Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Relaunch Of Cava's Menu

Being the peasant that I am, I always thought Cava meant Cave, in some language.  Maybe it does, but certainly not in Spanish, where it actually is the Spanish sparkling wine of Denominaci√≥n de Origen (DO) status, most of which is produced in Catalonia, (cut and pasted from Wikileaks Wikipedia), I guess in much the same way sparkling wine from Champagne is called Champagne, and only those from Champagne can be called that.  So if you're going to use grapes from Genting Highlands to make sparkling wine, no, you cannot call it a Cava.  Maybe BatuCaves can la.

An invite from Peter Yew, the high powered fella who is in charge of most of the restaurants along Jln Bangkung, is always a welcome invite, for there is always a promise of good food, wine, and company, not necessarily in that order.  And new menu launches are always exciting, although, truth be told, as I age, I am getting less adventurous, and am happy with half boiled eggs every morning.

We start with their signature red wine Sangria.  I'm not a sangria fan, because I find the whole concoction too sweet.  That's the God honest truth.  We had a choice of red or white sangria.  Unlike the normal stuff you see elsewhere with fruit floating around like flotsam and jetsom from a sunken vessel, this one didn't have any debris that might choke your vocal chords as you imbibe. 

What the Cava management had done was, to get a guest chef from Spain, the very lovely Chef Maria Elena who spent three months training the chefs of Cava KL to produce authentic Spanish cuisine. 

I wonder if her most asked question during her tenure was, HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM, CHEF MARIA? (To the tune of Maria in the SOUND OF MUSIC).  Somelier Jonathan Lim also explains to us the various wines that were to be paired with the dinner.  Meanwhile, Ciki and I were fidgety and couldn't wait to lap up the wine, instead of the sangria.  Shameless we are.

We were seated at this little nook in the restaurant, kind of like a private dining area.  The picture of the wolf on the snow, is topic for discussion...is it dying? Is it napping?  Do wolves (or is it a dingo) sleep with their eyes open? 

The chic and tasteful interior of Cava.  Pictures of various diners, not necessarily celebrities, adorn the walls, across from a well stocked bar. 

Maria says that with our balmy hot weather, the idea of a cold soup shooter would be refreshing.  Of course, cold soup goes against the grain of every Asian, and in particular, Chinese tongue, whereby if the soup doesn't scald your tongues, it needs to be sent back.  But when in Spain, do as the Spanish do.  The wonderfully refreshing carrot tomato soup titillated our palate for more food. 

Pulpa a la Gallega, Spanish octopus with potato, lightly dusted with paprika.  The texture and taste of this Spanish tentacled creature is amazing.  Unlike some of the rubbery stuff that wash up on our local shores, manufactured by Dunlop, this octopus is tender, and flavourful, almost as if it was spawned by abalone and err...very young calamari. 

Patatas Bravas With Cava's Famous Chilli Padi Pesto - For the brave, spicy tomato & Aioli.  I loved the chilli padi pesto, and reckon Cava should bottle and sell it.  The baby potatoes are so flavourful, crunchy yet soft, creamy almost.  Apparently this is a staple tapas in Spain.  I wouldn't know, as the closest I've been to Spain is...Italy.

Grilled Asparagus With Romesco Sauce, a lovely lovely paste almost made from roasted almond, garlic, capsicum, olive oil and paprika.  Simplicity embellished with culinary genius.  The perfect combination. 

Olives Villeroy with Creamy Pesto. Basically breaded olives, which I forgot to take a cross sectional of, but you can see it at CCFOODTRAVEL and BROUGHTUPTOSHARE blogs.

Cava's Specialty Arroz Negro, a squid ink paella with squid and prawns, with garlic aioli. Which begs the question, who first discovered that squid ink is edible? And how did they verify that? Did they test it on an animal first?  Just one in a list of a thousand food questions that constantly run through my head.

Back to the dish at hand, thumbs up for this paella.  Different from the usual ones, which are usually inundated with every imaginable seafood and meats.  Again, the sheer minimalistic-ness of this dish really serves to help the eater focus on the flavours at hand. 

Cava's Specialty Piquillo Peppers, stuffed with seafood, served with creamy piquillo sauce and asparagus.  These unique peppers are found only in the North of Spain, and Peru.  Either way, both a long way from here. The piquillo sauce is such a treat to the palate. 

Saucery, with peppercorn, chimichurri, Gorgonzola, and Mushrooms and Wild Ceps to accompany....

Australia Goulburn Valley Premium Grass Fed Sirloin...after the exotica of the Spanish filled ingredients in the dishes, I'd say the beef was comfort food.  It was nice to try the meats with the different sauces, of which, I loved the gorgonzola.  The beef was seared nicely, and tender enough.

The mains were paired with CVNE Monopole Viura 2011 (Rioja) White or Altanza Le Altanza Crianza 2009 (Rioja) Red.  Riojas hail from the Alta Region in Spain, and are of higher quality than lower lying grapes.  The whites taste much like the Sauvignon Blancs.

Dessert was a simple strawberry with fresh whipped cream, or more exotically, FRESAS Y NATA.  Can't go wrong there, if it's good enough for Wimbledon, it's good enough for me.  Nice to pair with Castillo Perelada CAVA Brut Reservation NV. 

That's us!

Cava Restaurant and Bar
71, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar
59100 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +603 2093 6637
Business Hours:
Mon – Sat: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sun: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am

1 comment:

Ciki said...

I agree that the squid ink paella was minimalistic.. but it tasted like an entire truck of prawn heads and seafood stock had gone into it, right?! A fantastic dish that had me gobbling up (shock horror) rice. And yah, you are WEIRD coz i never turn thoughts like that over in my mind.. like who gives a flying squid tentacle who found out squid ink was edible?! NOT ME! haha. Wake me when they come up with designer squid skin bags maybe:P