The Soul of The South

Savour Chef Lino Sauro brings his sun-drenched, spi­ce­in­fused Si­cil­ian cui­sine to The Ritz- Carl­ton, Kuala Lumpur.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Savour -

Tak­ing up res­i­dence at The ritz- Carl­ton, Kuala Lumpur for five days in March, chef Lino Sauro trans­formed The Li­brary into a bas­tion of Si­cil­ian cui­sine. The award-win­ning chef be­hind Gat­topardo ris­torante di Mare in Sin­ga­pore ex­plained that he was in town to show­case the other side of Si­cil­ian cook­ing.

Go­ing over his four- course din­ner menu (priced at rm250, with a wine pair­ing op­tion at rm375 per per­son), Sauro re­marked: “our cui­sine used to have a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing very heavy, with lots of fat, bread and pasta. In the past 20 to 30 years, it’s be­come much lighter, which is what I’m try­ing to show­case. as an is­land, we re­ceive a lot of in­flu­ence from africa and Spain, and we have such in­cred­i­ble seafood to of­fer, like fresh am­ber­jack and lob­ster.”

His light­ness of touch was plain to see in the crisp arancini balls that were cir­cu­lated around The Li­brary be­fore­hand, and an amuse-bouche of an oys­ter with wasabi chips and avruga caviar. Mean­while, an ink-black dish of risone pasta with charred, cit­rusglazed oc­to­pus pre­sented a wel­come al­ter­na­tive to the stodgi­ness of risotto, lifted by a spicy tomato aioli – an al­lu­sion to Si­cily’s fiery spirit. a nest of capellini con ara­costa made a glo­ri­ous mix of an­gel hair pasta, nuggets of lob­ster, sea­weed and car­rot as an ode to the is­land’s mar­itime and fish­ing prow­ess. This, too, was re­flected in Sauro’s sig­na­ture Gat­topardo seafood stew, which came densely packed with prawns, lob­ster, fish, mus­sels and sliv­ers of oc­to­pus in a rich tomato sauce. rose pink slices of aus­tralian Wagyu with morel mush­rooms and a ro­bust horse­rad­ish sauce made a slight de­par­ture from tra­di­tional Si­cil­ian cui­sine, but matched a glass of vi­gneti Zabu Grillo Terre Si­cil­iane IGT su­perbly. Dessert took the form of a Si­cil­ian ri­cotta cheese­cake, more pop­u­larly known as a cas­sata, but with a wry twist – Sauro’s ver­sion re­vealed it­self to be a de­con­structed ver­sion cov­ered cheek­ily in freeze- dried rasp­ber­ries. www. ritz­carl­ ≠

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