Is a good Italian restaurant in KL difficult to find?
Well not really, unless you want those serving pork. I have my default recommendations according to budget. Yes you read right, according to budget.
For family and big groups without having to burn a black hole in your wallet, and yet score yourself a pretty satisfying meal, go for Porta Romano (I usually go to the TTDI branch) or La Risata on Jalan Kasah. Given that your wallet allows you a budget a notch higher, then Garibaldi (sorry it was just announced that it has ceased operations) or Il Lido, Nerovivo, Neroteca (non-halal) are good bets.
I can’t say I’m an Italian connoisseur as I have yet to step foot on Italian soil. One of my more memorable Italian meal (with pork and all) was in Bali at Bene, Sheraton Bali Kuta.
Back in KL, I would usually hop into Favola at Le Meridien. It has fulfilled any pizza/pastas cravings for me so far, and besides, my Starwood Privilege Card entitles me to 50% off the food bill if there are 2 pax dining.
Since my card is nearing expiry, I had dined here even more often lately. On each visit, I never fail to order at least one of Favola pizzas. The pizzas here are decent; fresh crust, crispy, light and nicely puffed up around the rims. I love the pizza base as well, tangy and fresh. But it can be a bit thin, and I do wish they spread a thicker layer as I couldn’t get enough of it! I felt that the crust should be a bit charred for the smoky flavour too, which was sadly lacking.
Venetian – RM55.
Lobster, scallops, prawns, calamari and clams. A lone clam (I kid you not), very little lobster or scallops or calamari but definitely not lacking in prawns.
I love artichokes and I ordered the Capricciosa (RM45) for that reason alone. This was on a separate visit and this round, the crust had a bit of blistered bumps along the rims.
Other than roasted artichokes, hot pepperoni, mozzarella, tomato , anchovy filets in olive oil, black olives and garlic made up the rest of the toppings for this pizza. Generally I find the pizza toppins here a bit on the miserly side for the price paid.
Ok, I admit that I’m the sort who wants value for my money, guilty as charged! 😀
The complimentary breads at Favola is legendary; and being a bread consummate bread eater I can be very picky about my breads. Yet I totally approved of the breads here. I particularly love the one with sundried tomatoes; so fragrant and good to nibble even on its own. I would finish almost the whole loaf on every visit; regardless of the fact that I have an order of pizza and a main course on the way.
The breads and condiments rarely changes I believe, since over a few visits I was served pretty much similar items.
Andrew is a fan of minestrone, and on one visit he ordered Favola’s Minestrone (RM30) – Italian vegetable soup with pasta and Gorgonzola croutons. I liked it as I find it thick, chunky and wholesome. He however said he had better.
But he did enjoy the BBQ Cod Fish (RM90) – olive oil, basil, capers, pecorino and sun-dried tomato dressing for sure. This is one of Favola’s signatures, and understandably so. Moist, flaky creamy flesh cooked just right and served with a very tasty sauce which complements the fish really well.
I contented myself with a serving of freshly made squid ink pasta tossed in olive oil accompanied with smoked duck breast. The flavours were fabulous and I loved it. We polished the bowl clean short of the smoked duck. It was way too salty but it did a good job flavouring the pasta for sure. That and the premium olive oils used in the kitchen of Favola.
On another visit I shared the Cotoletta di Vitello Piemontese (RM138) with my dining partner. This chunk of Piemontese veal cutlet was cooked to medium as advised by our waitress. It came still slightly pink and was a sizeable piece. The menu said 340g though it looked smaller. Anyhow together with a 10″ pizza we were stuffed by the time we shoved the last juicy piece into our mouths. I for one, couldn’t stop eating the gorgonzola pudding that came with it.
Delicious gorgonzola pudding!
There are not many restaurants serving veal in KL and so far the Starwood group of hotels – Gastro @Le Meridien, Favola@Le Meridien has veal on its menu. I think Graze at KL Hilton offers it as well.
Veal is actually the meat of young cows, as opposed to beef from cows. So it is essentially “beefy” in taste but milder.
This piece was adeptly cooked and I certainly would recommend anyone looking for a good piece of veal to enjoy it here. Most veal preparations are deep fried but I prefer a grilled one anytime; all the better to truly enjoy its flavour I reckon. 🙂
Service can be a bit slow, even during non-peak (not full house) hours. You will get service, if you can get the wait staff’s attention.
All pizzas at Favola starts at RM40 – RM55.
The most expensive – RM55 is as below – the Venetian.
In Favola, you can mix and match any pasta with your favourite sauce.
Dry Pasta : Spaghetti, Capellini, Penne
Fresh Pasta : Squid Ink Tagliolini, Tagliatelle, Parpadelle.
Favola Italian Restaurant
Located on Level 8
Seating Capacity: 80 pax
Private Room: 20 pax
Daily Lunch (except Saturday) : 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm
Daily Dinner : 6.30 pm to 11 pm
*I paid for the meals using my Starwood Privilege Card which entitles me to 50% off for min 2 pax dining. But this card is discontinued now.
For collection of Starpoints and discounts on hotel stays, F &B etc you can sign up for a complimentary SPG card here: http://discoverlemeridien.com/spg-programme-registration/
More on SPG Restaurants and Bars : http://www.spgrestaurantsandbars.com/malaysia/kuala-lumpur