Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Il Lido @ Yap Kwan Seng


No ifs or buts about it: Il Lido could well be KL's best Italian restaurant. That's a brazen proclamation, but being a true-blue fan of Italian food, I'm willing to make that claim.


We braved ferocious traffic on a rainy evening to head here this week; the reward _ being greeted as the first paying customers in this outlet's existence.


Capellini with sea urchin & buffalo milk ricotta. It's tricky to expound on the food, since everything is irreproachable, but it's worth mentioning that the service is stellar and the setting is sublime. If you have a loved one's birthday coming up, then come here.


Pappardelle with goose liver, duck confit & truffle sauce. You recognize these ingredients; on their own, separately, they're decadent. Combined on one pasta platter, they're divine.


Risotto with gorgonzola, radicchio & walnut sauce. Many of us search fruitlessly for the risotto of our dreams. I might sleep easy tonight, because I've found mine.


Squid ink tonnarelli with spicy crab & saffron sauce. It seems naive of us to think that only Italian chefs can truly do justice to Italian food. But if you agree, then it helps to know that the chef here is from Milan, and that he personally crafted the menu.


The icing on the cake: this restaurant is non-halal (with apologies to Muslim friends). We loved this Sardinian suckling pig; it's vastly different from the Chinese and Spanish versions that we're used to, and vastly superior. Instead of seeking (and failing) to describe this, it would be more tantalizing to simply end this entry here.


Argentinian Chardonnay Oak Cask, Trapiche (2006),


Il Lido,
Jalan Mayang,
Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 2161-2291
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39 comments:

  1. I've never seen you wax lyrical like this. :) I love how you've expressed yourself here. This is the post I've been waiting for all my life. Hehe. The papardelle sounds orgasmic, and can rank up there together with our dream salad of foie, unagi, uni and avocado. So will you fast after this decadent meal to honour it?

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  2. I knew it ! I knew it!
    You chng-ed the sequence of yr queued post for this? ;p

    It's non halal!! woooo!! everythin looks good! but kinda too little dishes fr a normal dinner for u right Sean? ;p

    You know what..i sense a pentalogy or perhaps a Heptalogy to this post.. ;)

    I think my choice would be papardelle + dessert if i'm here.

    And a good plc for a special someone's birthday u say? Haha... *pokes at UnkaLeong *!!!!!
    He gonna hv to eat roti canai til end of this mth!

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  3. Ooh, I wonder if the risotto of your dreams could be mine as well. That risotto with gorgonzola, radicchio & walnut sauce looks like it's got my name on it...

    I wonder though if they'd serve up a simple, no-airs vongole for Devil who loves his clams and wine? :D

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  4. The boss and chef came over to survey our restaurant just awhile ago and told us its gonna open soon, didnt realise it was this soon! Thanks for sharing- looks delicious!

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  5. Thank you Sean for blogging abt Il Divo after we asked. Cool stuff, sounds like a place to drop by and indulge. I was curious on what Beppe will open and whether it will match up to the Spore one, sounds like it has.

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  6. u got to tell me the prices, cant wait to go try risotto!! if its ur dream version, i might have found mine too!

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  7. Oh.. it looks so good. Wonder about the taste.. It made me more missing Italy now.. Wonder if i ever can get something similar to what i had in Italy last time. Would this restaurant expensive? But i guess it is worth to give it a try... Thanks for sharing

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  8. Fuh!!! Sardinian Pig... sounds exotic my friend! My dream would be the porky stuff :P

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  9. lemongrass: thanks! there've been so many italian restaurants opening in the past 18 months that i wasn't all that excited about this place. but it's a nice feeling to have my expectations surpassed. and it simply makes me more eager to eat more! :D
    tng: heh, u can definitely expect to see il lido, part 2, very, very soon! :D their dessert menu looks slightly less creative _ mainly traditional favorites like tiramisu, creme brulee and panna cotta. but should still be worth trying! and yep, i hope unka is feeling you poking him :D
    lfb: there's a linguine with clams and pesto! maybe he'll fall for that :D there's also another risotto here, with fresh basil. will try to check that out soon!
    augustdiners: assessing the competition? but i guess u're not really rivals, since this place caters to the city crowd, whereas your outlet draws mostly customers from pj and kepong? a three-course meal here without wine should cost about 100 ringgit if u stick to the cheaper pastas.
    boo: ya, his outlets in singapore seem to have gotten mixed reviews, so i wasn't sure what to expect here. it's quite rare for a restaurant to be so good on opening night, so i'm crossing my fingers that they'll maintain these excellent standards :D
    joe: i loved how there was no need for any seafood or meat or heavy, creamy sauces in the risotto. it was so simple, but so satisfying! the risotto costs about 40 ringgit, which is the price for most of the basic pastas here.
    sandy: some of the more expensive pastas, like the capellini, can go up to 70 ringgit, so it might be worth saving this place for a special occasion :D
    leo: surprisingly, there are only about 4-5 pork items on the entire menu, including stuff like parma ham. we thought it was a pork-free restaurant at first glance! =)

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  10. Ah, linguine with clams and pesto, eh? Sounds like something Devil could fall for. For a birthday date later this month, maybe. :)

    And I totally agree with LL - love the passion in your writing here. Can't wait for more! :D

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  11. lfb: y'know, i bet i can guess what you'll order for yourself here. tortelli stuffed with pumpkin mousse, sage, aged balsamic vinegar & amaretto crumbs. i'll probably have that on my il lido, part 2 entry :D
    heh, thanks, but to be honest, i can't muster that kind of passion regularly. it's easier to just churn out plodding prose everyday, especially since this blog is supposed to be little more than a simple record of what i eat :D

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  12. A simple record maybe, but you eat all of that so we don't have to (I doubt my bank account or waistline could manage it, haha).

    I, for one, after your post and all the descriptive comments, can't wait for my Il Lido, Part 1. :)

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  13. lfb: here's a fascinating numerical phenomenon. near the end of every month, the sum of my bank account (in ringgit) is nearly identical to my waistline (in inches). ok, i jest. or not :D
    if this place is within walking distance of your office, there's no reason why your il lido saga can't unfold within the next 24 hours :D

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  14. Been a huge fan of this blog for ages. Well done. I consider you guys to be serious food authorities of KL. Thank you for introducing me to some exceptional eating in KL.

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  15. feed me: thanks for your kind words, really! very much appreciated. it's always nice to be reminded of how a love for good food can create a bond among strangers :D

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  16. There's a really good reason why my Il Lido saga ain't gonna unfold within the next 24 hours:

    1. I don't have my camera with me to capture all them pretty dishes.

    2. I'm totally broke.

    Okay, make that TWO reasons. :P

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  17. lfb: ok, i can understand reason 1, but reason 2 ... ermm, it's the beginning of the month! how to survive until payday like this?

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  18. omigooodness sean, i mean, your posts are usually droolworthy, but this one... you've thrown your whole heart and soul into endorsing this place, so much so i feel the serious urge to visit it almost pronto. that papardelle looks like its to die for. why did boo refer to it as il divo?

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  19. fbb: yep, il lido has shot straight into my shortlist of favorite restaurants in KL. i can't wait to return. maybe i'll even bump into some of you guys there, heheh.
    i guess that was a typo? il divo is another italian place that opened in hartamas a few years back, then relocated to ampang last year.

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  20. Echoes the others - the most expressive Sean we've read, like, ever! I simply cannot NOT hotfoot over to this place! And Sardinian suckling pig... that's intrepid dining surely!

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  21. Haha, what can I say? I have to finance my travels somehow, right? In fact, as of tomorrow, I'm leaving on a jet plane... :P

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  22. min: gosh, now i'm shuddering! i stand by my entry, but can any place live up to such great expectations? scary, heheh :D i just did some research on that piglet. it's known as porceddu in sardinia and is typically cooked with oil, salt and various herb twigs
    lfb: yikes, tak habis dengan cuti-cuti! ok, will look forward to your next saga then. hopefully, there'll be no shortage of eye candy either :P

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  23. Haha, I promise you I shall not leave you hungary, er, hungry for eye candy and more... :P

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  24. lfb: i smell a clue there! i suppose we should anticipate sweeping vistas of the danube then :D

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  25. Either that or the thermal baths of the Ottoman era... :P

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  26. lfb: baths? gasp! could this herald the "hot spas, hotter bodies" saga? and so it begins... :D

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  27. since you say this is the best, I guess I will have to pay this place a visit. Hopefully soon.

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  28. eiling: i'm feeling confident that u'll like it! the wine selection here is not bad either :D

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  29. Wots all this poking about then? Heheh.. If my man sean gives his thumbs up, we be going over real soon ;)

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  30. Unka: yikes, looks like I'm staking my reputation on this place! I hope your gal becky likes it though (for both our sakes, heh)

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  31. hey sean out of all these good restaurants, do u have any suggestion for a farewell party where the price is affordable and reasonable for students, and most importantly good food. I would prefer bar lounge, it is always the perfect thing to have delicious western food with cocktails, and musics!

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  32. kaimin: hmmmm, how about 7atenine? if you stick to pizzas and snacks, then the bill might not be too scary. here's their food menu online: http://www.sevenatenine.com/kl/pdf/789kl%20menuins_solids_100122.pdf
    i also like the wine loft at leonardo's on jln bangkung, bangsar.
    http://leonardos.my/ekids/Wine%20Loft%20Menu.pdf
    a third option is palate palette http://www.palatepalette.com/

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  33. thanks so much!! they all look great! :)

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  34. kaimin: hope u guys have a great time ;)

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  35. I only had the reheated moldy bread and the expensive still water that they opened out the back so potentially could have been tap water. I walked out coz the waiter accidently farted in my girlfriends face. Yuck they even had the courage to ask for to pay for the bread and water. I went to Nero Vivo instead, never disappointed there at 3/4 of the price.

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  36. To keep it short: really cool setting, very average food, absolutely lousy service (except the valet/security which are friendly).
    Wouldn't recommend this place to anyone, unless he or she is proposing (then, yes, the place looks damn cool).
    Sean, no offence meant, but maybe being the "first paying customers" ensured that you get a special treatment?
    One of the worse experiences in my last 3 years of KL dining.

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  37. Bob & Matiboy: sorry to hear about your bad experiences here. It's tough for me to respond, since my visits to il lido have generally been satisfying. But yep, I've heard some complaints from a few others too, so I do realize that not everyone enjoyed their dinners here.

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