When Chef Willy Chan buzzed me to tell me that he’s now at this place called Il Faro in Pavilion, I didn’t need much persuasion to pop over. I’m not a frequent visitor to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur but when he told me Il Faro is next to the overhead pedestrian link bridge crossing to KLCC, locating it was not a problem.
I met Chef Willy when he was helming Bondi Cafe in Puchong (which has since closed) and what was memorable then was his awesome focaccia bread. The guy’s a wizard with this and even his regular garlic bread slices are so good. Of course I got to indulge in his famed focaccia at Il Faro…lots of it too! It is still as lovely as ever, as attested by my fellow diners who were bowled over by the flat round loaves dotted with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and perfumed with rosemary and other herbs.
Il Faro is a bistro cum lounge so there are always customers lounging around there with drinks nursing their aching feet after bouts of shopping or just simply chilling out. The beverage menu here is pretty decent, ranging from mocktails, cocktails, beers, shooters to hard liquor.
We started off with some light and easy antipasti. Golden hued Rosemary Chicken Wings (RM20) served with spicy dip, salad and potatoes – good to share this out as we had a big platter of other delicious stuff to contend with. There’s the Garlic and Pesto Tiger Prawns with aioli dip, flanked by roasted mushrooms, sashimi salmon, fetta cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and turkey ham.
More small bites came our way. Simple tapas fare – baguette slices holding delicious morsels of Siciliana tuna, olive tapenade, spicy eggplant, creamy parmesan mushrooms and curls of smoked salmon. On the lighter side, there’s also smooth creamy avocado and freshly boiled quail eggs topped with tangy mayo. All these surround a golden frittata in the centre. Choice of any 3 of these go for RM20.
Seafood Soup (RM19) in Il Faro takes on a different taste plane. It’s a hearty bright red thick creamy soup redolent with calamari, mussels, prawns and a silky egg in the centre! I’d be happy to just dip my focaccia bread into this wholesome soup and be a happy camper.
Chef Willy’s fresh hand-tossed pizza is a must-order item. The signature rectangular pizza is served with rich tomato and basil sauce. Our Smoked Salmon Pizza (RM32) was generously topped with capers, onions, cream cheese, caviar, dill and slivers of smoked salmon. Add a dash of lemon juice and it’s so hard to stop at one slice.
The Mains category in the menu currently offers 5 heavy-ticket items. There are Beef Lasagna, Chicken Lasagna, Chicken Mushroom Risotto, Roast Chicken and Seafood Pumpkin Risotto, with prices ranging from RM25-RM30. We tried the Seafood Pumpkin Risotto and was pleased with its well flavoured rice, made sweeter with roasted pumpkin and capsicum, topped with a rich creamy parmigiano.
Lovers of buttery cakes will be pleased with the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (RM12) with the popping seeds and tangy tinge. I prefer the Tiramisu (RM22) which was served in a glass… scooping the smooth velvety slightly-alcoholic concoction into my mouth was a nice way to end the meal. It could do with another shot of alcohol in it though.