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Tag / italian food

KL city has no shortage of places to choose from when it comes to classy restaurants offering quality adult beverages and delicious food, around KLCC and Bukit Bintang area, you’d be spoiled for choice – Mosto Wine Bar & Restaurant is one of such places, and one with a very important distinction compared to the rest.

Mosto Wine Bar and Restaurant, One KL
Mosto Wine Bar and Restaurant, One KL

Located at the ground floor of One KL, the condominium building with the tag line “94 units, 95 swimming pools“, Mosto is a restaurant with almost over-the-top fine-dine style decoration, and fortunately, not over-the-top prices for what it has got to offer.

For me though, the most important distinction this place has is the availability of some dozen or so free parking space right in front of the eatery, something that is rarer than pink unicorn in the heart of the city.

Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi
Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi

We started the night with Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi (RM 99), the fancy name stands for Italian signature cold cuts served with assortedcheeses, honey & house made focaccia bread. The way the prepare this is a bit of a show, with the chef operating a semi-automatic type of meat slicer that churns out those delicious meat & salami with consistent thickness.

The type of cuts you get may vary as it depends on what the restaurant can its hands on. For our session, I particularly like the cut with embedded olives.

Cocktails & Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso
Cocktails & Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso

While we did not have wine at Mosto, we did sample two of their cocktails – Amaro Tonic, and Junglebird (RM 38 each), the former was a more masculine drink with Amaro Montenegro, Prosecco and tonic water, while Junglebird is made from dark rum, campari, pineapple juice, and simple syrup, giving it a sweeter, more fruity taste.

Back to food.

After the cold cut we had the Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso (RM 48), or Carnaroli risotto with salsiccia & red wine reduction. A comforting food that does well to fill up the stomach in a warm, fuzzy way. I do enjoy the chunks of cheese on top.

Rigatoni All' Amatriciana
Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana

If you are a pasta person, Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana (RM 38) should satisfy, there’s bacon, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese in the dish. It is proper al dente, so if you don’t like your pasta firm to bite like the Italians do, you’d want to specify it to your server.

Pancia Di Maiale; Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo
Pancia Di Maiale; Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo

Those who know me well would have guessed that Pancia Di Maiale (RM 58) is my favorite dish of the night, and that would be a correct statement. Roasted pork belly with apricot jam, honey mustard & garlic sauce perfectly executed with those super crispy skin and meat/fat layers that were done just right. Love it.

Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo (RM 78) or slowcook pork prepared in casserole with chicken, pork sausage & cabbage was a dish that I found perhaps packed a bit too much meat of differing texture, giving me a feeling of something with a sort of identity confusion.

Garlic Prawns, Deep Fried Chicken Parmesan
Garlic Prawns, Deep Fried Chicken Parmesan

For those who aren’t looking for something to go along with beer or cocktail and not a proper full meal, there is a selection of bar snacks as well. We sampled two from the menu – Garlic Prawns (RM 25), and  Fried Chicken Parmesan (RM 19), I can imagine both going very well as happy hour companion dishes for sure.

molten chocolate cake, tiramisu
molten chocolate cake, tiramisu

The dessert menu here isn’t extensive, we tried the Molten chocolate cake (RM 25) and Tiramisu (RM 20). The cake molten chocolate cake was competent, but if I have to pick one, the tiramisu would be the one to go for, they did not skim on the alcohol making this.

mosto KLCC map

Address:
Mosto Wine Bar & Restaurant
Ground Floor, One KL
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.156023, 101.710542
Tel: 03-2386 6029

Ozeki Italian Cuisine is situated at the back corner on ground floor at Wisma Cosway, occupying the lot that was previously held by a Tosaya, a Japanese restaurant that I went quite a few times over lunch but somehow never bother to write about.

Ozeki is a name I’m familiar with, when my office was at KLCC, I used to frequent Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine at Menara TA whenever my wallet and taste buds agree. So when I found out that they open this Japanese infused Italian restaurant, I knew that I must give it a try.

Update 8/8/2013: Unfortunately this place is closed, perhaps too ahead of it’s time

Ozeki Italian Cuisine at Wisma Cosway is non-halal
Ozeki Italian Cuisine at Wisma Cosway is non-halal

The restaurant is non-halal, they have coffee, wine, pasta, pizza, steak, and pork in the menu. Today though, we’re going to talk about their lunch menu, which I thought provided awesome value for what you get, albiet with limited choices of only 4 sets.

We’ve tried two of the four so far.

black angus steak platter
black angus steak platter

The Black Angus Steak Platter was the one that caught my attention on my first visit (and also my second visit, hehehe).

At RM 30 it is also the most expensive option, but you get mixed salad, appetizer (mixture of beans of some sort, varies from day to day), a baked tiger prawn, Italian steamed egg custard that tastes very similar to chawanmushi, and soup of the day (I had mushroom soup once, and minestrone soup another time).

Then of course, there’s the 80 gram black angus beef prepared to your liking, I like mine medium rare, and they prepared it exactly how I wanted. It was savory, juicy, and went very well with the Japanese steamed rice and mushroom. RM 30 was well worth it, and they serve cold water with no extra charge too.

roasted chicken and risotto platter, soup included, but not the coffee
roasted chicken and risotto platter, soup included, but not the coffee

If you go with the Roasted Chicken and Risotto Platter (RM 26), you get everything described above, but instead of beef & rice, it’s cheese risotto and roast chicken thigh with chef’s special sauce. This was actually a pretty big serving and my colleague who tried it gave nothing but glowing review.

The other two selection on the lunch menu are Vongole Pasta Platter (RM 24) and  Tonkatsu Panini Platter (RM 18). The former is pasta with clams and mushroom, and the cheapest option is a pork sandwich, both serves with soup of the day and Italian steamed egg custard.

If you haven’t tried Japanese style Italian food (if that make sense) and don’t want to break your budget, lunch at Ozeki Italian Cuisine would be a good place to start.

wisma cosway map

Address:
Ozeki Italian Cuisine
Ground Floor
Wisma Cosway
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50540 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2148 9390
GPS3.150875, 101.711812
Hours: Lunch and Dinner 

Favola at Le Meridien KL is pretty synonymous with fine Italian dining, but what’s little known is the fact that they do serve dishes that are not pizza, pasta, or risotto. On the latest visit to one of our favourite Italian restaurants, we tried their beef and lobster instead.

We were told by our hosts to pick our main dishes and soup, while appetizers will be taken care of. I found out that I certainly wasn’t the only person who always over order.

bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese
bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese

As usual, we were served with some lovely breads to much on while pondering what to pick for dinner. I had to constantly remind myself not to have too much of these whenever I’m at Favola, they were yummy with just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Soft creamy mozzarella, shaved truffle, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was the description for Burratina (RM 40) was refreshing, and the crispy beef bacon gave the dish an added dimension.

For cheese lovers, you’ll love Caprese (RM 35), how does marinated trio of tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic emulsion sounds like? It tasted as good as it sounds, I can use some buffalo mozzarella cheese right now, not overly cheesy, yet soft and creamy. A small pack can be had at Jaya Grocer for about RM 30.

deep fried breaded mozzarella cheese, grilled jumbo asparagus with poached egg, mushroom soup
deep fried breaded mozzarella, grilled jumbo asparagus w poached egg, mushroom soup

Fritti Mozzarella  (RM 40) has a different take in mozzarella preparation, two generous slabs of buffalo mozzarellas breaded and deep-fried, then served with sautéed mushroom and avocado purée. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the skill of the chef is exhibited here by not over cooking the cheese, while still giving the skin that crispy texture.

The most beautiful appetizer of the day was Asparagi alla Griglia (RM 45). Grilled giant asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, brown butter and parmigiano.  This was both beautiful and delicious.

cream of clams, sausage, vegetable in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth with spinach
cream of clams, sausage, vege in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth w spinach

For soup, I picked Brodo di Spinaci (RM 35), clear chicken broth with fresh spinach, with lobster dumpling and grated Parmesan. The soup was light, but I felt that the dumpling did not have enough lobster flavour to it. This was the least filling soup I think, a good thing in this case.

Haze had Zuppa di Vongola(RM 40). You could call it an Italian clam chowder, officially it’s cream of clams, Italian sausage, vegetable sofrito and green peas in golden pastries, and you gotta have a big stomach for this. The broth is creamy and quite filling, and tasted pretty good, the only minor qualm was that we wish  they’d be more clams.

Zuppa di Fungi Calabrese(RM 35), or assorted mushrooms cooked in milk with garlic rustic bread and Swiss cheese, is always a favourite among diners at Favola. The mushroom soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, rich but not overly creamy, and absolutely fantastic.

black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak
black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak

OK, now we finally get to the main dishes.

There were two beef dishes on the menu and we tried both of them. Haze and I ordered the grilled Angus T-bone steak (RM 150) with Caesar salad and smoky pimiento butter, while Josen asked for the black Angus ribeye Fiorentina (RM 135) with grilled lemon halves and balsamic vinegar.

The beef were very good, I had mine medium rare, and Haze asked for hers to be served “blue” – which was rarer than rare. While these weren’t quite the standard of Prime (nor the same type of beef), they held their own very well and did not disappoint at all. At this price point, the beef were quite a bit cheaper as well.

ciki and her full baked boston lobster
ciki and her full baked boston lobster

While we enjoyed our beef, ciki went the other direction and picked the baked Boston lobster (RM 230 full, RM 120 half) that came with spice tomatoes and lemon chermoula with buffalo mozzarella. She was kind enough to share the seafood with us and I’m happy to report that it was indeed excellent.

You can have Maine lobsters for a tad cheaper at Lobsterman, SS2, but of course there won’t be buffalo mozzarella, attentive servers, or ambiance anywhere near the standard of Favola.

risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta
risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley

For those who favours traditional Italian food, Risotto con Cappesante (RM 65) comes with pan-fried sea scallops on leeks, lemon zest, chili and basil; or you could perhaps choose pasta in the form of Gamberetti ai Pinoli (RM 45) with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and mushroom in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, I’m quite sure you won’t leave in disappointment.

The menu with price can be found at http://discoverlemeridien.com/menus/

Thank you Janice & Damian for the invitation.

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

Last month it was the Vietnamese cooking demo and Vietnamese promotion at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien. Now the very same hotel runs the Taste of Italy” culinary event featuring guest Chef Fabrizio from Westin Bejing Financial Street.

Together with a bunch of bloggers & members of media, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by the good chef, and here’s one of his recipe.

Now even I think I can properly cook a meal with lobster that will do the shell fish justice. Here’s the recipe.

glorious Maine lobster in frying pan with olive oil, herbs & cherry tomato
glorious Maine lobster in frying pan with olive oil, herbs & cherry tomato

Ingredients:

  • 320 g spaghetti
  • 100 g olive oil
  • 300 g cherry tomato (halved)
  • 30 g garlic (chopped)
  • 4 pcs maine lobster
  • 100 g butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the pesto

  • 25 g basil
  • 25 g marjoram
  • 25 g parsley
  • 75 g olive oil

here's the spaghetti with lobster
here’s the spaghetti with lobster

The preparation method is pretty straight forward, and let me just copy verbatim from Chef Fabrizio’s text.

Roast garlic in large pan with olive oil. Add lobster, cherry tomato and cook with some water, add seasoning. Boil pasta in a large pot with salted water until the favorite cooking. Blend herbs with the olive oil for pesto. Take“` lobster out of the sauce, clean the tongs and half the tail. Arrange halved tail in a plate. Strain spaghetti and add sauce with herb pesto and butter. Arrange spaghetti beside the lobster, add lobster meat. Decorate with some herb leaves and serve.

fresh spring herb pesto
fresh spring herb pesto, prepared with a blender

It’s pretty simple isn’t it?

Chef Fabrizio has a bit of flair and the lack of “seriousness” when it comes to preparation of his dishes. As he proudly said “I am not a pastry chef”, and cooking should involves a sense of flexibility and creativity. I like this style.

In fact, in a short span of 1 hour or so, the good chef prepared three dishes right in front of us, including the eggplant millefeuille recipe shared by Kim.

and we were served a very good buffet spread too
and we were served a very good buffet spread too, Chef Fabrizio & Chef Antoine

To get a taste of Chef Fabrizio’s creations, you can head to Favola at Le Meridien KL from June 4 to June 12, 2011. Ala carte goes for RM 25++ to RM 130++. Don’t miss out especially if you’re a fan of authentic Italian cuisine.

KY with Chef Fabrizio, Jon & Ciki, Cindy & Kim & Haze, Kim & Gareth
KY with Chef Fabrizio, Jon & Ciki, Cindy & Kim & Haze, Kim & Gareth

We were also fed an awesome spread of Italian dishes after the event (and after we sampled all three dishes prepared by Chef Fabrizio). There were cold cuts, clams, pizza, bruschetta, smoked salmon, salad, and more. It was a fantastic and certainly gastronomically satisfied session.

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

 

LeVain Boulangerie Patisserie, or simply LeVain (who the hell can remember boulaggararer pantiess whatever anyway?), is a quaint little restaurant tucked away at the less popular corner of Bukit Bintang/Imbi area.

From the outside the restaurant is a classy bungalow, much like those at the soon to be decommissioned Bangsar One. You can park your car on the street, or valet for only RM 2.

Levain Italian Restaurant at Imbi
Levain Italian Restaurant at Imbi

The decoration inside the restaurant is done tastefully, with pretty window curtains, cute little chairs, tables, and bits of beautiful brickworks too. The place really looks like something plucked straight out of Lygon street in Melbourne. The ambiance is really good.

seafood aglio olio
Seafood aglio olio

LeVain is a bit of a partially self-service restaurant. You order at the counter, get your drinks and a number for your food after payment. Some 10 minutes or so later, the friendly servers will have your food at the table. This also means that if you have a table more than a few orders, food can arrive seemingly at random intervals.

My suggestion is to order together, or don’t wait for everyone’s food to arrive before eating.

teriyaki beef sandwich, salad, tomato soup
teriyaki beef sandwich, potato salad, tomato soup

The best thing about LeVain tho, is the value you get. Most dishes are priced below RM 10, with only a few (such as seafood pasta at RM 12.50) slightly over the red colored bill. They serve free water too, so you’re not always obligated to order drinks either.

spaghetti, Mychelle, KY, Queen, Horng, Winnie, Terence
more spaghetti, Mychelle, KY, Queen, Horng, Winnie, Terence

As for the food, well, they aren’t top notch but they do hold up pretty well compared to restaurants that typically charges at least 50% more. I liked my seafood spaghetti and took a bite of the terriyaki beef sandwich which tasted pretty nice too.

Serving size at LeVain is smaller than almost everywhere else outside Penang, but hey, eating a smaller main dish leaves room for dessert and maybe a starter too right?

map to LeVain Italian Restaurant

LeVain is opened for lunch and dinner. My experience is strictly from one Friday lunch visit, so dinner might be completely different. Cheers!

Address:
Levain Boulangerie Patisserie
Jalan Delima,
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.14664, 101.72061
Tel: 03-2142 6611