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Tag / ham

Earlier this month I went on a bit of a food review streak. First was Iketeru at KL Hilton, then the Wine dinner at Opus Bistro, followed by Leonardo’s, and then Mandarin Grill, and I think there’s one more before the conclusion of this week.

I usually don’t go to as many review sessions, but the invitations from this month were all too tempting to refuse (though I did forgo a wine dinner in favor of futsal). Leonardo’s stand out in the list for that it is the only one that serves one of my favorite meats – pork.


Leonardo’s Dining Room, Concha Y Toro Sauvignan Blanc 2008

Tucked at a little row of shops by Jalan Bangkung at Bukit Bandaraya, Laonardo’s is run by the same people that brought you Opus, Cava, and Moxie (I haven’t been to the latter two).

While the name might have an Italian origin, the food is more fusion than anything: from pizza, pork knuckle, to bak kut teh and hokkien mee, the menu cuts across different cuisines but with a distinctly pork centric theme. A theme the invited guests in this session agreed whole heartedly.

crispy bacon lollipop, belgian black mussels, kentucky fried frogs
crispy bacon lollipop, Belgian black mussels, Kentucky fried frog

We had three appetizers to start the night, crispy bacon lollipop was this cute dish with breaded pork balls on satay sticks served in a glass of salt, a mayo based sauce accompany the dish just to make it even more sinful. The balls had cheese and pork in it, I didn’t pace myself and had more than a couple.

The Belgian black mussels (RM 55) were cooked in a savory white wine and cream broth, from fresh and not frozen seafood, with of parsley and onion to add to the flavor.

My favorite appetizer out of the three must be the Kentucky fried frog, and I’m sure Kim would kill for this. Deep fried in a very light batter, the freshness of the frog legs perfectly intact. I’m amazed how well it goes with the tartar sauce (if I get it right). Perfect beer snack.

italian cippino, spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza
Italian Cippino, Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza

The Italian Cippino (RM 46) is, I supposed, a dish Leonardo himself would be quite familiar with. Plenty of seafood in tomato broth, served with foccacia bread. There’re fish, mussels, prawns, and squid too.

The Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak (RM 55) is served medium well with picon blue risotto mustard sauce. The meat was as tender as any top grade steak but with a hint of pork texture and taste, no wonder it is also known as the wagyu of pork world. Delicious!

The rectangular mama mia pizza (RM 35) is a thin crust pizza cut in six pieces and precariously topped with jamon serrano (similar to parma ham), rocket, and mozzarella cheese

ciki, Leo's Pork Knuckle Platter, KY
ciki serving Leo’s pork knuckle platter, I licked the bone clean

My favorite main dish of the night has got to be their signature Leo’s pork knuckle platter (RM 75). The pork knuckle is perfect, with the meat super tender you could tear em clean from the bone (as I demonstrate) while the skin roasted till super crispy.

There were red sauerkraut & garlic herb roasted potatoes to balance the taste too, it couldn’t have been better. I absolutely love it.

pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns
pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns

Pork chorizo sausage (RM 38) is served with bacon, potato, and apple rosti with chunky tomato relish. A pretty hearty meal by itself, I’d have this with some Guinness.

Another unique dish at Leonardo’s is their grilled pork neck (RM 25) with spicy mango. I like the cilantro salsa that comes with it, but to be honest I personally didn’t like the pork neck much, the texture’s a bit too soft and oily for my liking.

Edward, the part owner, insisted that we try their fried hokkien mee. Served with some seriously huge prawns, I must say that it didn’t disappoint if only it’s a tad too sweet for me. Then again, perhaps my taste bud was tainted with the previous nine dishes I tried?

banana bread and butter pudding, grilled mango, baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction
banana bread n butter pudding, grilled mango w pink peppercorn & cardamom,
baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction

Then of course, the desserts have to come when I’m already absolutely full to the brim. However, I find that this is generally not a problem with girls, they seem to have a separate stomach reserved just for dessert. Call me sexist, but it is absolutely true!

The banana bread and butter pudding (RM 18) served with vanilla ice cream was my favorite among the desserts. Grilled mango with pink peppercorn and cardamom (RM 18) was a bit strange, the baked apple with fillo pastry (RM 18) sweet and savory, and the chocolate seduction (RM 22) was absolutely rich and flavorful I don’t know how anyone could actually finish it right after a big meal.

Then again, I don’t have that spare dessert stomach.

hanging out with the gang at Leonardo's, Jalan Bangkung
we had a whole lot of food and fun at Leonardo’s

It was a very satisfying review session. Cumi & Ciki, Fatboybakes, Eiling, A Lil Fat Monkey, Nigel & Allan from Just Heavenly, and Li Zhi were among the people that made up the great company.

Fadlin also got us some lovely wines sponsored by Magnum to go with all these food. We had Villa Girardi Soave 2007 (Italian) , Concha Y Toro Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 2006 (U.S), and James Irvine Barossa Merlot 2006 (Australia).

map to Leonardo's Dining Room

Address:
Leonardo’s
61-1 and 61-2, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2096 2226

Despite staying so close to SS2 and having my dinner there at least once a week, Buonasera Italian Restuarant somehow escaped my radar for the past year or so that they have been in operation. But as luck was on my side, a couple of weeks ago I went  there on a food review session thanks to the invitation from the friendly owner Ms Zee Cheng.

Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2

Prociutto Melon, yum yum

The restaurant is located along a the row of shops at SS2 that is closest to LDP, which also means that parking is slightly easier compared to other spots around the area. Though “slightly” is a very relative word.

The interior is simple and clean though decoration could be slightly better as I personally find the faux vines around the edges ceiling a rather ill adviced concept. However, overall it is still an environment that is comfortable and conducive for a lunch/dinner date that is not too flashy.

Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2

Spaghetti Seafood

 Unlike most other Italian restaurants, Buonasera joins the likes of Bermuda & Onions and Bruno’s as the few that are not halal. Which means that you get real bacon, and even some pork dishes. That realisation pretty much made my day already.

I usually let the host decides the selection of dishes on invited reviews, but this time Eiling and I made a little special request and asked for at least a dish involving pork. *smirk*

The first dish that was the Prosciutto Melon (RM 28.90), Italian speciality ham that is cured and served with rock melon, not unlike my first experience of it at Bermuda & Onion. The deliciously salty ham and the sweetness of melon works well in this classic combination, though the melon used were just a tad too ripe.

Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2

Caesar Salad with bacon, Australian Chilled Angus Sirloin

Next up was the Seafood Spaghetti (RM 38.90) with quite a generous portion of very fresh prawns, mussles, and squid. While I’m normally not a big fan of cream sauce, I must say that I really enjoyed this dish. It wasn’t overly rich nor over powering. Just very sumptuous and flavorful.

The Caesar salad (RM 19.90) isn’t the typical salad for skinny girls who wants to get skinnier. The dish comes with plenty of pork bacon, cheese, hard boiled egg, crutons, and of course, fresh vegetable. On top of that, you get four slices of garlic bread too. The bacon was really yummy!

The final main dish was the Angus Sirloin (RM 49.90) that comes with a bowl of deep fried rosemary potato chunks that Eiling just can’t stop eating. I find that the steak itself was pretty commendable considering the price point.

Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2
Tiramisu, Chocolate Pot, and Enzo’s Famous Mixed Berry Zabaglione

The nicely decorated and pretty good tasting Tiramisu (RM 14.90) was supposed to be our only dessert, but due to the interesting chemistry that Chef Enzo brewed up with Eiling, we ended up with a bit more than we could handle.

The good chef, who started working in the kitchen since 16 (exactly how many years ago is a mystery), prepared another two desserts as our stomachs were already filled up to the brim. We had Enzo’s Chocolate Pot (RM 14.90), with vanilla ice cream and chocolate that isn’t too sweet; and finally his signature dessert, Mixed Berry Zabaglione (RM 16.90) which is a home made mixed berry sorbet with Italian egg custard. The sourness of the sorbet and the rich custard (egg yolk, sugar, Marsala wine) was an awesome combination, I finished it and losen my belt in the process.

 Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2

Chef Enzo and I, Eiling who really likes her dessert

To be honest, I’m rather impressed by the quality and the selection of food at Buonasera, not to mention it’s midrange pricing. This would be a place I yearn to return for more.

map to Buonasera Italian Restaurant at PJ ss2

Address:

42, Jalan SS 2/66

47300 Petaling Jaya

Selangor

GPS: 3.120033,101.620907

Tel: 03-7877 8586