Archive for the ‘Italian Cuisine’ Category


Located adjacent to Gurney Plaza and G-Hotel, Gurney Paragon Mall houses several restaurants and cafes. One Italian chain restaurant that is making its debut in this mall is Italiannies. The restaurant provides diners with the option of dining in the large air-conditioned dining room, or in the alfresco area where they can enjoy the sea breeze.

All its outlets nationwide offer the same menu. Our dinner consisted of appetisers, pasta and pizza, and complimentary bread with vinegar and olive oil. As usual, the food is served in large portions.

Complimentary bread with vinegar and olive oil _resize

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May is the month to savor Italian cuisine at Swez Brasserie, located at Eastin Hotel Penang. Delectable spread of Italian cuisine from the Land of Michelangelo is available during lunch, hi-tea and dinner throughout the month.

Cheese lovers will enjoy the panzanella salad. Made with fresh tomatoes, Mozarella cheese, crusty bread and crisp greens, the salad comes with condiment of olive oil and vinaigrette. Another appetizer is the bruschetta. The version is covered with toppings of chopped mushroom, chicken and seafood.

The cream of tomato soup has a remarkably pure tomato flavor, with the right tomato’s acidity, basil oil and cream. There is a rotation of soup, with choices of minestrone soup and seafood cream soup.

Italian Buffet at Eastin Hotel Penang by

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It was a night with awesome wines and lots of food at the Castello Banfi wine dinner organized by fine wine and spirits distributor Asiaeuro Wines and Spirits at Spasso Milano, Straits Quay. Executive Chef Felice Martinelli presents a five-course meal of game, seafood and vegetables to complement the Italian wine by Italy’s award winning wine family – Castello Banfi Wines.

Banfi’s Regional Manager, Guillaume Blanchard welcomed us and chatted about the different wine pairings. “Castello Banfi is a family-owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany. With its sister estates in Piedmont, Vigne Regali and Principessa Gavia, it has been recognized all over the world for its dedication to excellence in the art of Italian winemaking,” said Guillaume.

The wines for the evening include Principessa Gavia Gavi DOCG 2011, San Angelo Pinot Grigio IGT 2011, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009, Belnero Di Montalcino DOCG 2009, Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG 2007 and Summus IGT 2007.


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For this Christmas and New Year Eve, I have compiled a list of tantalizing offering of lunch and dinner menus from the many dining places in Penang. There is something for everyone and I hope it will help you plan for this holiday dining. And don’t forget to have your reservations made well in advance…

I would like to wish you all A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year 2013!

Christmas & New Year Eve Restaurant Dining in Penang by


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Italian restaurants have not been too popular in Penang in the past. But all that may be changing, with Via Pre, the newest purveyor of Italian food, which is set to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Located along the busy Weld Quay, the thinking behind this non-halal Italian restaurant was very simple: to pamper diners’ taste buds with authentic Italian food prepared with ingredients brought in from Italy. And the menu of course includes an extensive range of native Italian wines.

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By CK Lam

Since it opened its doors in September last year, Spasso Milano has been attracting diners with authentic Italian cuisine. The restaurant, on the ground floor of Straits Quay, facing the marina, offers indoor and alfresco dining.

The extensive menu is prepared by chef Felice Martinelli, a native of Milan. My friends and I tried several new Italian dishes for lunch. Its simple homemade pizza aromatica (RM12.80) is topped with olive oil, oregano and sea salt. The pizza base is cooked in a custom-made brick, wood-fired oven.

The porcini mushroom soup is served with focaccia topped with butter and garlic. The distinctive aroma of porcini mushrooms and white truffle and the taste of bits of mushroom give the creamy soup a wholesome flavour.

Italian Style at Spasso Milano, Straits Quay Penang by

Porcini mushroom soup RM18.80

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By CK Lam

Ristorante Bella Italia is  the place to go when it comes to Italian food in Penang. It has two outlets, with the first one at Bellisa Row in Pulau Tikus, and  the other in Batu Ferringhi, which has a casual and friendly atmosphere. Both the outlets serve a slightly different menu.

The Batu Ferringhi outlet welcomes visitors with its delightful selection of food and its relaxing dining hall looking out into a small garden.

Ristorante Bella Italia Batu Feringghi by

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 6th September 2011.

The recently launched Campbell House in George Town is home to Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant. This slice of classic Italian dining is within walking distance of Tho Yuen and Tai Tong Dim Sum House.

The restaurant serves its cuisine the Il Bacaro way, which is based on a traditional Venetian backstreet tavern. It’s where one can enjoy authentic Italian dishes served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 8th December 2010.

On my hotel dining reviews in Kuala Lumpur, I have checked out several dining outlets in Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and one of them was Med.@Marche-Live. The open concept restaurant offers a relaxed and casual dining atmosphere, with air-conditioned dining room and great terrace sitting.

These days, the restaurant brings a new dining experience to diners with the presence of Australian Paul Lewis as the Executive Sous Chef.  He took over the kitchen this year and has since made his debut in the MIGF 2010. We were privileged to meet up with the chef and at the same time sample some of his dishes from the menu, which focuses on unique Italian specialties and ‘comfort’ food!

Italian Fare at Med.@Marche-Live in Renaissance Hotel by

Executive Sous Chef Paul Lewis

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*This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 9th October 2010.

A trip to Perth will never be quite complete without a visit to the legendary Italian restaurant located in a quiet neighborhood of South Perth  in Western Australia. The locals are very proud to recommend Ciao Italia, a quaint little place which serves up typical and authentic home style Italian cuisine!

This restaurant owned by an Italian started off as a takeaway diner, however its popularity grew over the years and it slowly expanded from five to fifteen tables, all holed within the small shop!

Italian Indulgence at Ciao Italia in Mill Point Road, Perth by

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*** October 2013 – This outlet has since closed down and reopened at 17 Jalan Phuah Hin Leong, 10050 George Town, Penang


A lot of soul put in the cooking and hopefully lots of soul music to refresh your little soul on sunny Penang Island.

Soul Kitchen Trattoria tucked away on Muntri Street in a pre-war house is the place to visit if you are looking for great eats in a laid back ambiance. This restaurant, barely a few months old is run by a young creative Malaysian-German couple, Michele Yim and Tonio Neuhaus.

Soul Kitchen Trattoria with lots of soul music and food by

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A lovely impression of Squid Ink Fettuccine!

During my Singapore trip, I got the chance to taste some mouthwatering pasta when Dr. Leslie Tay brought the few of us to his favorite Italian restaurant, Cugini which is known for serving authentic and delicious Italian food. Cugini is the Italian word for ‘cousins’, which refers to the two Italian owners, Chefs Gerri Sottile and Mauro Muroni.

Leslie Tay, Chef Mauro Muroni and CK Lam

Get to meet up with Chef Mauro

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