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Honestly good

By Eileen Wen Mooney | China Daily | Updated: 2012-11-02 16:08

Honestly good

Alaska king crab. Photo provided to China Daily

He is a CIA graduate, a Native American and the latest chef to blaze into town with some perfectly grilled entrees. Ryan Sablan Dadufalza impresses Eileen Wen Mooney with his genuine flavors.

In the past few years, we have seen chefs arrive from just about every corner of the world, shaking up a culinary scene that, until not too long ago, was dominated by Sichuan and Cantonese eateries.

Ryan Sablan Dadufalza, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and a Native American, is the new promising chef in town. I really adore his cooking style of giving less but more - there isn't any fancy foam nor fizzy things. Ryan's cooking style is just honest flavors cranked out of ingredients, pulling things together simply, and knowing what goes well with what.

Dadulfalza, chef de cuisine at Grill 79, will impress you with his David Blackmore heirloom Wagyu steak, what he calls the Louis Vuitton of meat. The meat slab is best cooked medium. I cut the meat - there was no oozing blood - and popped it into my mouth. I was really taken by the buttery texture of the meat that just melted in my mouth. This was without a doubt one of best steak I ever tasted.

I am impressed with the chef's thoughtful composition, because the steak was served with grilled leek and asparagus Carbonara style, not the typical starchy mashed potatoes, which take up space that could be better used for dessert. The lemony Guam-style sauce was another nice touch, refreshingly light.

Dadulfalza has also crafted amazing appetizers, such as an Alaskan King Crab, which is very light and citrusy, accompanied by an avocado Hollandaise that has a subtle but smoky chipotle hint. The crunchy roasted pistachios sprinkled around the dish contrasted with the silky texture of the crab meat. I deliberately ate my crab slowly to stretch the enjoyment a bit more.

I have eaten foie gras in many different ways, but what I had at Grill 79 is unforgettable.

Paired with peanut butter powder with a buttery brioche, and not a piece of toast, it created a novel flavor. It was magic paired with Chateau Doisy-Daene, and the chemistry between the two sweet tasting substances was incredibly addictive.

Dadulfalza's Gorgonzola cheese parfait is also astonishingly delicious. I never expected that one could make such a wonderful dessert out of Gorgonzola cheese. The taste was distinctively unique and extraordinarily delicious.

He comes to Beijing after serving as chef de cuisine at Dining on the Rocks, the signature restaurant at Six Senses Hideaway, a luxury hotel and resort based in Koh Samui, Thailand.

In 2008, Thailand Tatler gave the restaurant the second best rating in the country. The following year, it climbed to number one.

Last but not least, Grill 79 on the 79th floor of the imposing China World Summit Wing has the most amazing views, looking west to the Forbidden City, and north to the Bird's Nest.

Standing in the corner of the very posh dining room, I enjoyed chilled Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc with stunning views of the city laid out in front of me. It was sensory satisfaction at its best.

For more food reviews, click here.

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