Delicious servings of beef and lamb at Le Meridien’s Prime.

Level 5,
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
2, Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-22637434/email
Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday),
6.30pm to 10.30pm , daily.
No pork served.

IT IS not often one gets to experience the complexities of steak. There is more to a piece of meat than meets the eye, according to chef Peter Van Es, the guest chef at Prime, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.

Van Es, who has helmed the kitchen since Monday, has been showcasing his exquisitely crafted Australian produce, namely wagyu and lamb, in a special a la carte and wine pairing dinner menu.

Expect more than the garden-variety sirloin or ribeye, as Van Es will dish out alternate cuts like ribs, brisket, flank and rump.

“Alternate cuts have more flavour. If a chef has the correct skills and techniques, he can produce beautiful dishes. Most of the items on my menu involve slow cooking techniques, but it is important to know which technique to use to get the best out of alternate cuts,” said Van Es, who hails from Sydney, Australia.

He has vast experience working in hotels, including Le Meridien, Hilton and Amora.

Van Es had previously won an exclusive scholarship to work with Michael Roux at the three-star Michelin restaurant, Waterside Inn in Britain where he was commis chef and chef de partie.

His passion for food eventually got him stints at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin star restaurant — Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Britain and also trained at Lenotre in France.

Van Es also hosts master classes for young aspiring chefs, and is a regular consultant, who manages Australian promotions for Meat and Livestock Australia and Stockyard Beef, Queensland in various countries.

He stresses on the fact that only high quality meat is used at PRIME, like wagyu.

“You can really tell the difference when the meat is of good quality. The marble count, for example, doesn’t have to be high in the nines for the meat to be good. It tends to be very rich and livery, whereas I would prefer grain-fed cuts. Most wagyu, have a marbling score of six, and it’s about experiencing different tastes,” he added.

We were treated to Van Es’ tasting menu, which comprised an entree of Confit Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad, Wagyu Flank Steak and Olive Crumble; Beef and Green Peppercorn Dumplings, Beef, Tarragon and Tomato Consomme; Medallions of Lamb, Lamb Neck “Bavette”, Dates, Pistachio Praline and Carrots as the main course; and a delectable Apple Charlotte and Jelly, Sweet Beef Floss with Yoghurt Ice Cream for dessert.

I never expected beef and olives to be a good combination but the wagyu and crumble worked well. The soup was a light and flavourful consommé that was simply good. The burst of flavour from the beef dumplings made it scrumptious.

The lamb in the main course was rare and tender. The “Bavette” involved coating the lamb neck braised in lamb jus in a layer of panko, then deep-fried. The meat filling was juicy and savoury and lovely with the pistachio praline.

Beef and green peppercorn dumplings, beef, tarragon and tomato consomme.

Beef and green peppercorn dumplings, beef, tarragon and tomato consomme.

When we saw that dessert also included beef, some of us were initially sceptical. The beef floss had a texture similar to beef jerky, but in a delicate, refined way. The combination with the Apple Charlotte — poached apples nestled in a brown bread crust (think a cross between apple pie and bread butter pudding) was clever.

Dinners can also expect mouth-watering dishes like Braised Brisket Croustillant with Turnip and Shitake Ravioli; Roasted Spiced Wagyu Rump Cap with Green Peas, Onions and Gnocchi and Brulee Custard, Beef Sweetmeat, Filo, Hazelnut and Orange, to name a few.

The wine pairing menu is at RM450++ per person and ala carte from RM48++ onwards. The promotion that ends tomorrow, is available for dinner only.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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