By Eu Hooi-Khaw
It was a pleasure to taste the finest cuisine of Spain’s brightest culinary star, Martín Berasategui. The chef, who has a total of 12 Michelin stars, incorporates his creations into the lunch and dinner menus at EQ Kuala Lumpur’s Sabayon through 24 November. You must visit four Berasategui restaurants in San Sebastian, Barcelona, Ibiza (Spain) and Tenerife in the Canary Islands to taste everything on the dinner menu.
As he was unable to physically attend, Etxego Ibiza’s head chef, his protégé Paco Budia, presented his signature style of panache berasategui at Sabayon on a menu curated by him. Complexity, depth of flavor, texture, exquisite flavor and presentation perfection are part of Berasategui’s cuisine. So it was 3 star appetizers for us – Caipirinha-soaked melon (from Michelin 2 star MB Tenerife), seaweed potato chips (1 star, Oria Barcelona) and fried brioche (EtxegoMore Ibiza, Michelin Guide). There was a sweet, citrusy bite from the melon lightly soaked in a rum-like liqueur. I submerged it in a nice brioche.
I was blown away by the cucumber mayonnaise, black garlic ice cream and jalapeño foam with tuna. The sweet black garlic ice cream, contrasted with the salty jalapeño foam and cucumber mayonnaise, sent ripples through the mouth.
Seabass with mashed potatoes, green sauce, citrus mist and mollusks was also delicious.
Tender, mellow and moist sea bass harmoniously blends with the other components on the plate. This is a dish from a three-star restaurant named after Martín Berasategui in San Sebastian.
The beef tenderloin with chlorophyll sauce, cheese pieces and perigueux sauce was excellent. Sauce is the definition of a chef and Berasategui deserved his three Michelin stars for this creation.
The beef tenderloin looked chocolatey and tasted smooth and creamy, gelled in a rich, complex and exquisite Perigueux sauce garnished with black truffles and a sophisticated chlorophyll sauce garnished with asparagus.
The ensemble black truffle shavings complemented it. The rich flavor of the cheese sauce is perfectly balanced.
Then served as a taste cleanser before dessert was a classic gin fizz with echego strawberry granita. We enjoyed a wonderful dessert of coconut ice cream with compote.
Mignardises, or petit fours, rounded off a wonderful dinner accompanied by wines, including an award-winning Barbaresco that we loved.
A native of the Basque Country, Berasategui also owns the Eme Be Garrote restaurant in San Sebastian, the Orla Martin Berasategui restaurant in Bilbao and the Fifty Seconds Martin Berasategui restaurant in Lisbon.
‘Flavors of Spain’ dinner is RM688+ per person. Wine pairing can be added for RM328+, or a total of RM1,016+.
Lunch menu is RM328+ or RM428+ with wine. Meal wines include Champagne Baron de Rothschild, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Albert Bichot Chablis, and Whispering Angel (Côte de Provence rosé).