Monday, January 18, 2010

Vineria @ Bangsar Shopping Center

BSC keeps getting better. The latest restaurant here, Vineria, is an offshoot of Bar Italia, offering rustic fare that's fairly unusual for a mall outlet. Thanks to the comfy setting and gracious service, it's a pleasant place that's perfect for a leisurely evening with friends.

Spanish Nocina ham on Tuscan bean stew. Hearty comfort food, featuring robust flavours.

Duck & foie gras sausage with truffle cheese fondue. Worth ordering as an alternative to artificial-tasting supermarket sausages, though the saltiness overpowered any hint of foie gras. We were kinda bewildered by the fondue, which was more like a congealed chunk of cheese sprinkled with pepper instead of a warm sauce scented with truffles.

Barley with fried capsicum and tuna. A healthy substitute for risotto, with mild, subtle flavours. We appreciated how the barley remained firm without being chewy.

Gnocchi Sorrentina (potato gnocchi with tomatoes, oregano & mozarella). Finally, gnocchi that isn't lumpy! Alas, it still fell short of greatness; while it wasn't heavy, it wasn't quite the fluffy, pillowy gnocchi that haunts our dreams. Also, the sauce needs more fine-tuning to really complement the gnocchi _ perhaps a different type of tomato could be used.

Whole seabass with prawns, more barley and veggies. Flown in from Italy, here's a whopping catch that should easily feed two diners. Its clean, natural taste and tender, meaty texture should satisfy fans of fresh fish.

Two types of tiramisu: "Traditional," with Sicilian Marsala & Espresso Ristretto (no surprises, no complaints) and "Modern," with coconut and fiordilatte (weird, but fascinating; imagine the usual creamy tiramisu, except that it's coconut-flavoured).

Cabernet Shiraz Zinfandel Fusion T. Mater 2004 (Chile).

Prosecco di Prosecco Tenimenti Extra Dry NV.

Grappa, to end on a throat-scorching note.

G-133, Bangsar Shopping Centre.
Tel: 2287-7889

This restaurant is available for bookings under TABLEAPP, which enables customers to make instant reservations at Malaysia's top restaurants, while saving time and money in the process. Reserve your table at this restaurant by clicking here.


  1. That's a lot of grappa to end the meal! Looks like the search for the perfect gnocchi is still elusive. Cool, another place to try in Bsar, kinda getting bored with BSC's offerings.

  2. boo: i have a feeling that the perfect gnocchi might not be available in kl, though places like sassorosso and shook come close! yeah, there are still fewer than 10 worthwhile restaurants at bsc, which isn't enough for a decent mall! :D

  3. just one question.. how much did u fart that night:P

  4. ciki: the grappa must have burnt out all the gases within my digestive tract :D

  5. Gotta respect a man who can down a glass of paint thinner in one gulp.

  6. oh, is the owner there now instead at Jln Berangan?

  7. lemongrass: gotta respect a woman who only needs one restroom break in 6 hours :D
    tng: he was nowhere to be found on opening nite... maybe he'll pop by another time...

  8. Ooh the dishes are all very refreshing and creative. I wonder what's the prices are like?

  9. eiling: not too high actually. the pastas are mainly in the 20-something range...

  10. Spanish ham on Tuscan bean stew?? Sounds deliciously hearty!

  11. bangsar-babe: yeah, it was an appetiser portion, but would have gladly ordered it as a main course too :D

  12. Hey, the place across my store has finally opened its doors. Should pay a visit, but from the sound of things - nothing's really spectacular eh?

  13. qwazymonkey: ooh, there's a kiehls nearby ar ... yeah, u could pop by if u feel like having some pasta, but the food isn't really incredible...

  14. This review is almost identical to Rebecca's! Did you two go together?

    Btw I see your site on the front page of almost every Google search I run on restaurants. Great work :)

  15. elaine: nope, if i recall correctly, we were there separately. great minds think alike? ahhh, thanks for pointing out the google stuff, appreciate it :D

  16. The service was terrible on both the occasions i was there. But i love the pizza!

  17. Over rated.

    For those who've not tried, it's an experince with good food, though not excellent.

    Service was ok, but meal took 1 hr to deliver common appetiser from the set lunch, whilst 2 turn around on the same table behind. Excuse was that because it's set lunch.
    - Set lunch customers are treated as sub standard.

    Food quality & taste was good, but not fantastic to face the poor attitude from the owner. I've had better food at fine dining restaurants with much better attitude, rather than paying 5 star price to get 3-4 star quality.
    - If you can't tell the difference, and don't mind the price, it's convenient location with cold storage nearby for shopping needs.

    We're a family of small eaters, where the 3 adults set lunch was hardly enough for 3 small eater adults.
    - Excuse was ingredients being imported pointing to the fish which is common fish, with bony lamb which looked like left overs.
    - Go to Bavarian Restaurant at the Curve with better feel, service and a meal that is not pretentious.

    All in all, I'd rather over pay for a Verve @ Cold Storage (as I know better source), which would be more satisfying. Restaurant owners thinks he could give some BS answer, which I pointed out didn't hold water, he didn't like it. Sore LOOSER, & sad.

    It's always sad that I can tell the difference between excellence and those who try to pass as one.

  18. Think the owner or chef or whatever he is might have a bit of an attitude problem to be honest. Witnessed one incident last week where a seemingly innocent request by a customer to change the pasta in a dish (spaghetti or tagliatelle) was met with a stream of verbal abuse from the chef saying 'it wasn't possible'.
    Chef then proceeded throughout the night to bully and shout at staff, ringing his little service bell nonstop to the point where we were tempted to remove it from his grasp as it was so annoying.
    Such a shame, the food had in the past been ok, but we felt very uncomfortable watching this go on, and the staff looked threatened by the man as well as the customer looking visibly upset by what had happened with no apology from the chef at all.

  19. Do not go here.

    We were a group of 4 and we were looking for a nice place to eat in BSC. We got there and for what its worth the deco was nice. We sat down and begun ordering and that's when things got really crazy.

    Firstly, i agree the staff are badly trained. They had herbal tea listed in their menu and when it came it was basically infused black tea. We spoke to the waiter and said that the menu was misleading, more so when one of us could not take caffeine but all they did was insist that herbal tea meant it was a black tea. The waiter could not comprehend the existence of any other category of tea apart from black tea. Really, the best response would have been an apology and maybe to say we will ensure the menu is more specific in the future. We had asked for the supervisor twice at this point to explain but he never came.

    The starters were nice but when the mains arrived and we were about to eat, out crawled a cockroach from under the plate onto the table. We all jumped and this time demanded that we see the supervisor. We were met by the Italian owners brother whose first response was to say that this is common in Malaysia, and even with pest control, cockroaches crawl from outside and get up to the tables. I thought this was ridiculous, more so as a first response and secondly the cheek of him to blame the country in general. If i could do that with my business i would be a happy man. We were also already there for 45 minutes so if there were cockroaches climbing up we would have seen it.

    I said to him in all our time eating in Malaysia this was the first time it has happened to me, and with 3 others also saying the same thing, blaming Malaysia for this was lame. This chap went further to imply we were lying about not seeing seeing this in restaurants in Malaysia! If his benchmark is a mamak in some back alley then fine but this is a fine dining restaurant where one dish is generally my mamak bill for 10.

    Secondly, he said his kitchen was clean and this could not have come from there. He continued to defend this and was really rather rude about taking ownership. As we were talking at this point, out came another cockroach, which crawled over the table. We pointed this to him but he just basically ignored it!

    All we expected was really an apology and more importantly a commitment to check the kitchen thoroughly. At the end of it, the only real apology we got was from another Italian waiter who said sorry as we left without paying obviously.
    If the most senior staff there are rude and incompetent, i fear for the more junior staff. If they don’t accept responsibility for cleanliness then i fear someone is going to get really sick. I am sure you don’t want to be that person.

  20. I agree with some of the criticisms. I liked the ambience and was quite excited that I found a new place I could chill out in. I too was put off my an Italian's attitude - I went in at 2.45 p.m for a late lunch, and I saw that they had buffet. Waiter told me that buffet is up to 3 p.m. I said it's not 3 yet and the Italian walks to me and says "oh, the food is finished"...and we only do buffet lunches. The food was salty, salty and salty. I agree with you on the sausages, Sean - the fondue looked gruesome. Reminded me of the glass of fat Rachel tried to force Ross to drink in Friends. The only thing I enjoyed was the prosecco The lemon sorbetto was inferior to the Citrus Burst at Baskin Robbins. And I think it is a bit on the pricey side, Sean. My experience at El Meson was so much better (and cheaper!) Don't think I will be going there again

  21. kavitha, lau, pookiecat, sd, dr bahma: sorry to hear about your experiences here. i haven't been back to vineria for nearly two years, but i'll try to check it out soon =)

  22. Well, I can tolerate the attitude (it wasn't that bad, maybe it's the way he talked) but the saltiness. I had ordered the salad that came with a creamy dressing. Salty. The sausages. Salty. Maybe I will give the buffet lunch a chance. I did think that the wine by the glass was rather expensive. Perhaps it was a superior plonk that this untrained palate was not used to. LOL

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  24. My friends and I had dinner at Vineria.IT last night (this was my second visit) and safe to say that we are never going back there! Most of the food was satisfactory even though they screwed up a simple Aglio Olio (we specifically requested not spicy but when it arrived the first time, it was spicy and had to be returned).

    We also had to wait 40 mins to get 2 ginger ales which we ordered when we first arrived which I found utterly ridiculous. I don't understand why wait-staff refuse to write orders down when they can't seem to remember them.

    Service was sub-standard throughout the night and we were always hunting for someone to take our order. The fact that I had to get up and walk to the front of the restaurant 3 times just to get the waiter shows you how inattentive they were!

    If it was just a case of ignorance, perhaps I could be more forgiving but I just could not tolerate the skinny Italian guy's (manager?) rude and pompous attitude. When we tried to ask for additional spoons while he was looking in the wine chiller which was near our table, without even bothering to look up, he just put his hand up and told us to wait. Maybe that's his way of talking but it sounded really rude from where I was sitting. Seriously, I have never been treated like this in any fine dining establishment in KL or anywhere else.

    After waiting almost half an hour for our coffee and gelato to arrive, we had to leave and decided to cancel the orders and settle the bill. I won't even go into the details of the fiasco with the bill but suffice to say that the so-called Italian manager is in desperate need of a few lessons in manners (and also math 'cause he can't do simple arithmetic even with a calculator it seems) and if he's incapable of learning any, then I suggest he find another career as he's obviously not cut out for the hospitality/ service industry.

    I now understand why there are so many negative reviews on this place (mainly on the service and bad attitude of the manager I might add).

    How they even have the cheek to charge 10% service, I can't explain. Our bill was over RM1k so we basically paid RM100+ for NOTHING!!!!

    Take my advice and spend your money elsewhere!!