Friday, August 12, 2016

Luce Osteria Contemporanea @ Old Malaya, Raja Chulan

Luce boasts a beautiful setting & warm service, but its chief allure rests in its menu, which showcases more than 50 pizzas crafted by chef Cristian Grandi, who comes to KL from Italy's northern Emilia-Romagna region.

There's a staggering range of possibilities for Luce's pizza toppings, with an emphasis on pork & Italian cold cuts - spicy Spianata Calabra salami, speck, honey-baked ham, porchetta, bresaola - & a variety of cheeses - Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, gorgonzola, smoked scarmoza, fontina, mascarpone - bolstered by seafood (baby octopus, tiger prawns, scallops, white clams, black mussels), vegetables & other accoutrements (baked eggplant, borlotti beans, artichokes, scrambled eggs, pumpkin cream, white truffle paste & much more). Most of the pizzas cost between RM30-RM46 each. Tip: When ordering, inform the staff whether you prefer your pizzas very thin & crispy, as Cristian's regular style leans closer to a soft, supple crust.

Luce's repertoire extends beyond pizzas - this is a full-fledged Italian restaurant for a complete meal; expect everything from rigatoni with pork cheeks to duck leg confit with Parma ham on polenta. Quality seems assured, since Luce is helmed by the same team behind Zenzero at St Mary's Place. Interesting house cocktails are available too, with combinations like Aperol with gin, ginger puree & mint leaves to amaretto with Angostura bitters (mainly RM30-RM40).

Luce KL
Old Malaya, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Open 3pm-12am, closed Mondays. Tel: 03-2078-8008

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16 comments:

  1. Oooh so many choices - I'm sure to need assistance making a final decision. :-)

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, it took us like 10 minutes to read the menu and try to figure out what pizza we wanted the most! :)

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  2. Love the place, both outside and inside. Real classy and nice.

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    1. Suituapui: yep, it's a real cocoon of calm in the city centre :)

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  3. Sean,

    A very good morning, I'm following you since 2009, most your reviews are nicely done, but I'd like to point out my opinion on this particular tips that you given about the pizzas. Tip: When ordering, inform the staff whether you prefer your pizzas very thin & crispy, as Cristian's regular style leans closer to a soft, supple crust. I believe that we should not encourage people to change a tradition of food, pizza thin crust is American as it is, it should be remain American and let the customers experience the REAL food and make their own judgment,otherwise they will never experience the real one. Hope this doesn't offend you, but I'm pretty much attached to our Italian tradition as the Japanese to their sashimi/sushi, and I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't recommend to a customer to go ask for overcooked sushi's rice when dining in a Jap restaurant.

    Thanks&Regards

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    1. Riccardo: It's great to hear from you, and I'm very thankful that you're sharing your perspective - I do respect your thoughts and value the long and positive contributions you've made to KL's dining scene as a terrific chef and restaurateur.
      To be honest, that line I added at the end was based on a brief chat I had with Cristian before leaving - he asked whether we liked the pizza, and one of the things I asked was whether all the crusts for the 50-plus different pizzas are the softer, more pliable type. He said yes, but mentioned that if customers want a thinner, crispier crust, the restaurant could accommodate them - I took this to mean that he was comfortable with any style, but based on your feedback, perhaps I misinterpreted his response to me.
      I do love pizzas, and personally I prefer a thicker crust with a nice chew that's well-proportioned with the toppings. Based on my limited experience and my visits to pizzerias in Italy, my impression was that there are different styles of pizzas that dominate different cities, and I remember very thin and crispy pizzas in Rome. But whatever the style, they were all pretty delicious.
      I do take your point seriously though about how customers should experience the food as the chef intends it to be, and for Luce, I hope they'll enjoy it that way.

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    2. Ciao Sean,

      Appreciate your reply. Indeed the pizza is one of the most spoiled and versatile food on earth, some of the people call it pie;-) thanks again and hope to see you soon in our deli for a sandwich.

      Be Well

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    3. Thanks Riccardo - Italian food is actually my favourite cuisine in the world. I could eat pasta everyday and be happy. Hope to see you around - it's been years since the last time! :)

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  4. Wow, more than 50 pizzas to choose from! I happen to love pizza and sad to say, my only experience with pizza is Pizza Hut and Dominos hah..hah... I really have to try a true blue Italian one, eh? By the way, I will enjoy the way they prepare the crust here as I like it thick and chewy. Not really into thin and crispy crust.

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    1. Phong Hong: ooo, sounds like you have a place and opportunity to expand your horizons if you head into the city centre. i used to order pizza hut and domino's a lot back when i was working in the office and it was the most convenient thing (long before foodpanda and other delivery services were available). my favourite pizzas are when the dough is fresh and satisfying and the toppings are well-balanced and flavourful! :)

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  5. I like the looks of your first pizza already...with those little crawlies (my favourite)! :D From your pic, the pizza crust looks soft and pliable...and looks adequately thin too...and that's how I like it (not into thick and chewy crusts). My family, on the other hand, likes it thin and crispy.

    Although I do agree with the comment above that they should let customers enjoy the real, authentic Italian pizza the way it should be done, they also need to be flexible and give customers a choice if they really want it some other way as long as they impress upon the customers of what a real Italian pizza should be like but if they still choose to have it differently, then it's their choice. Sometimes, tweaking is necessary to include local taste buds...and I'm sure this annoys some chefs but it can't be helped. It's like a local wanting to eat an expensive and good piece of steak medium well or well done (when the best way to have it is rare or medium rare). It's a case of you heed their request or you lose them as a customer! >.<

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    1. Contact.ewew: heheh, yeah, the pizza was well loaded with baby octopus on every slice. i actually would have preferred to order a pizza with pork toppings, but i was here with a muslim companion, so we had to order a non-pork pizza :)
      yeah, pizza preferences vary, even within the same family, as you pointed out! i do feel that a pizza can be delicious and enjoyable whether it's a thin crust or not, but i do know a lot of people who really insist on thin, very crispy crusts. my favourite crusts are more textured, with interesting substance and flavour, like traditional sorts of bread ;) but yeah, you make a valid point, and it's nice to note that Luce will accommodate its customers' preferences if they insist ;)

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  6. There are too many choices! I think Mr Mah would love this place. :D

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    1. CK: heheh, maybe you can plan a visit here the next time you feel like a pizza dinner date! :D

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  7. staggering range of possibilities for Luce's pizza toppings, with an emphasis on pork & Italian cold cuts - ohhhh... a porky Italian outlet! Yay! :D

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    1. Rebecca: yeah ... Zenzero is a no-pork outlet and it's still very good, but it's great that they've opened a sister restaurant that serves pork - perfect for pizzas! ;)

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