Chef Dan Moon of The Gainsborough Bath Spa in England, the recipient of three AA Rosettes (UK), is in KL this week! As part of the popular Guest Chef Dinner Series held at The Library at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur diners are promised a taste of Britain, without the airfare, from the 24th to 27th of April.
With a strong resume behind him, Chef Dan has led many a prestigious kitchen such as Hunstrete House, the Homewood Park Hotel (previously known as Von Essen Hotel) and Ston Easton Park. Three AA Rosettes, The Caterer’s Acorn Awards and Von Essen Chef of the Year are highlights of his career, and his current helm, The Gainsborough Restaurant, has been voted as one of the Top 100 UK Restaurants at the 2018 Tatler Restaurant Awards.
Chef Dan Moon presents a six-course menu with a contemporary British theme, while the charming Brian Benson, hotel manager of The Gainsborough Bath Spa, is our host.
Guest Chef Dan Moon’s Degustation Menu at The Library
A classic British French dish kicks off the menu with Chicken Liver Parfait. Chef gives it his own Dan Moon flare with almond granola, orange sorbet and chicory. It’s not your traditional pairing but the textures and mix of sweet and bitter marry well. Metala Single Vineyard Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon from Langhorne Creek chaperones with a rich, full-bodied number usually seen later in a meal. Still, its berry scent and flavours, and soft tannins play well with the parfait and layers of tastes in its accompaniments.
The second course is one of chef’s favourites; Caramelised Onion Velouté with Pané Quail’s Egg, Wild Mushrooms, Truffle and Hazelnuts. It’s robust and thick and just the right amount to make us satisfied yet pine for one more spoonful. After the powerful red liquid introduction, things are toned down a notch with a glass of Cecchi La Mora Vermentino. Grapes grown along the warm sunny coast of Tuscany give this wine an impression of summer with ripe fruits and a fresh fragrance.
The fish used in the Smoked Salmon Ballotine just so happens to be sourced from the same region as Brian’s Scottish ancestors. Smoked on single malt oak casks, the flavours are enhanced with the presentation of a swirl of hickory smoke below a glass bell. A petite cylinder of soft pink flesh is arranged with horseradish mousseline and topped with tiny spheres of yuzu caviar and coriander. Hubby adamantly claims that this is, “the best salmon dish he’s had this year.” I have to concur that, “it’s darn good.” Ingoldby Chardonnay from McClaren Vale is balanced in both creamy textures and fresh citrus, which in turn mirror and complement the supple salmon and yuzu bursts. The lovely stone fruit bouquet bridges a summer theme to the previous wine.
I should pause and mention here the wonderfully pleasant atmosphere of The Library. The space is intimate with one long centre table seating ten people, flanked by smaller tables seated with soft armchairs and plush sofas. The most fantastic travel, design and culinary library fill the bookshelf walls and live jazz music hums in the background providing a buffer to the low hubbub of guests’ voices and cutlery clinking on plates.
The main is chef’s nod to his Asian hosts with Roasted Duck Breast accompanied by duck leg confit spring roll, a rich plum sauce and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds. As Dan insists on making everything from scratch – no cheating – the plums have been boiled down for nearly four hours to produce the thick rich sauce. It has just the right balance of fruitiness and acidity, partnered with a luscious viscosity. We’ve heard that GM Brian himself was responsible for some of the stirring of the plum sauce and hubby has found it extremely enticing. “There’s no skill involved, it’s just patience,” Brian humbly confesses. Red wine is back on the agenda with a glass of Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG, and rightly so with the rich presence of the main. This medium-bodied wine offers dark berries on the nose and follows through with supple tannins in the mouth. While it will never be a protagonist itself, it provides a friendly stage for the poultry to shine upon.
The perfect intermediary between main and dessert is a cheese plate of Goat’s Curd with house-made lavroche. Crumbled toasted walnuts, pickled apples and apple pure balance the profile and prepare our profiles for the sweet conclusion. All of those lovely tropical fruit aromas typical of New Zealand sauvignon blanc are present in abundance in the Huntaway from Marlborough, the pairing for the cheese. Its liberal palate makes it a flexible mate, doing equally well at the beginning of a meal, or towards the end, as is the case here with the classic goat’s cheese partner.
I’ve reached that age where I don’t usually finish dessert. A small spoonful of sweet (or better yet a glass of wine) is typically enough to draw my meal to an end. This Dark Chocolate Ganache, however, does not stand a chance. I scoop up every last drop, unashamedly scraping the plate to catch the final flavours of the peanut butter mousse, banana ice cream, salted caramel popcorn and scrumptious velvety ganache. Brian notices my pleasure and confirms, “With chocolate, you generally can’t go wrong.” Another wine rich in perfume is found in the pairing with KWV Classic Collection Moscato. It continues with a fresh, sweet palate and holds on with a mild tang in the finish. In a rare change of habit, however, I change sides barely taking a sip of the wine, completely satisfied with dessert.
Freshly brewed coffee or tea are included in the price if you so choose.
The six-course dinner is available from the 24th to 27th of April from 7 pm until 11 pm, and is priced at MYR350 nett per person with an option of wine pairing at MYR500 nett per person. For reservations and enquiries, please call +60 3 2142 8000 or email [email protected]
Reasons to dine with Chef Dan Moon @ The Library: A chance to taste dishes from an award-winning British chef without the airfare; fine service and intimate setting of The Library;
Chef Dan Moon, The Library
The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2142 8000
Check out some of the other chefs in the Guest Chef Series @ The Library, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur by following these links: