Friday, September 7, 2018

Passione Ristorante Italiano, Sri Petaling, KL

New on the Sri Petaling dining scene is Passione Ristorante Italiano, a casual restaurant bringing authentic Italian cuisine to the neighbourhood. Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta, imported cold cuts and cheese are some of the main highlights here.

Helming the kitchen here is Chef Stefano Criber, who strives to introduce Malaysian diners to a taste of artisanal Italian cooking, done the good-old fashioned way. Chef Stefano's cooking style and philosophy are inspired by his training at the prestigious Italian culinary school, Villa Santa Maria and also from his experience growing up in his hometown of Abruzzo, Italy.

The restaurant is split into two levels; the ground floor housing a swanky cocktail bar area and trattoria space, perfect for those seeking a lighter bite and drinks as well as the gorgeous wood-fired oven. Upstairs, you will find the cosy restaurant and semi-open kitchen, where you can watch some of the cooking action.

To start, we had the Arancini (crisp deep fried risotto balls with pork ragu, peas and mozzarella) and Mozzarella Filante cheese sticks served with marinara sauce. The kids loved the stretchy mozzarella sticks... so much fun to eat!

Complimentary crusty bread with tapenade and balsamic dip

This was followed by the Antipasto di mare, a refreshing seafood salad of octopus, squid, prawn, orange segments and fennel. We especially loved the grilled octopus, with a delicious char and lovely, smoky aroma.

As a true Italian, Chef Stefano insists on serving only fresh, handmade pasta hence they're made daily from scratch, using the best ingredients, at the restaurant. Here, you will find various type of pasta, including chitarra (a type of pasta originating from Chef Stefano's hometown), ravioli, fusilli, linguine, spaghetti, tagliatelle and maccheroni.We had the Seafood linguine (RM35); homemade linguine pasta with fresh mussels, shrimp, baby cuttlefish and squid. It was deliciously smooth and complemented perfectly with the fresh, plump seafood.

One of our favorite dishes of the afternoon was the Tagliata di pluma iberico al balsamico (RM79).  Looking deceptively simple, the grilled Pluma Iberico pork, drizzled with balsamic reduction was so juicy and tender with a melt-in-the-mouth texture akin to Wagyu. So so good! Served with an arugula salad and Grana Padano cheese shavings. Definitely a must-try!

We headed downstairs and watched as the affable Chef Stefano made our pizza and cooked it in the impressive wood-fired oven. According to Chef Stefano, the secret to the perfect pizza begins from the preparation process whereby tremendous attention to detail is required. He washes the dough with pure mineral water, a process which activates the flour's inherent enzymes to bring the flavours to life. Choice ingredients and toppings are then added before being baked under high heat in the brick ovens. The heat, which goes up to 400°C allows better heat distribution and caramelisation of ingredients which infuses a natural smoky aroma. We learnt that it only takes about 2-3 minutes to cook the pizza in this high heat.

We had the Pizza 3 salumi which comes with 3 types of cured Italian pork salami, leccino black olives, marinated eggplant and onions. Fantastic crust, a very tasty pizza indeed!

Gorgeous wood-fired oven

Ending our meal on a high, the parents had the signature dessert, tiramisu (RM24)... the fingers have been soaked in coffee and alcohol (sorry kids, none for you!) and layered with mascarpone cheese and crunchy chocolate while the kids had the Tortino al cioccolato con cuore fondente (RM28). The latter has a 17 minute cooking time... but it's well-worth the wait. The heavenly warm chocolate molten cake served with vanilla gelato was polished off (by the kids) in under 2 minutes. It was so good that they even wanted to lick the plate clean! :P


For the full menu, please click here. 

Serves Pork.

Opening times: Lunch 11:00am – 2:30pm; Dinner 6:00pm – 11:00pm. Closed every Tuesday.

Service: Good.

Location: Passione Ristorante Italiano, No 19, Jalan Radin Bagus 9, Bandar Baru Seri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Street parking available)

Tel: 03-9055 3833

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