|The perfect beginning - choose your own Italian Cheeses and Cold Cuts from the deli and staff will slice and serve them to you fresh and to order|
|Choose your poison for the afternoon and you just may not need to go any further - Free flow prosecco, red and white Italian wines|
|French Bean Salad|
|Prosciutto and Melon|
|Salad with marinated green olives and radish shavings|
|Fresh pasta and main courses are prepared on the spot and shared at tables as they're ready|
|Creamy Pea Pasta|
|Spirals with Sausage, Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes|
|Coffee and Desserts|
Sunday Brunch at Neroteca
Words by Carter James
Photos by The Yum List
You keep coming back to the same restaurant and see the same old faces. Normal, right? Well usually it’s the diners you see on a regular basis, loyal customers who return regularly for their favourite fix. But Neroteca is more special than that – the staff! Some of whom have been working at the restaurant for years, and I’ve got to say, they really make the experience special.
Brunch is a great meal. Some say is a mix of breakfast and lunch, others say it’s the meal in between. For me, it is simply a long lunch that starts early, ends late, and often involves a few glasses of wine. Today’s extraordinary brunch at Neroteca was no deviation from this – exceptional food, beautifully chilled Prosecco, and engaging and lively company. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Based loosely on the antipasti concept, Neroteca’s Sunday brunch is an exploration of great Italian products, covering the sweet, savoury, soupy, meaty, and alcoholic categories. With an extensive display of cold cuts, freshly butchered meat cuts, cakes and desserts, an extensive cheese selection, and platters and platters of antipasti items, there is something in here for everyone. Certainly, with pork products being a major highlight, it seemed that everything was for me. Priced at RM148++ per person, it is also exceptional value.
Before I could even take my seat, our very attentive and personable host Alex handed me a glass of chilled Prosecco. I knew right then that today was going to be great. Glass in hand, I made my way to the cold cuts and cheese counter, selected a range of delicately sliced salami, prosciutto, honey ham, along with cheeses representing the gambit of flavours. Cheese and cold cuts platters are open and are constructed according to guests requirements – no two platters are alike – which makes for a very personalised experience. With the platter served at the table, we start nibbling on these morsels. Quality was clearly paramount. Sliced with flavour perfection in mind, each meat was definitely the best quality available. Absolutely no complaints here, and the generous portions were appreciated – especially when it came to a second (and third) helping later in the afternoon.
Checking out the antipasti platters, there was a nice selection of bread, baked fresh on the premises daily, mini Panini with thinly sliced pork, a potato and egg salad, selection of grilled vegetables, and several other items which sadly didn’t get to my plate. Oh, there was plenty to eat – just my stomach wasn’t big enough to try one of everything.
Waiting staff are constantly topping up our drinks. The service is amazing. Staff are attentive, speak great English, and moreover, engage with their customers. It gives the feeling one would expect in a real Italian Salumeria e Gastronomia – family with homely food, no expense spared on getting the quality right.
At regular intervals the staff brought to the table pasta selections, freshly roasted meat options, and their in-house bread.
We got to experience three pastas today. The aglio olio was a simple spaghetti pasta, olive oil, and powerful chilli flakes. The bite of the chilli lingered for several seconds on the tip of the tongue, and again in the throat, warming it up nicely. Not over the top, it packed heat nicely and lifted the flavour of the pasta. Cooked al dente, as all their pastas were, added to my satisfaction. A heartier spiral pasta with tomato and pork sausage was served – somewhat a homely dish, again with the right heat kick from the chilli flakes. Our third pasta was a cream pasta – thicker spaghetti tossed in fresh cream with green beans. Pure delight. So simple, but truly indulgent. Yes, seconds were explored, and if I could have taken it away, that would have been my dinner too.
Mini roasts of suckling pig, with exceptionally crispy skin were brought table to table. Pull apart pork, this was stunningly mouth-watering. Although I had a knife in hand, it certainly wasn’t needed, as the meat fell off the bone with the easy guidance of my fork. The best thing about this was the skin, crispy, but not too oily and not too salty. I just wish I knew how to cook crackling / pig skin to that level. Roasted short ribs followed, treated with a nice simple glaze. Then came sliced pork with a mild aioli.
At this stage, I’m getting quite full, but it wasn’t the end of my gastronomic journey through Italy. Thick minestrone soup was also served. The great thing about this brunch is that there is no fixed order to the presentation of dishes – just help yourself as you like to the offerings from the waiters and at the counter. That makes for a much more pleasurable experience, as one can simply just sit and pick, knowing full well that there will be more to come, and you will never miss out on a dish if you pass it up. The minestrone was divine. Hearty, thick, and full of flavour.
Neroteca is truly a place for conversation. The food takes care of itself, the wine is refilled, chilled water readily available. Although a narrow restaurant lot, its floor to ceiling wine cellar display creates the optical illusion of space. High ceilings, earthy colours, and just a sense of the comfort of home, simply creates an environment to enjoy good company. Yes, there were even single bar top seats for those who came alone – but I suspect that after a glass or two, you’d be joining in at one of the tables, nattering away.
|Map to Neroteca|
Nero Teca has hit my list as one of the most enjoyable brunch experiences in Kuala Lumpur. Food selection and quality is excellent, and very generous servings too, great service and very friendly staff. It really is a must visit.
Reason to visit: Excellent value bubbly brunch, Italians cold cuts and cheese, succulent pig, warm friendly service from a staff who have stood the test of time
Ground Floor, The Somerset
8 Lorong Ceylon
50250 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2070 2530