Words: Suji Dehart Photos: Monica Tindall
If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then La Scala has the perfect recipe for love on Valentine’s Day. Starting the evening with a delightful and appropriately pink Rossini drink in this sleek yet inviting restaurant is a sure-fire way to get romance in the air, especially with live jazz playing in the background. A mix of strawberry puree and prosecco, this drink is a burst of flavor without being too sweet. A lovely basket of bread is promptly offered; my favorite was the crispy grissini, but the Parmesan roll and the warm ciabatta roll were delicious as well. The two tapenades, kalamata olive and sundried tomato, were both equally tasty.
The amouse bouche is a cold tomato soup, Zuppa di Pomodori Fredda con Fogli d’Oro, playfully served in a cute roma tomato with a basil garnish, but made elegant by the dab of 24 carat gold, signifying true love. The soup is very light because it is uncooked; almost a tomato juice.
Our lovely chef explained that for each course, the starters, the pasta and the main course, there is a choice of vegetarian, fish and meat. There is something for everyone! The three choices for starters are organic veal carpaccio, crusted prawn carpaccio, and burrata cheese. The crusted prawn, Cuore di Gamberi Gratinati, was my favorite; the flat prawns topped with a tiny bit of buttery bread crumbs was surprisingly filling; and the tang of lemon gave an air of eating ceviche. The veal, Carpaccio di Manzo Fassona Piemontese, was dressed with rocket and truffle oil with a few nuggets of pistachio – very mild. For a more rich starter, go with the creamy mound of burrata, Burrata con Spuma di Pomodori Pachino e Olio al Basilico, – the concentric circles of basil oil, cherry tomato foam and cheese, in the colors of the Italian flag, is smooth and satisfying.
|Cuore di Gamberi Gratinati|
|Carpaccio di Manzo Fassona Piemontese|
|Burrata con Spuma di Pomodori Pachino e Olio al Basilico|
For the pasta course, the risotto with prawn, asparagus and saffron, Risotto con Gamberi Asparagi e Zafferano, was hearty, with nice plump grains of rice giving the dish a savory and comforting feel. I liked that it was not too creamy or glutinous, as some risottos can be, but more brothy and light. For a vegetarian option, you can choose the Cuori Rossi di Spinaci e Ricotta con Salsa di Noci, a spinach, walnut and ricotta ravioli. When we commented on how wonderful it was to find each pink heart-shaped ravioli just bursting with delicious spinach, the chef told us she had created a “big heart full of love.” Perfect! But the homemade linguine with fresh lobster, Linguine All’Aragosta, was my top choice. The pretty presentation of pasta twisted like a ball of unwinding yarn, (not pretentious, just pleasing!) with the succulent lobster perched happily on top, was a fun, delicious touch. “Upscale grandma” is what popped into my mind when I saw it and tasted its light spicy goodness.
|Risotto con Gamberi Asparagi e Zafferano|
|Cuori Rossi di Spinaci e Ricotta con Salsa di Noci|
|Inside the Ravioli|
Keeping with the Valentine’s theme, the palate cleanser is also pink, and is it a real treat! The pomegranate sorbet is just “WOW!” Or maybe I should say “POW!” it packs such a delightful refreshing pop!
Eggplant croquette, Polpette di Melanzane in Salsa di Pomodoro, is the vegetarian option for the main course. The soft breadcrumbs make it crisp but not crunchy, with a firm and nicely textured filling. The tomato sauce is mild. The seafood option is a sesame encrusted tuna with mixed vegetables, Lingotto di Tonno fresco al Sesamo con Caponata. The highlight of the evening though for me was the Filetto di Manzo con Crema di Funghi e Patate Arrosto. The perfectly cooked tenderloin was topped with the most addictively delicious sauce featuring porcini mushrooms and Cognac. I actually asked for some bread just to dip in this complex, creamy and unsurpassed sauce!
|Lingotto di Tonno fresco al Sesamo con Caponata|
|Polpette di Melanzane in Salsa di Pomodoro|
|Filetto di Manzo con Crema di Funghi e Patate Arrosto|
Now has come the time to whisper sweet nothings… and eat dessert. The Pera al Forno, oven baked baby pear with a delicate sweet ricotta cream sauce laced with a tiny line of chocolate is “like our grandmother’s made for us when we were young!” exclaimed our maitre d’. Heartwarming! And the Millefoglie al Cioccolato e Lamponi, the chocolate mille feuille with fresh raspberries bring so many tastes and textures to your palate at once! The tart raspberry, the bitter chocolate with hidden almonds giving it a pleasant crunch, while the soft cream brings it all together. Mmmmm.
|Millefoglie al Cioccolato e Lamponi|
|Pera al Forno|
The final digestifs are truly the chef’s labor of love. She hand crafts the limoncello and chocolate liqueurs, and they are accordingly delicious. The chocolate liqueur carries an orange essence and finishes with a nice grainy touch. Our chef explained how she searches beyond KL for the best lemons with the thickest zest, which soak for a week before the sugar and water are added to create this “lemon drop” that warms your heart.
|House Made Limoncello|
|House Made Chocolate Liqueur|
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Your choice of 4 courses
269++ per person
398++ with wine pairing per person
Reasons to visit: hearty homey Italian cuisine made with love and affection; Cuore di Gamberi Gratinati; Linguine All’Aragosta; Filetto di Manzo con Crema di Funghi e Patate Arrosto; home made limoncello.
La Scala Italian Restaurant
183 Jalan Mayang (off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng)
Kuala Lumpur 50450
+6 03 2161 2291
Lunch: Monday to Friday 12noon – 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Parking is on site with the entrance either via Jalan Mayang or Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.
La Scala is also walking distance from KLCC and Avenue K.
|Valentine’s Day Menu|