One of my weakness as a food writer/blogger is that I tend to go to the same places and order the same dishes if I love the food. rif however, likes exploring new food places and trying as many new dishes as he can. Qba Latin Bar & Grill has been on his must-try list for a while, and since I was treating him to dinner, he chose the venue.
The outlet comprises four sections – Latin Grill, Wine & Cigar Lounge, Island Bar and al-fresco courtyard. We dined at the Latin Grill, over looking the Island Bar below. Qba specializes in Latin American cuisines and premium steaks from Argentina to Australia. Expect choice such as Wagyu, Longhorn, Shorthorn, Black Angus, and more. If you’re not sure what you want, it’s best to allow your waiter to do the recommendations.
As soon as we were seated, our waiter placed a platter of bread and olive oil on our table. rif knew exactly what he wanted – the Waygu Rib Eye (RM198). I had a bit of trouble choosing, so I decided to go with my waiter’s recommendation, the tasting plate (3 types of 100gm steaks) with wine flight.
We shared a Baja Style – Beer Battered Lobster and Avocado Tacos (RM48), which tasted rather ordinary to me. The lobster was juicy and sweet, but the combination wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would be.
1) Tasman Beef Sirloin with green horseradish butter on a bed of babe English spinach – paired with a glass of Castello Banfi Chianti D.O.C.G 2009
2) 1824 Grain Fed Eye Fillet 200 days with cep mushroom gratin and habanero bearnaise – paired with a glass of Riscal Tempranillo 2007
3) Master Kobe Oyster Blade with piquillo peppers and canary bean puree – paired with a glass of Michel Lynch Merlot Bordeaux 2008
All three were good in their own way, but I liked the Master Kobe Oyster Blade best. If you’re having the tasting platter and like your meat cooked medium-well, as for it to be done medium rare. Reason being, 100gm is quite small and it cooks fairly quickly, so you might get it slightly more done that you like it to be. My “medium-rare” was slightly more done than I wanted.
rif’s wagyu tasted better than all three of my steaks. Well-marbled (marble score 6+), beautifully charred and multidimensional in taste, no sauce was required for this. Of course, you get two choices of sauce to go with your steak – he opted for the chimichurri and sensational herb butter.
I found the Columbian Style Potatoes in Cheese Sauce (RM12) average, but rif enjoyed it. To me, it tasted like a high-end version of the cheese wedges from a fried chicken fast food chain, but with actual cheese.
Desserts were Rum Flambéed Bananas with Coffee Scent, Short Cake And Yogurt Ice Cream (RM20) crafted at your table and Tasting Plate (RM25).
The flambéed banana had a caramelized flavour from the rum liquor and coffee. This was sticky-sweet comfort, all in one bite. The tasting plate comprised caramel ice cream, hot chocolate and churros, caremelised Argentinean crepes with Dulce De Leche and squashed bread pudding with brown sugar and prunes. I liked the caramel ice cream best. rif enjoyed the Argentinean crepes, but I found that too sweet.
On a whole, we enjoyed our meal at Qba. They have a mind-boggling variety of steaks and the staff were friendly and informative. Many thanks to Pearl, for taking the time to brief us about the selection of steaks and oysters Qba has to offer.Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 6/10 (with Starwood privilege card)
Food: 7.5/10 (pork-free)
Verdict: Good premium steaks and friendly service. No wonder Qba won the Highly Commended Award for Best Steak House 2010.