Chef Stefano Merlo hail from the kitchen of the acclaimed Rossini’s at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok, and brought with him a unique take on contemporary Italian cuisine at Favola from 15 – 21 April, 2012. There are over 20 menu items to choose from, and available only for dinner. Ala carte dishes are priced from RM 30++ to RM 250++, while a 4-course set menu is available at RM 300 nett per person or 4-course set menu with wine pairing at RM 450 nett.
We were among the lucky few to be invited to the cooking and tasting session with Chef Stefano last weekend.
Chef Stefano Merlo at Favola, Le Meridien KL
Chef Stefano is a native of Padua in northern Italy and has worked alongside with many highly regarded chefs in prestigious restaurants around the world. This includes Michelin starred Chef Alfredo Russo from “Il Dolce Stil Novo”, and respected Head Chef Toshikazu Tsuji from Enoteca Pinchiorri in Tokyo.
artichokes fritata in preperation
The good chef prepared three dishes for us to sample during the cooking demonstration – Artichokes Fritata, Seafood Risotto, and Milk Risotto with Cherry Parfait.
First, the artichokes fritata, a very interesting preparation of perhaps the most mundane of all ingredients – egg.
- 12 eggs
- 100 gram cream
- 4 stalks of artichokes
- bread croutons
- shiso cress
First, fry eggs with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper but keeping the yolks slightly runny. Transfer the fritata in a blender and blend it with cream till smooth. Peel and clean artichokes and steam in oven for 30 minutes at 90c. To serve, pour 3 spoon of fritata and top with artichoke, crutons, shiso cress and extra virgin olive oil.
The only tricky part is that you need a culinary foam maker to make this fritata, but the result was a breakfast with very unique texture and a familiar taste, it was very nice.
seafood risotto, plenty of bisque is the key
Next was seafood risotto.
- 140 gram risotto
- prawns, scallops, seabass, baby squid, mussels, clams
- 200 gram clam and mussel stock
- 50 gram butter
- 50 gram parmesan cheese
- 10 gram chopped Italian parsley
- 1 gram lecithin
lecithin is used to make foam, and seafood prepared separately
Toast rice with butter and a pinch of salt, then cook with clam and mussel stock till rice is ‘al dente’ (slightly hard in the center). Remove from heat and add two tablespoon of butter, then mix rice with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Pan fry or grill the seafood (one by one as they have different cooking time). Make foam by using the remaining clam and mussel stock mix with lecithin (this can be omitted at home). Pour risotto in serving plate, mix seafood and foam to serve.
seafood risotto, almost too pretty to eat
The risotto took some 20 minutes or so to make, and the resulting dish was excellent. It was undoubtedly the best risotto I’ve tried. The generous amount of seafood stock used in the preparation of this risotto made it very rich and flavorful, but at the same time Chef Stefano kept it in check and not overpowering. Exquisite.
milk risotto with cherry parfait
milk risotto with cherry parfait is a dish that takes quite a bit of preparation and a pacojet to prepare, so I guess it is not very useful to share the recipe here, but if you have a penchant for unfamiliar taste, this dessert is a must order. I love it, but Haze find it unsuitable for her taste. It is milky, and has a texture not unlike porridge, but yet undoubtedly a dessert. Try it!
Saturday lunch buffet at Favola
After the cooking demonstration and a taste of all the three creations by Chef Stefano, we were treated with the Saturday Hi-Tea at Favola (RM 88++ from 12pm – 3pm).
The generous spread includes antipasti, salad, dessert, meat, seafood, risotto, pasta, bread, and fresh baked pizzas, and more.
i love the squid ink pasta
It was definitely a very fulfilling session with some familiar faces. Read what the others say.
KY, Haze, Evelyn, Suan, Horng, Mei, Josen
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470
Tel: 03-2263 7753