Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yummy Avanti!

One of the really cool things about my job is that I get to do a couple of food reviews each month...yeah I know...dream job huh? This time around I was fortunate enough to sample Chef Stefano's(Avanti Restaurant) creation for the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival. This is a festival where 30 chefs from a variety of restaurants in Malaysia create set menus to demonstrate their creativity and style. This takes place from 2-30 November if any of you are interested...I've listed the link at the end of this post if you want more info.

Once I arrived I was seated and presented with a choice of fresh fruit juices. I went with my favorite of course, PINEAPPLE! The chef then came out to sit with me and explain the reasoning behind his menu. He wanted to create something traditionally Italian with a new twist. I told him I was ready for anything he had to throw at me...then again when do I ever say no to food?

The meal started off with a Smoked Truffle Flavored Tomato Jelly topped with Herb Goat Cheese and served with a Rucola Salad. After the first bite I already knew that this was my favorite dish. It tasted like summer...vine fresh tomatoes...creamy pungent cheese...crisp salad greens...and the really interesting part was that the tomato was in a jelly form and it worked really well!

Next came a Consomme Pavese with Braised Venison Ravioli, Parmesan Crouton and Egg Yolk. Now I'm not generally a fan of raw/gooey egg yolks and here the Chef was eagerly standing over me waiting for me to break it and mix it up with the soup. According to him Italians eat this for added energy. I thought what the heck and I did it...surprisingly it somehow worked for me. I think the other flavors incorporated in the soup helped with that. The Venison Ravioli was very tasty little treasure at the bottom of the dish.

For the main course, I was able to sample both choices of mains to give me a better idea of Chef's overall menu. The first was a Pan-Seared Fillet of Turbot with Flower Capers and a Sundried Tomato Salad. This was very light and citrusy and I really enjoyed the extra zing the capers gave to the flavor.

After that followed a Whole Grain Mustard Sirloin Steak with Artichoke, Mashed Potatoes and Black Pepper Jus. I've always been a sucker for meat and this did not disappoint. The steak was juicy and done to perfection and I loved how the Artichoke gave it a very Mediterranean flair.

And of course what would any meal be without dessert? I was presented with a Saffron Creme Brulee on Berry Moelleux with Caramelized Baby Apricot and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The caramelized Apricot was my favorite part! It was so sweet and tangy and melted in my mouth...drool...

Oh I almost forgot to mention that the meal was paired with wines as well. For the appetizers I had a glass of Saltram Makers Table Unwooded Chardonnay and with the mains I had an Annie's Lane Copper Trail Shiraz. Both were very light and complimented the meal well.

All in all I had an amazing time and I would recommend that you try out the festival menu while it's still available! Although there are so many great restaurants participating that you might have a hard time deciding where to go. Check out http://www.migf.com/ for more info.


Christy said...

Wow....such nice presentation of the food:)
And a nice blog you have too!~:D

Dwiana P said...

landing for the first time at your blog here. Those pictures absolutely make me drool. nice presentation.