Chef Armando and Pinot Grigio
Cold Cuts Platter
Tex Mex Taco Wrap
Wafts of fire wood smoke tickle the air, children giggle wildly as they play tag on the lawn and friends convene catching up on the day’s events. The corner lot of Midi 57 sits safely protected by a wall of plants, yet gently cooled by the evening breeze. While the inside tables, lit by hanging bare bulbs and warmed with the reflection of the light from the large windows, are filling up, the outdoor tables are already full. The neighbourhood is arriving. Cheeky Chef Armando, in a thick Italian accent, calls to the boys behind the pizza oven, “Hey ragazzi! Make these two beauuuutiful girls a porchetta pizza with extra passione and amore!” The chef is clearly at home and in love with this new space, the more casual, unostentatious younger sister of Le Midi (the classy, more sophisticated sibling in BSC).
Chef Armando describes Midi 57 as relaxed and easy going. He sees it as a natural nest for families and friends to be at ease, be noisy, be quiet, to be themselves. Opened for a mere two weeks, and already booming on the Monday night we visited, the neighbourhood seems to agree. Located on a verdant urban end block, lighting is bright, parking abundant and the vibe is welcoming. International newspapers, magazines, free Wi Fi, happy hours from 3- 9pm and, a pull down screen for the big games seem to make Midi 57 almost an extended living room for those in the area.
Pursuant to the ambience is the menu– simple pizzas, pastas, snacks and salads dominate. The drink list is of similar uncomplicated nature with most wines ranging around RM128 – RM200. Firefly organic fruit juice in gourmet flavours, such as Lemon Lime & Ginger and Grapefruit & Passionfruit add an original tweak not typical of most places. This evening we chose an Italian Pinot Grigio, an easy drinking light white wine, versatile enough to sip on its own or companion a number of courses.
In contrast to Le Midi, Midi 57 uses pork, and Chef Armando has proudly let his Italian tastes go wild in piggy happiness on this menu. You’ll find cold cuts, wraps, pastas, pizzas and salads all with splashes of this formerly forbidden flesh. House made Grissini (thin Italian bread sticks) were a crunchy nibble while contemplating the menu. Finally deciding, we began with the Porchetta Pizza – a simple tomato base topped with roasted herb pork, sun dried tomatoes and rocket salad. Self directed droplets of chili oil and specks of Parmesan provide extra flavour as you please. The Salmon Pizza on a white base, not so common in Malaysia, was fresh and deliciously healthy. A crispy crust came topped with cream, mozzarella, salmon, avocado and green leaves. While I enjoyed the porky opener, my healthy side was gladdened with this more wholesome version. When you see the chef so excited to have ingredients from his home land on the menu you know they are a must try, so the Cold Cuts platter had to be ordered. A plate of Parma ham, Milanese Salami, Napolese salami, coppa di Parma, Parmesan cheese and pickled vegetables will make anyone craving Italy satiated (at least until the last slice disappears). Pork starred again in the hand made Fettuccine in the form of sausages alongside button mushrooms, a tomato sauce, a blob of ricotta and a sprinkling of herbs. Chef Armando has allowed himself one twist away from the rustic Italian dishes he is serving up, in the form of some fast and convenient lunch wraps. We had a whirl of the Tex Mex Taco Wrap. This soft tortilla bulging with beef and pork ragout, shredded cheese, French fries, capsicum and a zap of chili is sure to be a lunchtime hit.
Reason to visit: home made pizzas and pastas, friendly relaxed atmosphere
Midi 57, 57 Jalan Bangkung, Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +6 03 2095 1381