|Qba Latin Bar and Grill|
|Homemade Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Coriander RM18|
|Master Kobe Beef Roll, Beef Jus and Pico de Gallo RM22|
|Cuba Bella RM39|
|Qba Classic Mojito RM45|
|Creamy Chowder of Black Cod and Prawns RM45|
|Tomato Soup with Avocado, Cheese, Guajillo Peppers, Fried Tortilla RM28|
|Grilled Pertuna Ocean Trout, Cream of Corn, Broccolini, Pomegranate Salsa RM90|
Qba Signature Steak Tasting Plate - The Shorthorn - Featuring Master Kobe Oyster Blade with Mushroom Confit
|CAAB Rib Eye, Salsa Roja|
|Kobe Cuisine Wagyu Eye Fillet, Roast Sweet Onion, Cabrales Blue Cheese Sauce|
|Fresh Strawberries with Balsamic Reduction and Caster Sugar|
Berry Boat and Cashew Macaron
Macadamia Chocolate, Coffee Custard and Macadamia Ice Cream RM20
Qba Latin Grill and Bar, The Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Passionate, spirited and expressive, the Latin culture is known for celebration of life and reveling in the joy of the moment. Qba Latin Grill and Bar proudly takes on this ethos offering guests much more than just a restaurant. In addition to intimate dining alcoves and an a la carte menu of Latin cuisine, there are also spaces dedicated to wine and cheese, tapas and cocktails, Cuban cigars and a lively dance floor for salsa-ing the night away in the downstairs bar complete with outdoor courtyard.
The dining zone is sophisticated, romantic and dimly lit. Private nooks girdled by lush curtains invite thoughts of seduction and mystery. Flickering candles and the tintinnabulation of salsa tunes scintillate the air. Rich tones of various woods, almost black and mahogany, provide sturdy seating and wall dividers, while sensuous curvy arches and textured patches of jewel toned tile work add South American charm.
Seating only 45, guests are virtually guaranteed of intimacy. Besides the discreet curtained hollows, tables are positioned between dividers and around corners pledging freedom from disturbance. A balcony table permits dates a view of the bar below, but not vice a versa. I’m surprised that Qba Grill is not brimming with crowds every night. This might just be one of KL’s greatest kept secrets. And… it seems that it’s not only the setting, which is a hidden gem.
Chef Pearl Woo, who runs the kitchen, has been with the restaurant since inception. Digesting years of knowledge from roaming Latin chefs, she now comes out on top. Taking the best of the best, Chef Pearl is the heartbeat of the cocina. Walking the floor, explaining dishes to customers and even taking orders herself, this passionate lady will make even the most unbelieving diner an excited convert.
The menu at Qba Latin Grill and Bar volunteers a full range of imbibement, tummy teasers and stomach stuffers. Cocktails and tapas make an appropriate start in any Latin establishment, so they were our first order.
From the Tapas list, the Master Kobe Beef Roll with Beef Jus and Pico de Gallo was simply prepared but all encompassing in taste. Thinly sliced meat was lightly marinated in coriander, garlic, lemon juice, tomato and onion and, drizzled with olive oil. The only way to eat this is rare, to appreciate the delicate Australian meat.
The Homemade Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce utilized Australian lamb leg to form a tasty base for a marinade of chili, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, tomato and capsicum. A splash of wine vinegar in the rich tomato sauce brought out the freshness of the dish and snipped through the fat of the lamb.
Three classic Latin cocktails were well welcomed liquids. The Caipirinha may be the best one I’ve indulged in outside of the South American continent. This drink’s strength is in its simplicity. A basic blend of cachaca, sugar and fresh lime made a potent refreshing number. No prizes for guessing the sweet, grenadine featuring, Cuba Bella was hubby’s favourite. Light rum, dark rum and crème de menthe, were garnished with mint leaves and a deskinned circle of orange. The Qba Classic Mojito including light rum, fresh mint, sugar, lemon juice and soda water came in a towering glass, but the first two drinks had already captured our taste buds, so the good old faithful Cuban potation didn’t get a repeat order.
Ready for something more substantial, a pillowy soft white loaf appeared, Cuban bread. Served with Molcajete, a blend of grilled tomato, onion, parsley, coriander, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, this deceptively filling bread tempts diners to keep pulling and dipping. Be advised though, as good as it tastes, you want to save space for the stars on the menu.
The Tomato Soup with Avocado, Cheese, Guajillo Peppers and Fried Tortilla is a classic Mexican Soup. Blending with corn tortillas gives it a concentrated consistency and, smoked chilli, fresh avocado, goat cheese cubes and deep fried strips of corn tortilla add texture.
The Creamy Chowder of Black Cod and Prawns is an inspiration from Peru featuring cod, prawns, fresh off the cob sweet corn, rice, potato and coriander. Although rich in taste, it’s a shade clearer than a North American chowder. Again, no prizes for guessing who quickly spooned up the last drop (cream loving hubby).
Not to be missed on a trip to Qba are the Signature Steak Tasting Plates. We tried the Shorthorn and found it more than enough for two, perhaps even suitable for three lighter eaters. A trio of miniature steaks (120gm each) came laid out on a long white platter. Master Kobe Oyster Blade comes with a Mushroom Confit. A Spanish Tempranillo would make an ideal wine pairing. This is a special cut between the shoulder and the neck and not in plentiful supply. Order ahead if you want to ensure a taste of this steak. It must be eaten medium rare and this one is all about the flavour. The second chunk of meat was the CAAB Rib Eye, which comes drenched in a rich garlicky sauce (Salsa Roja). Certified Australian Angus Beef from Murry Bridge South Australia is the award winning selection. This partners well with a Chilean merlot. Finally, Kobe Cuisine Wagyu Eye Fillet with roasted onions and a Cabrales blue cheese sauce makes a sensational sweet, tangy, juicy, buttery explosion of flavours in every corner of the mouth. A cabernet sauvignon would do this piece justice.
The Grilled Pertuna Ocean Trout on a bed of creamed corn, is sided with verdant broccolini and a vibrant strip of pomegranate salsa. The colourful combo bursts with vitality and freshness. Perfectly crisp skin hides flaky moist fish, providing just enough fulfillment of a need to be healthy to justify dessert.
The chef’s dessert special of the day was a procession of glossy red strawberries with simple, but genius, dips of caster sugar and a honey balsamic reduction. The natural acidity of the berries was balanced out with the sweet tanginess of the balsamic. If one plate is light and healthy, that means you can order another dessert right? If your answer is yes, the Macadamia Chocolate, Coffee Custard and Macadamia Ice Cream is a heavenly finish. Ice cream textured with buttery nuts, subtly sweet mousse, caramelized macadamias and a swirl of caramel custard forms both a feast for the eyes and the tummy.
Reason to visit: Possibly the best steaks in town, the adorable chef Pearl Woo – you feel as though you’ve made a friend for life she is so genuine and passionate about her food and takes your pleasure seriously
Qba Latin Grill and Bar
Westin Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang
+6 03 2773 8338
Open Monday – Saturday 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Bar from 5pm until late
Diners receive two hours of complimentary parking at the hotel