Eat Drink KL: Garibaldi

Monday, January 23, 2012


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.

Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur.