Archives: Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2015 (01-31 October 2015)

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End of an Odyssey
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Qba Latin Bar & Grill
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Qba Latin Bar & Grill
Cuban Heaven
Your rating: None Average: 5

Stunningly decorated, stepping into Qba feels like you have been transported to a rustic centuries-old Cuba, as it is filled with pieces reminiscent of colourful pre-Castro Havana. Shortlisted in the KL Mayor Tourism Awards 2011, Qba is more than just a cosy restaurant; it also has a wine bar, cigar lounge and dance floor where one can salsa the night away.

Warmly lit and perfect for intimate get-togethers with close friends and loved ones, Qba serves up some of the best Latin cuisine in Kuala Lumpur. Described as a place “where you can do it all” by The Westin Hotel General Manager Ko Van den Hil, it was the perfect setting for the latest MIGF Publicity Dinner.

Beautiful table setting

Part of the prestigious group were two Festival Advisory Committee Members – Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Binti Al-Marhum Tuanku Ja'afar and Datin Winnie Sophia Low, as well as Tunku Datin Mir'atun Madihah binti Tunku Mudzaffar, Tunku Dato' Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah and Tunku Dato' Johanez Bin Tunku Annuar, Euzelle Executive Chairman Tan Sri Dato' Paduka Dr Othman Merican, Dato’ Ahmad Nordin Abu Bakar, International Medical University Director Vijay Vijendra Sethu, Navis Capital Founder and Managing Partner Nicholas Bloy and his lovely wife Claire among others.

Rocio Beltran, Tunku Datin Mir'atun Madihah binti Tunku Mudzaffar, Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Binti Al-Marhum Tuanku Ja'afar and Datin Seri Maneesah

Dato' Kee Hua Chua, 
Jaslena Ahmad, Datin Seri Maneesah, Tunku Dato' Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Razman Hafidz Abu Zarim, Tunku Dato' Johanez Bin Tunku Annuar, Datin Sarah Abdul Latiff, Dato' Ahmad Nordin Abu Bakar, Datin Winnie Sophia Low, Puan Sri Sylvia Shazia Merican and Tan Sri Dato' Paduka Dr Othman Merican 

Nicholas Bloy, Vijay Vijendra Sethu, June Lee and Claire Lee Bloy

Puan Shuhainie Shamsudin, Amin Dato’ Abdullah and Datin Su Wai Fun

Brian Tham and Vivien Beh

Datin Winnie Sophia Low and James Beltran

At the bar, against the backdrop of rows of glass cases dressed with champagne bottles flown in from France, the guests sipped Imperial Moet and sampled the various canapés, enveloped by a cloud of dry ice – a nod to the Galactic theme.

Sumptuous canapés from outerspace...

Ko Van den Hil welcomes the guests to the MIGF Dinner

MIGF Organising Chairman Dato' Steve Day introduces Chef Rudy Juaidie, one of the chefs for the evening

They were then led through arched hallways to the two tables in the dining area, partitioned from the rest of the restaurant by black lacquered screens, where they sat down to a complimentary sparkling rosé from Sante Digna before the meal began. Fresh cumin bread with a paste made of roasted tomato, chili and olive oil, was also served.

Fresh cumin rolls

Chefs Jasper Chow and Rudy Juaidie were in charge of preparing the night’s Galactic-skewed menu and dished out the first course of the night; the qwehli prawns duet – an appetiser consisting of prawns served raw and crusted with quinoa.

Qwehli Prawns Duet: Quinoa Crusted on Peruvian Causa and Calamansi cured on Chunky Avocado-corn Salsa

Another ocean-inspired dish came next – the rocoto seafood chowder with scallops, clams and cod, the light texture of which appealed very much to Vijay Vijendra Sethu, who enjoyed its multi-layered flavours.

Rocoto Seafood Chowder: Cod, Scallop, Bamboo Clams, Assorted Seaweed, Homemade Squid Ink Fettucine

The soursop palate cleanser was a head-turner, as it was set on a glowing ice sculpture featuring a carved tocororo bird, a national symbol of Cuba. Several guests stopped to take pictures and marvel at the design.

Tunku Dato' Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah takes a picture of the soursop sorbet palate cleanser

Soon the main courses were underway. The first was the red mullet with edible crystals – which went beautifully with the Pedro Ximenez beet emulsion – and the pabellon latino; which consisted of a beef eye fillet and Wagyu cheek slow cooked in carmenere, which Melewar Holdings Deputy Chairman James Beltran found “absolutely spectacular.”

Red Mullet with Edible Crystals with Pedro Ximenez Beet Emulsion, Braised Fennel

Pabellon Latino: Beef Eye Fillet, Stuffed Hearts of Palm, "Sofrito" Choron and Wagyu Cheek Slow Cooked in Carmenere, Golden Beet Puree, Artichoke Chips

At this point, several of the dinner party had moved from one table to another, laughing and chatting among each other. The atmosphere was indeed a jovial one.

Most were so caught up in their catch-ups that they nearly missed the Tarta de Manjar Blanco, the dessert which Tunku Dato' Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah had been waiting for all evening.

A chef prepares the Tarta de Manjar Blanco dessert; made with Dulce de Leche and Oreo Cookie Cake, Caramel Ice-Cream

It was a gorgeous design, evocative of our solar system, with the oreo cookie cake acting as the planet while the chocolate netting set atop it reminded one of the rings of Saturn. As a final treat to the guests, pralines in the shape of cigars were handed out with a complementary Torres brandy.

Then it was time for the evening to wrap up. MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day closed the night, inviting Festival Advisory Committee Member Tunku Dara to make some comments. She remarked that it was good to be back at Qba, a place many used to meet and catch up. She also congratulated the chefs on an amazing menu and led everyone in a round of applause.

Tunku Dara enjoyed the food very much!

To end the night, the party soon found their way to Qba’s heaving dance floor downstairs, where there can be no doubt they really did dance the night away, while savouring some of the delicious cocktails on offer.

Lots of love for Qba!

Dining on the full Festival Menu at Qba is RM220 nett per person without wine, and RM380 nett per person with wine. To view Qba's Full Festival menu, click here