Summer celebration at EQ’s Sabayon at SKY51

Summer celebration at EQ’s Sabayon at SKY51

Setting: Sabayon at Sky51 where the stunning city skyline greets the eager diner, slowly melting into the night sky revealing a sea of blinking bright lights. Once the popular Equatorial Kuala Lumpur, the hotel has been rebranded as the trendy, chic EQ to reflect the times, and in the place of iconic Chalet is Sabayon on the 51st floor. Even if you don’t want to have dinner here, a drink on the open terrace makes for a memorable experience against the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Drink: Italian premium wines with back story provided by well-known somnalier Thomas Ling, a specialist on wine from Entwine.

Dinner: A premium 5-course menu based on “An Italian Summer”, crafted by Sabayon’s chef, marking EQ’s reopening after closing for a few months during MCO/RMCO.

Unlike true Italian dinners which start really late, we began relatively early on a merry note sipping the refreshing Zonin Prosecco, Veneto. Said to be the No. 1 sparkling wine in the world overtaking champagne since 2014, apparently half a billion bottles are sold every year.

Did I just eat someone’s eyeball? A unique take on foie gras and sweet scallop with a delicate dash of watermelon on a radish slice, the amuse bouche was art at play, boasting subtle and mild flavours, washed down perfectly with the dry, sparkling wine that had hints of citrus and apple.

I’ve been to Tuscany and would go back in a heartbeat. Now I hear Piedmont up north slays Tuscany in terms of food and wine. It’s all relative, of course, but judging by the Marchesi di Barolo, Arneis from Piedmont, I’m sold. A lovely, fragrant fruity white, with citrus and marmalade notes and a strong scent of acacia and chamomile flowers in its bouquet, the 2015 vintage is derived from the Arneis grapes which are harvest by hand.

This was paired with fresh, succulent Mild Smoked Spiny Lobster antipasto, poured over with a yuzu and starfruit jus that gave a citrus lift to the tantalising ensemble.

Comforting, heartening, pasta is the Italians’ stronghold and the primary main course, Pulled Venison and Chanterelles, had papardelle coated in flavourful stock that was food for the soul. The translucent ruby red Marchesi di Barolo Coste Rose Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2012 was deliciously smooth and medium-bodied, the epitome of Italian summer red wines.

Thomas, who revealed that he worked in a Barolo vineyard before, said the wine was made in a classic style and was only 8 years old, though it can go on for 10 to 12 years. Top fruity notes of cheery and raspberry, he said that there was a hint of crushed mint as well though I didn’t taste this.

If the earlier Coste Rose Nebbiolo was a happy dance on the palate, the 2014 San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Sangiovese came on strong, complex and heady, with lingering notes of tobacco and rich tannin to go with the second main dish, the Prime Rib. Made from the finest Sangionese grapes, Chianti is from Tuscany and oft times described as the blood of Jupiter. My slab of ribs was a little pink, but I kinda liked it this way as it was tender, juicy, yet wasn’t overwhelmed by the gravy.

The Sweet Finale was an offering of White Coffee Choux, Ricotta Cannoli, Pistachio Bon Bon Lolly, Lemon Tart and Citrus Milk Olive Panna watch with an aromatic Marchesi di Barolo Zagara Moscato d’Asti, served at the SKY51 lobby where we could drink in the night sky.

Thank you, Sabayon, for an enchanted Italian evening.

Sabayon also offers a 5-course degustation menu at RM538, 3 courses (RM338), and 4 courses (RM438). An a la carte menu is also available.