Eat Drink KL: February 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Kanbe, 163 Retail Park

Swirl and twirl, fire burn and cauldron bubble: Bone of pork, shell of prawn, ink of squid, splash of sardines, lick of yuzu, lash of sesame, lingering of broad beans - the witches of Macbeth might not have brewed a broth as potent and pronounced as Kanbe’s seven styles of soup, stirring up a steamy, sizzling storm of ramen in Mont Kiara’s 163 Retail Park.

Kanbe offers two popular preparations of ramen - Hakata ramen, with deliciously firm, thin noodles in a cloudy pork bone broth (RM31.20), and Tsukemen, with thicker, chewier noodles served beside a denser, more umami-intense soup for dipping (RM39). 

The highlight for most customers will be the 48-hour-simmered tonkotsu broth, which comes in seven varieties - Shiro (the purest of them all), Aka (blended with doubanjiang fermented chilli bean paste with a slightly spicy tang), Koro (blackened with squid ink, made mildly aromatic with charred garlic), Kohaku (with a briny stock of dried sardines, bonito and mackerel), Goma (nutty-earthy with sesame), Yuzu (brightened with citrus) and our favourite, the Sakura (shrimp-sweet with whole ebi prawn stock).

You can order the broths on their own for RM18 each, a wonderful way to explore and compare them in one sitting. Each one is unmistakably distinctive, deriving their resonance from natural ingredients that balance well with the pork bone foundation.

Plenty of customisation is possible - pick a preferred noodle firmness (extra hard is the recommended equivalent of al dente), a soup sauce spiciness level (mild is fine) and how much garlic and flavoured oil you want (heavy adds allure). The punchiness of the broth is also up to you, with choices of light, normal or rich (the latter is comforting without being cloying).

Each bowl comes with chashu, but it's worth the RM5 surcharge to switch to kakuni, more luscious slabs of pork belly. Top-ups of flavoured eggs and Parmesan cheese are also available.

豚麺処 官兵衛 KANBE

GF-08, 163 Retail Park, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-9pm.

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Boudoirz, Ceylonz Suites

Boudoirz beckons with a 37th-floor poolside bar that feels more wide-open than many sky-high lounges, overlooking KL Forest Eco Park with a view that embraces towers, hills and clouds in equal measure.

If classic cocktails are your poison, Boudoirz's selection should meet lofty expectations, with the tequila-propelled Paloma and rum-driven Daiquiri (RM40 each) supplying sweet, easy-sipping satisfaction.


37-1, Ceylonz Suites, Bukit Ceylon, Persiaran Raja Chulan, Bukit Kewangan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.

Daily, 4pm-12am. Tel: 012-272-7817

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Pizza Roma: Bringing Pinsa Romana to Bandar Menjalara, Ampang & Bangsar

If pizza is your pursuit, Pinsa Romana might be your next passion, introduced in Malaysia for the first time by Pizza Roma, relying distinctively on a Roman-crafted dough blend of soy, rice and wheat flours. 

Pizza Roma, currently in Bandar Menjalara and Ampang, with a branch in Bangsar to come, is Malaysia's first and only pinseria romano, exclusively certified to use the Expert Pinsa Romano Flour Mix created by central Italy's Di Marco family, who've been baking for more than a century.

You'll recognise Pizza Roma's Pinsa Romano not only by its oblong shape but the taste and texture of its crust, discernibly different from other pizzas, crisp and puffy to the bite, light and fluffy to the chew.

Pizza Roma was founded by Roman-raised chef Lorenzo, in partnership in Bandar Menjalara with Malaysian collaborator Rabindran, also a chef who previously honed his craft in Melbourne, Australia and ran the restaurant Interlude in Taman Tun Dr Ismail when he returned to KL.

Here, they take pride in reinterpreting ancient Roman flatbreads that date back at least 2,000 years, the forerunner of modern-day pizzas. The Romans of yore built their bread with a mix of ground cereals, a tradition that inspires the recipe for Pinsa Romana. 

The high-hydration, Italian-imported foundation for Pinsa Romana consists of soy flour, rice flour and wheat flour, woven with mother yeast, formulated to yield a lovely fragrance and flavour from its maturation. The soy flour helps make this a low-gluten indulgence, more easily digestible than typical pizza. The rice flour furnishes an irresistibly gentle crunch, especially on the pizza's edge.

Pizza Roma ages this proprietary flour blend for at least two days, resulting in a richer profile. Once the orders come in, each dough ball is hand-pressed into the elongated shape of the pizza, stretched with the fingers from centre to side, true to the Latin word 'pinsere.'

What emerges from the oven is proof that a pure pizza paradise exists, with more than 30 different topping combinations to choose from.

Pizza Roma's Pinsa Romana is available in three sizes - the smallest is perfect for a personal meal or for sampling and sharing, starting at RM10.90 per pizza. Regular pizzas range from RM17.90 to RM41.90, while large pizzas mainly clock in between RM28.90 to RM56.90.

Pictured above is the Tartufata, our best bet for a white, meat-free pizza with a delicate earthiness, buoyed by mushrooms and mozzarella on truffle sauce, showered with rocket leaves and Parmesan.

Our favourite of the three pizzas we tried is the classic Caprese salad adapted into a pizza, loaded with luscious buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil on tomato sauce, as reviving as springtime on a pizza.

Meat lovers will savour the Salchichon, draped with tender slices of salchichon-style turkey sausage, marinated zucchini, eggplant and mozzarella over a robust tomato sauce.

The toppings thoroughly blanket each slice, ensuring plenty of punchy flavours. But Pizza Roma's magic ultimately is in the crust, which we eagerly ate from core to corner, subtly smoky, evoking a thinner and crunchier focaccia, bringing a breath of fresh air to pizzas with an airy base. Fulfilling without being overly filling, so you can easily devour several slices without feeling bloated.

If you're a pizza completist who enthusiastically explores every type of pizza, from pizza Napoletana to pizza Siciliana, Pizza Roma's Pinsa Romana is a must to expand your horizons. The most revered places for Pinsa Romana might be in Rome, with restaurants like La Pratolina, Ivo a Trastevere and Domus Pinsa Pantheon recommended for travellers to the Eternal City, but Pizza Roma strives to do justice to this genre in the Klang Valley.

Pizza Roma is made for multiple visits, with scores of intriguing selections for toppings, from spicy calamari to five cheeses, black olives and artichokes to anchovies with capers, smoked scamorza with potatoes to taleggio with porcini, salmon with gorgonzola to prawns with salted egg (for a Malaysian tribute), zucchini flowers with cherry tomatoes to broccoli with pumpkin sauce.

While the Pinsa Romana, like all good pizzas, is meant to devoured as fresh as possible, Pizza Roma has poured thought into deliveries too, with even the boxes and paper pads tailor-made to ensure a lip-smacking experience. Fun fact: Pizzas here are rested for half a minute before they're boxed, so they won't steam up the packaging and become soggy or sloppy.

Beyond Pinsa Romana, Pizza Roma also offers the regular round pizzas in all their vast varieties (the Beef Pepperoni Supreme is a can't-fail crowd-pleaser, with pepperoni, capsicum and red onions galore), with a premium semolina-laced crust that's sufficiently sturdy to hold up its heavy toppings.

Pastas are also a pleasure here - the Penne Pesto is aromatic with house-made pesto sauce and Parmesan in a princely portion (RM18.90). You'll also find spaghetti and mac-and-cheese, in the array of arrabbiata, aglio olio, bolognese and carbonara.

Many thanks to Pizza Roma for having us.

Pizza Roma

In Bandar Menjalara: 17, Jalan Medan Putra 1, Bandar Menjalara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-10pm. Tel: 011-2332-4491

In Ampang: 363-1A, Jalan Ampang Batu 4 Ampang, Kuala Ampang, 54050 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-10pm. Tel: 017-668-8018


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