps the next time the Venezuelan chef is in town, he would have mastered a new style of cooking that would further blow our minds.