Thursday, October 11, 2012

Peruvian @ Cesar's Ritz-Carlton

There were three fine chefs from Peru, who reached KL not by canoe; they brought with them limes from Lima, and left us in a food coma.

Thanks to the Ritz-Carlton for this invitation to check out Peruvian Gastronomic Week, which runs through Oct. 16 at this Bukit Bintang hotel's first-level Cesar's restaurant.

Culinary wizards led by Chef Rafael Lopez-Aliaga of the JW Marriott in Lima are working major South American magic in Southeast Asia, conjuring platters of ceviche, pots of creamy potatoes & glasses of Pisco Sour cocktails for nightly buffet feasts.

Recipes here reflect gastronomic globalization at its richest _ centuries of crop cultivation in Peru interposed with Italian, Chinese & Japanese immigration to create food that traces its lineage not only to Arequipa but Florence, Guangzhou & Okinawa too.

Corn-laced rice & shrimp-laden soups, citrus-cured seafood & cilantro-stewed meat in exotically esoteric recipes whose names won't roll easily off our tongues but whose flavors slide ecstatically over our taste buds.

For customers craving "choros a la chalaca" _ Peruvian port-style mussels steamed with salsa _ taking a taxi to KL's Ritz-Carlton is mercifully more convenient than booking a KL-Amsterdam-Buenos Aires-Lima flight.

Have it raw (or not): "tiradito," uncooked tuna with avocados in a spicy sauce, sharing a counter with meticulously stewed seafood in yellow chili gravies.

Duck, beef, chicken & lamb, prepared with herbs & spices carried by the chefs into KL. Some of the flavors here are familiar, others tickle our palates and imaginations with tantalizingly unrecognizable components (what's a Huacatay leaf?!?).

It might seem impossible to pull oneself away from the plump scallops at the ceviche section, but save space for cakes & puddings, all fascinatingly flavored too.

From mousse tinged with "lucuma" subtropical fruits from the Andean valleys to meringue topped with "cherimoya" _ famously hailed by Mark Twain as "the most delicious fruit known to man" _ these make a fitting finish to this fine feast.

Bid "buenas noches": Pisco Sours (grape brandy, lime, syrup, egg white & Angostura bitters) or for teetotalers, the "chicha morada," a complex beverage of purple corn, pineapple, cinnamon & cloves. The buffet's RM180++ price tag includes two servings.

Peruvian Gastronomic Week @ Cesar's,
Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2142-8000

34 comments:

  1. really inspired with the pictures!!!! So beautiful all of them

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    1. cquek: thank you! but i'm afraid my pics really don't do full justice to the food, which is exuberantly vibrant! :D

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  2. Must be nice trying all these Peruvian food, since we don't get much of it in KL.

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, you're right, this is definitely worthwhile. there are one or two peruvian dishes available at la boca latino bar at pavilion, but this week's buffet promo at the ritz-carlton offers a fuller spread =)

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    1. TNG: my favorites are the scallops and the potatoes in the spiced-up sauces and the fruity cakes :D

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  4. I never tried Peruvian food, all above sound so rare to me..but it does look delicious...

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    1. Cindy: if you're able to make it for this buffet at the ritz-carlton by tuesday, this would be a really good chance. but if not, hopefully there'll be another opportunity someday =)

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  5. hehehehhehe nice little rhyme you've got there! :P wow! the dishes look and sound so foreign to me!! Just googles cherimoya and they look like custard apples!!! :D do they taste anything like custard apples??

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    1. Vien: i'm a limerick-lover. but i don't get enough chances to write them :D ooh, they might have a bit of a soursop-ish tangy lusciousness to them. and a ripe pulpiness too! =)

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  6. The food looks good! Hope the food we have in Peru will be as good as these. :P

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    1. CK: i think you'll be able to taste a lot more than this during your holiday! this might be only 10 percent of what you'll enjoy during your few weeks in peru. now i want to follow you there! :D

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    2. Hahaha, come come and join us lah, buy your air-ticket now! :P

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    3. CK: aiyo, i was hoping you would say that you would buy my air-ticket for me lah! :D

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  7. wahhh that looks really good. i'm going tonight :D

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    1. KY: make sure you have only a very light lunch, cos you're gonna wanna save space for lots of great food tonite! i wish i could return! :D

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  8. Best night out ever!! LOL. A great write up, and what excellent food.. can' t ask for more! :D

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    1. Ciki: this definitely is one of the most memorable buffets! now i'm wishing the argentinian embassy would follow suit with its own gastronomic week too, heh !:D

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  9. I've been twice already and if I could squeeze it in I'd head over there every night until it finishes on Tuesday. Maybe we can work together to kidnap one of those chefs and make them stay in KL. :-)

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    1. The Yum List: heh, you're right, i usually don't have much desire to return to buffets, but i'd gladly make a beeline back here (maybe i will next week, though it'd be a tight squeeze). heh, or maybe one of these chefs might fall in love with KL and decide to stay here (am crossing my fingers)! :D

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  10. Peruvian .. I also have not try it before..
    look delicious..

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    1. Simple Person: it's a very interesting cuisine. peruvian food used to be available at ristretto restaurant in mont kiara, but that restaurant has closed, unfortunately...

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  11. If i eat your photos, will it remind me of that night?! Great night, great food :)We should starts a ceviche appreciation society!

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: heh, i'm trying to figure out whether it's possible for me to make a return visit to this buffet! and i'm betting we'd find many potential members of a ceviche appreciation society there :D

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  12. The dishes all look utterly good...Indeed I have to agree that taking a cab to Ritz Carlton is certainly easier than a flight to Peru! No reason to miss this...

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    1. Missyblurkit: we must thank the peruvian embassy and the ritz-carlton for combining forces to make this buffet possible! some of the tastiest food i've had this month! :D

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    1. Lemonadelime: a very attractive buffet :D

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  14. Prettylicous food! At 50, I am ashamed to say I have not paid $180 for a single meal on my own !
    Certainly wish to have opportunity to savour such a meal ! Thanks Sean !

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    1. Wong: yeah, it's very expensive, but i think this one is worth the price, since the chefs brought many of the ingredients with them from peru. i hope you'll have the chance to try a meal like this sometime =)

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  15. Wait... what do you mean by 2 servings? For two?
    Everything looks great especially the Ceviche section! Also wouldn't mind trying the stew too.

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    1. Kelly: ohh, each customer gets two glasses of the pisco sour cocktail =) oh yeah, i've been thinking about the ceviche everyday for the past few days. and the stew is great too, very warming :D

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  16. wow i've never seen these cuisine before, let alone taste them. This is really something out of the ordinary!

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    1. Eiling: yeah, and the promotion is still on for another two days, so there's still a chance for everyone to try it :D

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