Returning to two top Italian outlets _ Il Lido and Vineria _ to see what's cooking these days.
Chef Andrea recently revamped Il Lido's menu (again). A should-try is the crayfish salad, strikingly assembled, with meaty flesh served in shells atop of subtly spicy beans.
House-smoked tuna with beetroot and horseradish. Think of this for a few seconds, imagining the combination of tastes and textures. Pretty interesting recipe.
Burrata cheese finally finds a place in pasta, complementing the burrata salads and crostini that have become popular at KL's other Italian eateries. Stuffed into agnolotti with mushroom ragu, this works as hearty, heartwarming fare.
Gnocchi, also a surprise, presented almost dry on a long plate, not in a sauce-smothered bowl. Constructed of smoked ricotta cheese, partnered with crisply thin duck ham & sweet pea puree. Perfect for sharing & nibbling.
Meat-lovers can indulge in boneless roast quail stuffed with foie gras terrine, enhanced by truffle and confit celeriac. Exemplary.
The verdict: Il Lido is still the city's top spot for an Italian meal.
Meanwhile, at Vineria, there's often something seemingly intriguing to try, particularly in the meat and cold-cuts section.
Air-dried salted venison with blueberry reduction & fontina cheese. Similar to beef bresaola, sharing the same lean tenderness and savory mustiness.
Truffle-stuffed "mezzelune" egg pasta sauteed with 24-month aged Parmigiano cheese. Alas, the taste of truffles was reduced to scarcely a scent of earthiness _ unfortunate because this cost north of RM50.
The menu called this "schiacciata," a classic flat bread recipe, but it seemed like regular pizza, topped with ham, rocket salad and maybe stracchino cheese.
Skipping to dessert: a mix of espresso, gianduja ice cream, chantilly cream & the faintest flavor of what's listed on the menu as 23-year-old rum.
Grappa-poached pear covered in chocolate sauce and nuts. We prefer the wine-poached version at Casa Del Cocco for its more honeyed softness.
Peach & vanilla chilled soup with caramelized berries & tarts. A tad too tart.
What saved the evening: amaretti & apple cake, a creamy concoction with balsamic berries.
Alcohol helped: Prosecco Brut Nino Franco and Erbaluce Arneis Miranda Del Centovigne 2010.
Vechhia Romagna 10-year-old wine brandy & Liola Lemon Cream from the island of Capri.
Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur.
Vineria. It @ Bangsar Shopping Center,