MIGF 2012: Steaks at Qba Latin Bar & Grill, Westin KL

When I met the bubbly Chef Pearl during the MIGF Gala Launch, she had proudly declared that she serves the best steaks in KL.

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Now, that’s akin to waving a big red flag to my insatiable carnivorous self. And with the sheer amount of restaurants in KL and PJ, that is a very big claim.

I stepped in last week for a preview of her craft. And boy, what a meal it was! 🙂
BELOW: Qba Latin Bar & Grill is a gorgeous and romantic venue.

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The MIGF menu gave me a very good opportunity to witness Chef Pearl’s diversified skills in the departments of meats, seafood, soups as well as her interpretation of some South American/Spanish cuisine.

Qba Latin Bar & Grill

While some of us may be familiar with Kobe, the famous breed of cow in Japan revered for its flavourful fatty meat, Master Kobe is however, an entirely different breed though it shares HALF of the same name. Master Kobe beef comes from purebred Wagyu cattle from Australia which are strictly grain fed. Their marble texturing is considered just as delicate and their meat just as flavourful.

Qba Latin Bar & Grill serves a variety of beef so do head in to choose your poison. For me, I sampled their Master Kobe and Angus that night for my mains.

A Concerto of Beef: Braised Beef Cheeks, wild mushroom confit, beef jus. Grilled Australian Angus Rib-Eye, braised shallots, cabrales cheese sauce. Master Kobe sirloin, tomato and goat cheese cannelloni, red pepper oil.

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These items are available from the ala-carte menu but in bigger, single portions making the MIGF menu a great option if you want to sample more in friendlier prices. This amazing trio of bovine goodness was superb in every way possible and I’m hard pressed to select a favourite.
Still the Angus Rib-Eye, braised shallots and cabrales cheese sauce shoned the most for me followed by the master kobe sirloin. For the succulent rib eye, be sure to savour everything from the sweet braised shallots to the meat and wipe every bite with the rich cabrales cheese sauce; which is akin to blue cheese but pleasantly flavourful and not as strongly pungent.

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Below: Don’t ignore the braised shallots!

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The deceptively simple looking tomato goat cheese canelloni was lip-smacking good. “Add-ons” and sides for each of the dish Chef Pearl prepared are never only for visual appeal but serves to elevate the overall dish when eaten with the main; as it should be. I guess I’m one of those who couldn’t understand foams and smoke and bubbles (read: molecular gastronomy).

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Below: Last but not least, the fork tender beef cheeks.

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Wine Pairing: The reds came marching in!

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One red for each of the trio on the platter : Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2006; Marques de Riscal reserva Tempranillo 2005; Chivite Coleccion 125 reserva 2005. 
The full wine pairing menu for QBA’s MIGF menu is RM370++ per person, which is a steal considering the amount of wines we had that evening!

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Chef Pearl’s menu impressed me from the beginning; starting with her tapas from the pre-cocktail session.

Below: Pre-cocktail tapas – Master Kobe oyster blade roll.

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For pre-cocktails, I joined QBA’s Wolf Blass wine night one of QBA’s wines and cigars nights happening every Wednesday and Fridays for the month of October.  For RM80++, wine and cigars aficionados are pampered with free-flow featured wines of the night and tasty tapas from QBA grill. Do check out the calendar of events by giving them a call – +603 2773 8338.

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For the Wolf Blass session, I met and drank and learnt much about this fine Australian wine. For RM80++, QBA’s wine nights are a steal considering the networking opportunity, learning experience, the master kobe and the other varieties of tasty tapas and of course, the non-stop flow of wines.

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Dinner commenced with freshly baked bread paired with a lovely dip. A glass of delightful passionfruit concoction serves to whet the appetite.

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An inkling of the dinner to come came in the form of dainty tapas, one of which was the Master Kobe oyster blade roll I sampled earlier at the pre-dinner cocktail. The marbling was exceptionally good and made this a succulent mouthful. The basil marinated salmon was drizzled with among other things; sesame oil (surprising I know!) which lent a pungent nutty aroma but gelled perfectly with the fruity sweet watermelon. The feta on top gave a creamy mouthfeel to the overall ensemble. Remember to savour all at once to appreciate the myriad of flavours and textures!

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Wine pairing: A glass of crisp Codorniu Clasico Brut NV to wash it down. I just love Spanish wines in general. 🙂

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More delightful bites came in the form of a smoked salmon parcel with habenero chive aioli, beef empanada and brie croquetta; all which disappeared instantly into my mouth.

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BELOW: Cross section of the smoked salmon parcel with habenero chive aioli – not your average smoked salmon for sure!

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Wine Pairing: Torres Gran Vina Sol 2010. 

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Another trio waltzed in shortly after. Chef Pearl’s trio of imaginative soups were served just as creatively.

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Each round glass holds different ingredients within and 3 variations of soups were poured in each at your table. The first, a Mexican inspired tomato soup was vibrantly tangy while the creamy pumpkin bordered on rich and comforting. The least creamy of the trio was the seafood Peruvian chowder but was the most flavourful due to its intense seafood stock. If you have read about my Peruvian Gastronomy Week buffet yesterday, you would recognise the Peruvian ingredients of corn in this! 🙂

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My favourite? The velvety pumpkin, so sweet and fresh!

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Wine Pairing: NA.

Other than than the beef, the other main on the MIGF menu The Symphony of Seafood features the best of the sea as the Concerto of Beef has with the land.

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I attacked the cod first, loving the moist flesh and crispy skin topped with Chef Pearl’s amazing tomato relish where one of the key ingredient is a pepper she had imported, roasted, dried on her own for her “special pepper powder“.  The scallop, tiger prawn and ocean trout was impeccable as well and being a fan of pepper based sauce, I loved the piquant and nutty romesco dip.

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Wine Pairing: Jean Leon Chardonnay, Vinya Gigi 2008; Vina Errazuriz Estate Chardonnay 2010; Matetic Corrarillo Chardonnay 2009. All whites.

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Stuffed silly by now, I resolutely made tummy room for dessert. QBA’s dessert tasting plate features Argentinian crepe roll, churros and hot chocolate, really sweet caramel ice cream with coconut creme caramel.

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BELOW: The Argentinian crepe.

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Next, the churros.

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Last but not least, coconut creme caramel; caramel ice cream.

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Dessert wine – the sweet, golden amber of Chivite Vendimia Tardia Blancho Cosecha 2006 is a white wine from Navarra, Spain and very pleasant in the mouth with its rich and creamy taste.

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Too stuffed? The Digestive by Glen Grant whisky should ease digestion.

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Thank you so much Chef Pearl for the sublime dining experience. I’ll be back for the lamb tasting platter and burger soon! 🙂

Full Festival Menu RM370++ per person (with wine)
Full Festival Menu RM220++ per person (without wine)
Light Festival Menu RM300++ per person (with wine)
Light Festival Menu RM180++ (without wine) *four courses

Qba Latin Bar & Grill, Westin KL
Tel: 603 2773 8338
Email: [email protected]

Monday to Saturday.
Bar: 5pm to 3am|Restaurant: 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Category : Food