Basque Sweet Green Chili Marinated in Garlic & Olive Oil
Recently, I was lucky enough to dine at Max! Kitchen and Wines when they did one of their special Seafood and Spanish Cava nights. In collaboration with Spanish Passion which brings in Spanish wine and food products, it was a great gastronomic experience. It was also extra special as we got to sample the cooking of visiting Spanish chef, Miguel Zurriaga. He is here for a few cooking stints including the recent Spanish promotion at Melia Hotel.
Delicioso! (that's Spanish for delicious, a word I can't spell backwards!)
Sadly not all my pictures turned out hence I had to discard those blurry ones. I guess when you're drinking non stop wines, champagne and sherry, the hand tends to get less steady. Company was also excellent and we got to meet new friends who are very much food enthusiasts. Precious Pea who was the one who informed us of the dinner also enjoyed the food thoroughly so look out for her blog entry with the full set of pictures.
Green and Black Olives
We started out with the tapas menu with 8 types that quickly filled us up. First, it was the excellent Green and Black Olives from Aragorn Piparras. Totally unlike those ones you get on our supermarket shelves, these were slightly tangy and had a firmer texture versus those mushy and overbrined ones. If you're a regular at Max! Kitchen and Wines, you'll see these olives in his salads and culinary creations.
Boquerones with Cherry Tomatoes, Mojama with Idiazabal Sheep Cheese
We all loved the Basque Sweet Green Chilies - marinated with just garlic and olive oil that was so divine. Just pop one in your mouth and savour it slowly. Next we had the Boquerones with Cherry Tomatoes on a toothpick. The Boquerones are sardines which I had tried before for Max!'s set lunch. The Mojama, the same filleted salt cured tuna Max uses with his scallops were paired together with sheep cheese and a piece of soft bread. Really good stuff especially drizzled with a bit of olive oil.
Wood Roasted Piquillo Peppers with Scallops and Black Sauce, Gratinated Fresh Cod Fillet a la Zurriaga
Next it was the Wood Roasted Piquillo Peppers with Scallops and Black Sauce. It was served together with Gratinated Fresh Cod Fish Fillet a la Zurriaga. The scallops were excellent with the pairing of mellow and sweet tasting red peppers. Topped with dill, the cod was flaky and I liked the cheese crust on top.
Warm Crabmeat with Green Asparagus Emulsion
The piece of resistance was the Warm Crabmeat with Green Asparagus Emulsion. Served in martini glasses, everyone on the table went wow! After we tasted it, it was wow again. What made it so good was the fresh crabmeat and excellent olive oil drizzled on top.
Martini glass filled with Warm Crabmeat with Green Asparagus Emulsion
I sprinkled part of the thyme sprig and it tasted even better. There was a general sigh of content after everyone finished their portion of this. One more dish I missed out in the tapas line up is the Aioli and Potato Mash with Bacalao. It reminded me of the Fish Brandade I had in Cuisine Studio since it uses Bacalao - salted cod but this version was smooth versus the more chunky version I had tried before.
A portion of Portobello Mushroom Coulis laced Seabass Fish with Spanish Bell Pepper Salsa
For the main courses, it was seafood all the way. Sadly my pictures got blurry here. We had the Rosenberg Sweet Water Prawns with Duck Tongue Clams. The clam shells are shaped like a duck's beak and look within it for clams that kinda resemble a tongue. Paired with the huge water prawn, we experienced a cholestrol high as they used the prawn roe to make the sauce. Max called it the most cholestrol laden dish in Kuala Lumpur. Next was the Salsa Verde Venus Clams with Artichokes - big clams topped with artichokes and cooked with a herby sauce. The clam juices were a bit too salty for me though. Then we had the Portobello Mushroom Coulis Laced Seabass Fish with Spanish Bell Pepper Salsa. It was served like a whole fish and served to us individually.
Last but not least, dessert was served. First time I'm eating cheese this way - slices of Montesinos Goat Cheese is served with Four Berries Marmalade. It kinda resembled strawberry yoghurt topped with a savoury melt in the mouth cheese slices. Paired with the smooth Alvear Sotera Cream Sherry, it made a memorable end to a superb meal.
For the wines, we were served Cristal Brut Cava with the tapas dishes, a Segura Viudas Lavit Rose Cava and Segura Viudas Brut Vintage 2003 (champagne). It was a fantastic meal and we even celebrated Max! Kitchen and Wines' first anniversary. Really can't believe they have been in business for one year as it seems like just yesterday we first visited this place. Although this is a one off dinner since Miguel has flown back to Spain, you can get the wines and Spanish produce from Spanish Passion.