The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Italian cuisine is probably comfort food the likes of hearty pasta and slices of piping hot pizza — accompanied by a glass of red, of course. Unapologetically carb-heavy, it isn’t the most ideal option if you’re on a diet. But the fact that it’s so comforting and delicious, just seems to make it all worth it.
In celebration of our favourite comfort food, we’ve rounded up 5 restaurants that dish out the most authentic Italian fare in Kuala Lumpur. By the end of your meal, you’ll be thinking you left your heart in Roma. For rustic and traditional Italian, your best bets are Villa Daniela, and Favola and Vineria. But if you’re expecting something a little more out of the ordinary, head over to Strato or Mario & Luigi. These eateries are relatively new to the Italian food scene, and have a penchant for putting a modern twist on classics — think pizza with succulent rabbit meat, or pasta topped off with bursts of ikura.
So skip the takeout pizza or instant pasta, check out our guide below, and experience true Italian food with these 5 restaurants that do it best.
(Featured image: Villa Danieli)
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Vineria, G133, BSC Bangsar Shopping Centre, 289 Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur, +603 2287 7889
For something a little more adventurous, head to Mario & Luigi, where Italian classics are made with modern Japanese influences. The menu is crafted to excite and delight diners, with highlights that include a refreshing cold capellini with truffle paste and bursts of konbu, as well as a succulent braised beef cheek.
Mario & Luigi, 15, Lorong Kurau, Taman Weng Lock, 59100 Bangsar, +603 2282 3571
Stepping into Villa Danieli is akin to entering a cosy Italian home in the countryside: You’re welcomed with ornate murals and ceramics, baroque flourishes, warm hospitality, and always a whiff of delicious cooking. The menu of rustic dishes pays tribute to the spirit of the cuisine, where pasta is handmade, sauces are infused with aromatic herbs, and meats grilled with flair. A must-try is the squid ink risotto with sautéed calamari, garlic foam and cherry tomato confit.
Villa Danieli, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Chow Kit, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2717 9922
The Italian coasts and islands are famous for their fresh seafood delicacies, which you can taste right here in Favola. Start your meal with a vibrant salmon and seabass carpaccio, topped with pine nuts, fish roe and parsley sauce. For the main course, there’s the hearty Sardinian mixed seafood “Pingiadedda”, which is abundant with lobster meat, clams, squid, mussels and fish. The venue is perfect for celebratory occasions, with ornate Venetian decor and an elegant ambience.
Favola, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2263 7434