Mention Qba and I would automatically think “grill” and “Latin America”, which isn’t too far off since this open concept restaurant in The Westin Kuala Lumpur echoes what Cuban cuisine is about – vibrant flavours and vivid seasoning.
It’s been more than two years since my last visit and while the ambiance hasn’t changed, the menu has evolved. Some of the new items I tried were the Prawn Cocktail (RM55) with a twist. Instead of a martini glass, the prawns come in a salad dish with avocado and garden vegetables for a crisper texture. While this was quite presentable and palatable, I still prefer my prawn cocktail the traditional way. Old school, I know.
Salada Tropical (RM35) is a refreshing starter of avocado, spinach, pineapple, watercress, roasted tomato, feta cheese, orange and plantain, bound together with a light cumin dressing. It is vibrant in colour and the flavours come together nicely, especially with a touch of richness from the avocado.
Between the roasted tomato and creamy pumpkin soup, I enjoyed the latter better. Both soups come in a small metal pot – that means portions are fairly sizeable. Though I’m not sure if I want to be scooping soup “out of a pot” if I were there on my first date haha! :P
The pumpkin soup (RM43) had a good balance of sweet, savoury and creamy, and I loved the smoky sweetness of the scallop. There is an element of rustic in this one; albeit subtle.
I wasn’t as bowled over with the roasted tomato soup (RM37) as this one tasted rather one-dimensional. The sweetness of the Roma tomatoes didn’t quite come through in this soup, and I thought it tasted rather tart.
Beef Ribs (RM126) are a specialty at Qba and it is presented “as it”. The meat still sits on the bone, and comes with a side of roasted pumpkin and onion chips. Definitely my kind of dish. No embellishments needed for the meat was meltingly tender and fell off the bone at the prod of my knife.
I’m quite sure of my steak choices in general – it’s always the ribeye or Prime Rib. That said, if you can’t make up your mind about which cut of beef you would like, the Meat Sampler (RM190) at Qba allows you to enjoy three types of meat (100gm each) so you get the best of everything.
The sampler comprises beef cheek, ribeye and sirloin, and I’ve got to say – I’m impressed with how good the sirloin tasted. It is usually my least favourite cut of meat but the chef at Qba made it (the one with arugula topping) so tender and flavourful.
I’m a sucker for table side service and Qba is one of the few restaurants in town that still provides one. The Argentinean Crepes (RM29) is flambéed table side and drizzels with dulce de leche – delicious!
Another popular pick would be the Passionfruit and Mango Mousse (RM32), a tropical dessert with coconut ice cream, served in an actual coconut shell for a “touch of Cuba”.
While Qba still carries it range of steaks with choices of sauce on the side, the items I tried above are new additions to the menu in case you want a change. ;)
Food: 6.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: I enjoyed the beef ribs and pumpkin soup best. Try it for yourself!
Qba Latin Bar & Grill
The Westion Kuala Lumpur
99, Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur