Flash, bam, alakazam: Domenico Ferroni was minding his business, being a polite tourist in Southeast Asia, checking out Bali & Bangkok, when out of an orange-coloured sky, he came to KL last year & his life changed - he fell in love with Malaysia & a Malaysian, then decided to move here, more than 6,000 miles from his native Rome. Now, Domenico has teamed up with two fellow Romans - his friend Lorenzo & chef Anya - to open this friendly spot with a splash of heart & a shot of soul, imbued with the lessons he learned long ago in his teens while helping his late father run a trattoria.
Tiramisu's food is imperfect, but that's no obstacle to liking this place - we stepped in for a meal on Tuesday evening, then stayed for five hours before finally leaving past midnight Wednesday. When in Damansara Uptown, do as the Romans do & eat spaghetti carbonara, topped with pork bacon, untrammelled by cream, tossed with egg, black pepper & parmesan (RM24). Or opt for Sicilian-style spaghetti norma, nourished with kitchen-made tomato sauce, eggplant, ricotta & basil (RM25).
Chef Anya showcases several imaginative ideas: Our favourite order is this Tomato Tiramisu, layered with three preparations of tomato - fresh, confit & sun-dried - cushioned with croutons, crowned with black olives & parmesan-mascarpone mousse. Scoops of creamy with spoonfuls of crunchy, morsels of sweet & mouthfuls of savoury; our only caveat is its RM25 price tag.
Tiramisu's team illustrates its try-something-different spirit of adventure with its eggs - patrons can have 'em poached, scrambled, as a sunny-side-up or an omelette, distinctively partnered with house-made, baby-food-soft mash flavoured with carrot & ginger, purple cabbage, red beets or broccoli, coupled with bread & cream cheese (RM18 each).
Salad Jar (RM23): Prawns, iceberg lettuce, avocado, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, toasted peanuts & lime oil. Mix everything together, shut the lid & shake it up. Playfully memorable, though we'd probably like to substitute the lettuce with other leaves.
This pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella & pork salami (RM29), is not a bad pie (we finished every slice), but it feels like a recipe that requires two or three more rounds of tweaking to reach its prime-pizza potential.
Tiramisu's tiramisu is tinged with bourbon, with unconventional undercurrents, though perhaps sweeter than necessary. RM15.
Dark chocolate cakes in mugs, served warm, seem fairly fun, but again, some fine-tuning of flavours would be beneficial.
Still, somehow, none of these flaws prove fatal. Maybe it's Tiramisu's welcoming vibe, the cosy charm that keeps us lingering here, the sense that the people here like people & like food, that they've worked hard to serve what they can to the best of their capabilities. So at the end of the night, we'll lean back, sip the Italian Caffe Martella coffee coated with Nutella, & feel thankful.
Tiramisu's trying to secure a liquor license; for now, customers should bring their own wine - the corkage fee is unconfirmed.
33, Jalan SS 21/1A, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tues-Thurs, 10am-11pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-1am
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