Since the Meiji and Taisho Eras, the most passionate chefs from the Land of the Rising Sun have been streaming to France to master the art of French cuisine while honing their technical skills and discovering new ideas. The same can be said for Chef Walter Ishizuka, whose impressive credentials include working at the 3-Michelin starred Gourmet Restaurant Lyon owned by the late French gourmet chef, Paul Bocuse.
During a brief stint at the multiple award-winning Prime Restaurant in Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, Chef Ishizuka gave Malaysian diners a taste of his creative take on French cuisine inspired by the flavours and textures derived from his Japanese heritage. To demonstrate this, the Chef prepared an exclusive 7-course dinner which explores the full-spectrum of his unique skills.
First up on the menu was a bowl of creamy California Veloute, a savoury sauce made from stock and thickened with a white roux topped with crunchy roasted almond and dribbles of precious lobster oil, where every lavish spoonful evokes visions of relaxing days spent lounging about at a private villa while taking in the ocean breeze. Up next was Vol-au-vent, a classic starter that offers just the right amount of bite to any delightful meal. Presented with perfect precision, Chef Ishizuka’s interpretation of the classic canapé involved stuffing the delicate pastry finely diced mushrooms topped with crisp rocket leaves and a generous sliver of aromatic truffle which is revered among foodies for its unique scent. This was followed by the unexpected dish of red tortellini. Unlike the classic recipe which features traditional meat as stuffing, this deliciously complex interpretation spices things up with sweet crab and zesty mango served in a delicate chardonnay and garlic emulsion.
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From the bountiful blessings of the seas, it was time to delve into earthier flavours that reside in the great wilderness starting with a flavour-loaded salmon dish. Enhanced by hints of miso, this hearty recipe came paired with a perfectly-grilled baby artichoke, gnocchi made from delicate beetroot and a zesty lime infusion. For those with truly voracious appetites, the astonishingly tender duck fillet with ponzu sauce is not to be missed. Served on a bed of soft truffle polenta alongside a perfectly poached blackcurrant pear, every sweet-yet-savoury bite is a moment worth savouring for as long as possible.
But of course, no French dining experience could possibly be complete without indulging in a little cheese and dessert. Rounding up his tribute to the intricate fineries of French and Japanese cuisine, Prime Restaurant’s second guest chef concluded the evening’s merriment by serving a humble platter of French cheese and figs chutney followed by a magnifique yuzu and lemon tart topped with crunchy hazelnut and mouthwatering meringue with a side of refreshing mandarin ice cream.
Prime Restaurant, Level, 5, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral
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