Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Guest Chef at The Library: Francisco Araya - The Ritz-Carlton KL

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur kicked off the highly anticipated Guest Chef Dinner Series 2018 at The Library with an all seafood ensemble by award-winning Chef Francisco Araya.

Based in Shanghai, Chef Francisco, of Chilean descent, is currently the Executive Chef of fine dining restaurant NAPA Wine Bar & Kitchen. His impressive resume also includes stints at Alegre restaurant in Chile and 81 Restaurant in Tokyo where he was awarded 1-Michelin star for the casual fine dining restaurant serving borderless cuisine with a mix of Latin American, European and Asian influences. Chef Francisco has also spent a season at the legendary 3-Michelin starred restaurant El Bulli in Spain under the tutelage of world-renowned Chef Ferran Adrià.

Chef Francisco will be cooking at The Library for five days (from 6th to 10th March 2018). During this time, he will be presenting a seven-course menu showcasing modern European cuisine with the highlight firmly on seafood dishes.

Our luncheon began with a quartet of amuse bouche, including Crispy scallop with herbs, Smoked celeriac hen egg, Shrimp with tomato and watermelon and Beetroot tartlet along with a glass of crisp San Feletto Prosecco Brut. A myriad of different, interesting textures - crispy dehydrated scallop sheet, smooth creamy celeriac, crunchy shrimp and a crisp tartlet, to whet our appetites.

You can never go wrong with an oyster and caviar pairing, further enhanced by a light cauliflower espuma and a glass of Vionta Albarino Blanca.

Scallops make an appearance again on the menu, this time receiving the ceviche treatment and served with ginger and cilantro. Below the scallop ceviche are seared scallops, for different texture and taste. Paired with the Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.

Arborio rice is cooked in a spinach and clam chowder stock, giving the Arroz Verde a vibrant green hue. The al dente rice is then topped with Carabinero shrimp carpaccio as well as deep fried crispy prawn legs.

My favorite dish of the afternoon was undoubtedly the Shrimp with yuba, caramelised onion and dill. The shrimp was impressively huge, with a wonderfully crunchy texture and was simply poached to allow its natural sweetness to shine. A smooth celeriac puree is hidden beneath the yuba (soy milk skin) and topped with crunchy caramelised onion. The prawn and onion, eaten together, gives the sensation of having Asian shrimp paste. This, and the Arroz Verde, were complemented by the Vina Muriel Reserva Blanco Viura.

Our final main of the afternoon was the Japanese orange sea bream, pan seared to give it a nice, crispy finish. It was served with two rather complex tasting sauces, squid ink and prawn bisque as well as calamari and zucchini blossom stuffed with prawn mousse. Paired with the Ventisquero Reserva Chardonnay.

For a sweet end, a glass of sweet Roustabout Late Harvest Viognier to go with the decadent Pandan financier with pandan ice cream, white chocolate foam, and a Late Harvest jelly.


Available from 6 to 10 March from 7pm until 11pm, the seven-course dinner is priced at RM350nett per person with an option of wine pairing at RM500 nett per person. For reservations and enquiries, please call +60 3 2142 8000 or email

Location: The Library, Level 1, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2142 8000

GPS Coordinates: 3.146901, 101.715438


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