|Villa Danieli, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur|
Villa Danieli Invites You for Authentic Italian
Cooked Fresh from the Wood- fired Oven
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
Although Villa Danieli is a hotel restaurant, the team manages to pull off the impression of a free-standing trattoria, with a cosy feeling interior that is the right side of authentic. Styled in the fashion of a rustic home, lively Italian guitar music and singing builds a wonderful atmosphere. Rajesh Kanna and his team believe in serving authentic Italian cuisine with quality ingredients and traditional flavours. A new addition to the menu is expanding the use of the wood fired oven from pizza to other specialties. Everything we taste this evening is baked fresh in the oven.
It’s an impressive start with four different types of bread arrayed like a box of candies. We can choose from charcoal bread rolls, focaccia slices ciabatta squares, and a selection of home made bread sticks. We rip and dip into the black tomato paste, which proves smooth, oily and packed with flavour.
|Wood Fired Oven|
We’re starting with a sip on two whites to accompany our choice of starters. The NZ Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (RM38++) is one of my favourite sauvignons in the price range. A perfectly smooth and round, easy drinking wine, with smooth tinges of strawberries and lychee. It goes beautifully with the Mediterranean style food.
|NZ Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013|
Banfi Fumaio Toscana IGT 2012 from Tuscany, Italy (RM36++) is a more complex wine with the contrast of oakiness from the chardonnay grapes and the sharp limey tinge from the sauvignon. It has a long lingering taste on the back of the throat.
|Banfi Fumaio Toscana IGT 2012|
We see that we’ll need a hearty appetite tonight from the size of the stuffed Cheesy Portabello Mushroom (RM32++) placed on the table. The firm juicy mushroom is stuffed with oozy dribbly herby melty goats cheese, which is extremely moreish. Slender slices or red onion give a slightly sweetish zing to the dish, my favourite of the night.
|Cheesy Portabello Mushroom|
Monica’s ecstatic with the choice of oven-baked Eggplant Parmigiana (RM36++) with Roma tomatoes, zucchini tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. A firm chewy top, melting centre, with a strong tomatoey sauce we sink our teeth happily into this, loving the intensity of flavour in the caramelised crust.
A monster of a fish with herb and salt coating is heralded in on a tray flanked by ultraviolet lights (to aid the tableside fileting service), for the Salt-crusted Whole Sea Bass with steamed fennel and potato and lemon butter sauce (RM120 ++). It’s an impressive plating which silences even us for a moment or two before our charming server breaks the salt crust, and begins to filet the fish. He removes the head, the skin, revealing freshly steaming white flesh within. A simply enormous plateful of moist firm fresh fish ensues, and I love the fresh salty tinge. Delicious! The lemon sauce is very buttery and I suggest you leave it to the side for dipping in order to enjoy the fish to its fullest.
|Salt-crusted Whole Sea Bass|
|Salt-crusted Whole Sea Bass|
An alternate to a rack we try the recommended baked Lamb Ribs with a choice of sides and sauce (RM118++). We choose to go with the create-your-own-dish option on the menu, selecting broccolini, roast vegetables and mash. However Monica’s too intrigued by the Coca Cola BBQ sauce on the plated lamb dish, so we beg for that basting. The finished article is sweetly sticky on the outside and flaking off the bone. The oven cooking has kept the moisture intensely inside, and we can truly taste why people like this dish.
With the lamb we’ve meandered to red wine, and I’m quite happy with the range of six by the glass. We select the Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Syrah 2010 from Southern France (RM36++). The nose and first tasting notes are of sweet overripe fruit, a very full and lush wine, which opens nicely over a little time to complement the dessert choices very well.
|Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Syrah 2010|
Our second red choice is the Penfolds Private Release Shiraz Cabernet 2012 from Barossa Valley, South Australia (RM36++). This is a dryer wine, somewhat peppery on the finish. We both enjoy sipping it with our savoury dish.
|Penfolds Private Release Shiraz Cabernet 2012|
As usual we take a little time to settle on the choice of dessert, but for the sake of our waistlines, decline the kind offer to try all three. Which girl can resist the melting ooziness of Chocolate Lava Cake (RM28++)? Not this one! Our sample tonight has a slightly crunchy outer and a distinctly different pairing with the walnut ice cream.
|Chocolate Lava Cake|
Pear Tartin (RM28++) is beautifully plated. Served with mango sauce, strawberry, sable crumble and ricotta mousse, it’s a tasty bite, although in my opinion just not quite enough of it.
Villa Danieli opens for lunch from 12 noon to 2.30pm from Mondays to Fridays, while dinner is served from 6.30pm to 10.30pm from Mondays to Saturdays. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. At present, Starwood SPG members can enjoy up to 50% exclusive discounts off total food bill.
Reasons to visit: relaxed atmosphere; large starters and mains; more original than a regular Italian but true to the authentic flavours.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250, Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2717 9900
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