Fresh pastas, flavoursome pizzas & fulfilling produce: Fratello Italiano reminds us of the reasons we admire Italian cuisine - this restaurant makes a satisfying entry into Bangsar South, doing justice to the time-honoured work of traditional trattorias.
Grab a cosy table beside Fratello Italiano's full-length mural, which gorgeously evokes a soulful Tuscan street scene, & order to your heart's content: Handcrafted pastas are a highlight, including the tri-coloured fettuccine aglio olio, glowing with the well-executed simplicity of olive oil, garlic & herbs (RM18). The fettuccine is hued with natural ingredients like beetroot, spinach, chillies, squid ink, tomato, dill or parsley, providing for a visually pleasing portrait of pasta that's bears the unmistakably tender, silky texture from being house-made the old-fashioned way in Fratello Italiano's kitchen, liberated from artificial colouring or preservatives. The menu also promises fettuccine in classic carbonara & pesto preparations, as well as tagliolini bolognese, napoletana, marinara & vongole. In the near future, home cooks will also be able to purchase packets of pasta to bring back.
The range of fresh pasta also extends to the creamy comfort of cannelloni stuffed with chicken & spinach, oven-baked with cheese & tomato sauce (RM28), rustic stracci in a buttery alfredo sauce with mushrooms & truffle oil (RM28) & tortellini packed with chicken & mushrooms in a garlicky sauce with hints of sun-dried tomatoes (RM36), each smooth & rich but not cloying.
Pizzas are another cornerstone of Fratello Italiano's repertoire, with the dough opened up, stretched & slapped by hand instead of rolling pins, resulting in a gratifyingly light & crispy-airy thin crust with a rough, imperfect look that conveys character. There are 15 varieties of pizzas offered, nearly half of which are fully vegetarian. We tried this one topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichokes & sliced black olives (RM35), a robust combination that'd be ideal for meatless Mondays.
The restaurant rates well for meat too, particularly lamb; the portobello mushrooms come brimming with fleshy pulled Tasmanian lamb backstrap, its full-bodied flavours accentuated by goat's cheese & roasted capsicum (RM33). And for pure, no-holds-barred lamb with juices that flood the palate, order the unerringly grilled rack matched with rosemary gravy (RM65).
Also worth munching on, as starters, sides or snacks for sharing: The rocket leaf salad is made more interesting & even tastier than expected, tossed with lemon oil, cushioned with savoury tapenade & showered with shaved Pecorino cheese (RM18), while the crunchy almond-crusted calamari fulfills the spirit & substance of an appetising antipasto, partnered with roasted garlic aioli & habanero mayo (RM30). Close your meal with can't-fail gelato, served with poached apples & almond crumble.
For wine devotees, Fratello Italiano makes a good watering hole too; we particularly noted the Italian selection, which includes versatile offerings from the Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscan & Sicilian regions that'll provide the perfect couplings for the food here - we enjoyed the reasonably deep & luscious Rocca Di Montemassi Sassabruna. Many thanks to Fratello Italiano for having us.
First Floor, Nexus Bangsar South, Jalan Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2242-3130
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