Monday, January 23, 2012

Garibaldi

Within 14 months, Garibaldi has evolved into a true treasure trove of Italian fare _ arguably one of KL's most under-appreciated fine dining restaurants.

Meals here start with a surprise. Will the amuse bouche be foie gras mousse?

If the chef is in the mood for seafood, perhaps he'll serve prawn mousse ...

... or swordfish carpaccio with watermelon, dainty & delicate.

Pasta is our pursuit; we bite blissfully into each slippery strand, every slick string, crazy for the combo of carbs with an infinite spectrum of interesting ingredients. Fettuccine with langoustine & baby zucchini flowers is as fulfilling as it looks.

Pappardelle with wild venison ragu _ rustic, rich & so robust; many might recognize this as a Jamie Oliver recipe, but it's really supposed to evoke the cuisine of Piedmont in northern Italy. Thankfully, there's no need now to fly there to taste this.

Black squid ink ravioli with crab meat & sweet dried tomatoes on potato emulsion. Beautifully presented, this is the rare squid ink recipe that somehow won't stain your lips & teeth. Flavors of both the sea & the soil come together to exquisite effect.

Strozzapreti with knife-chopped rabbit ragu & rucola pesto. Born in the Year of the Rabbit, I've always been fascinated with the thought of eating rabbit meat, and I order it every time I see it on the menu. Pseudo-cannibalism, maybe.

Buckwheat lasagnetta with lamb ragu, smoked scarmoza cheese & pumpkin cream _ the polar opposite of typical lasagna in KL. Steer clear of stodgy, soggy layers of pasta sheets elsewhere, washed out in artificial-tasting tomato sauce.

For the vegetarians, the force-of-nature flavors of the garden spring forth from this spaghetti, filled with fresh tomatoes, crunchy asparagus & broad beans, finished with parchment-thin slices of delicate 'robiola ai tre latti" cheese.

Garibaldi offers more than pasta, of course. The sweeping selection of seafood & meat warrants a whole new post, but for now, we can praise this pan-seared line-caught sea bream fillet with candied apples, black rice puree & whitebait omelet. Each component has its part to play, making the sum of the plate tastier than its individual parts.

Complimentary mousse-like dessert, always appreciated.

Complimentary cake-like dessert, also appreciated.

Berry bubbly cocktails.


Garibaldi,
Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur.
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

42 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Heheh. Whoaaa I wasn't interested in the first dishes but then I saw pasta and cakes! They must taste yum!

      Write about tips on how to stay fit!

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    2. Oops forgot! Happy Chinese New Year! :)

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    3. Rad: oooh, considering i probably need to lose 15 pounds, i shouldn't be trying to give any fitness advice! heheh. and thanks! you're the first commenter for the year of the dragon! =)

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    4. Omg yes I was!! I didn't realize that ahaha

      Yay!

      Ummm but you don't seem fat :p hehe

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    5. So, what special thing did you do or happened during your birthday, Sean? Well... Even though, to me, going out to eat at expensive restaurants every single freaking day is special already! Ahahah ... Amen.

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    6. Rad: heh, nothing extraordinary for my birthday. Just focused more on Chinese new year family gatherings :D I think your monthly temple visits and excursions are much more interesting! =)

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    7. Oh! ahaha it's not monthly really! ;))

      Btw, here's my CNY wish video ;))

      http://youtu.be/eXK-wWuzLgU

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    8. Rad: hahah nice red cardigan. You definitely look more festive than me today, since I'm wearing a green t-shirt instead of red :p

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  2. Happy Chinese New Year!!!

    We will go back to Garibaldi again, I want to try their maincourse this time! :D

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    1. CK: heheh, i will go back also, because i've only managed to try 60 percent of their current menu so far! :D

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  3. Rabbits are too cute to be eaten.

    Happy CNY!

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    1. Baby Sumo: heheh, the only creatures too cute to be eaten are beagles & pandas! :D gong xi fa cai to you too =)

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  4. For some strange reason I'd never even heard of the word "langoustine" til now :D What does it taste like? Sort of (I'm guessing) a cross between a lobster and a prawn?

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    1. Timing: i think you just described it better than i could have! ya, the flesh tastes similar to tiger prawns, slipper lobsters, etc. i guess they're all in the same family :D

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  5. so much of Chinese food n i see Italian food ...
    Feel like eating pasta.... LOL...
    GOOOD...

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    1. Simple Person: heheh, i think my blog post tomorrow will be back to Chinese food! :D

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  6. Zucchini flowers seem to be popping up in menus around KL. The twist on the lasagne sounds worth a visit - buckwheat - quite a healthy option + put pumpkin in any dish and I'll order it.

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    1. The Yum List: oh yeah, il lido on jalan yap kwan seng does a great zucchini flower recipe, fried in fritters with mozzarella & served with veggie caponata. it's very light, and it feels authentic :D and yeah, the lasagnetta at garibaldi is probably the lasagna i'd recommend most highly in KL right now =)

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  7. you had italian for your reunion?

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    1. Michelle: oops, nope. my posts are never actually in chronological order :D

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  8. Ooh, the lasagnetta does look rather different from the usual lasagne we get elsewhere. Perhaps I'll get Devil to order this when we head to Garibaldi next. What mains would you recommend we have (since we only did desserts and some starters the last time)?

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    1. Kenny: oh, the lasagnetta is worth having :D more truffles perhaps? there's a veal scaloppini with black truffles on brussel sprouts timbale on the a la carte menu. for something uniquely flavored, i really enjoyed a tobacco-smoked lamb rack with purple potatoes, celeriac mash & berries sauce, though i think not everyone might love it :D

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll let Devil know and we might get the maître d' to recommend some too. (From what I remember, he's an eager and enthusiastic chap. Ahem.)

      I think Devil and I may well be all truffled-out from the last visit though. Hehe.

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  9. Gong hei gong hei!
    Your birthday so near CNY hor? Huat ahhh!!

    You're right. Garibaldi is certainly improvin by leaps and bounds. I wonder being a Sg-rean franchise has got anythin to do w it tho. At the start, it did seem to be another lacklustre Italian -good but not great, but now it's slowly morphing into perhaps.. top 3 italian in KL??

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    1. Tng: heheh, this is actually the first year that I hear folks going 'Huat ar' ... Or maybe I never noticed before :D ya, garibaldi is one of my favorite italian restaurants now, in terms of food. Not really a fan of the ambiance though, heh. And yeah, the Singaporeans are far ahead of us in getting fine-dining done well =)

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  10. Actually your tag line in the banner up there could be misread Fat Drink KL :p

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    1. Rad: oops! Hopefully that never happens. Hahah

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    2. No, it never will unless you change it ahaha

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  11. wow. the food here looks really good and what a shame that I haven't been to Garibaldi before except the Garibar.

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    1. Eiling: oh yeah, I'd definitely recommend garibaldi to any fans of italian food! =)

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  12. the foods are really tempting :)

    Happy CNY!

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    1. Fui: yups, definitely delicious :D thanks, and same to you =)

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  13. i love all kinds of mousse there, the prawn one and the dessert :D so appetizing!

    Latest: Korean Reunion Style

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    1. Fish; heheh, ya, the food here is good from beginning to end :D

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  14. glad you wrong garibaldi. been reading quite bit of chinese food and obviously been eating lots of chinese food. not complaining since they are lovingly cooked by my mum in law and the aunties:D

    tasted the pappardelle with wild venison ragu at garibaldi. beautifulllllll!

    gong hei fatt choy!

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    1. Missyblurkit: oh yeah, I think this is the only week of the year when i seem to be having a Chinese meal every day! Heheh. Happy new year to you too :D

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  15. The Strozzapreti looks great! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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    1. Hungry female: whoa, hello, stranger! Hope you've been well. Happy new year to ya! :D

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  16. Came here because I read Garibaldi won timeout's best italian. No wonder! By virtue of variety, it beats timeout abooderbee's top 9 italian handsdown! Well, the 5 that i've been to anyway. Will be putting this place on my list of places to eat next summer!

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    1. GFAD: i know garibaldi has its detractors, and i do understand their criticism, but i think that while it's NOT kl's best, it's definitely worthy of some sort of accolade. i've enjoyed all of my meals here, and i think there are more hits than misses. hope to bump into you here next year! :D

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