The Library at The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur recently unveiled an entirely new gastronomy creation exclusively curated by YTL corporate executive chef Wai Look Chow and Michelin-starred Austrian chef Johann Lafer.
The new dining concept evolved from one of Chef Wai’s most prominent international accolades, Two Friends – One Cuisine (Zwei Freund – Eine Küche), a coffee table book collaboration with Chef Lafer, with whom he shares an endearing friendship spanning 14 years.
The bilingual book (English and German) is available at The Library for guests to read at their leisure.
The eclectic culinary book was awarded 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 – the equivalent to the Oscars in the world of cookbooks.
The book is also a testament to the possibility of amalgamating different cuisines and cultures in total harmony, featuring Asian specialities infused with Austrian-German influences conjured by Chef Wai, and distinct Asian touches in Chef Lafer’s creations.
At the time, Chef Lafer said: “What an honour to have been bestowed the award.
Having come from a small Styrian village, this is a dream come true and proved that I have done something right in life.
“My close friendship with Chef Wai and YTL Hotels developed over the years, and the friendship is evident as you turn the pages of the book.”
Chef Wai added: “Chef Lafer and I have a unique bond, we inspire each other and have many fascinating memories which saw us exchanging ideas, creating new dishes with local ingredients, wandering through colourful vibrant markets, vineyards, tea plantations and much more.
“Each time we meet, we embark on a new culinary voyage.”
The dynamic duo make up what is perhaps the very best version of a dream team.
Now, they have both joined forces again to curate an exquisite culinary experience at The Library, bringing diners on a month-long gastronomic journey across Europe and Asia.
During a recent sampling, the evening unfolded with the appetizer, petuna ocean trout – also known as the “wagyu of the sea” – which possesses a creamy, succulent texture and a delicate, fresh flavour, served with watercress and bits of kelp.
Next came another ocean catch, the savoury and naturally sweet brown crab, served with avocado velouté, further elevating its flavour profile through a laborious process in which a distinctive medley of flavours and hues is obtained.
Then came the highlight of the menu – a wagyu medallion, which required Chef Wai’s methodical precision to achieve the tenderness on top of the inimitable marbling of the beef.
Utilising his ability honed through decades of experience in unlocking an ingredient’s utmost potential is key to delivering this delicate dish.
Of course, no hearty meal is complete without the chefs’ sweet – and deliciously decadent – passionfruit mousseline, perfectly paired with the bittersweet guanaja gâteau to balance the piquancy and tartness of the passion fruit.
The exclusive four-course menu is available every Monday to Saturday (7pm to 11pm) from now until Feb 28, and is priced at RM350 nett per person, with an option of wine pairing at RM450 nett per person.
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