When I heard that Mediteca has introduced a pork-friendly Mediterranean menu recently, I knew it’s time to check it out. “Pork-friendly” certainly sounds like music to the ears of porcine lovers and it was also incentive enough for me to brave the infamous city traffic crawls for dinner there recently. Mediteca is located right in the core of the Golden Triangle, in Fraser’s Place, along Jalan Perak. It’s not hard to locate actually… you can see the restaurant from street level – it’s right behind the Life Centre.
The restaurant exudes a casual warm ambience, thanks to the liberal use of wooden structures, from wood-clad walls and partitions to the furniture and panellings. Chef owner Riccardo Ferrarotti has come up with a fresh a la carte menu highlighting selections of tapas, starters and mains using pork as the focused ingredient. Mediterranean cuisine has now taken on a new level of authenticity with Spanish tapas and Italian Enoteca dishes being enhanced with pork.
Basket of freshly-baked breads with cheese to get you going…
Sip on an Aperitif, too!
We started off with a tapas: Chorizo – Stewed Spanish Sausage with Herbs and Garlic (RM16). The chorizo is full-bodied with all the hearty spicy flavours that Spanish sausages are famous for. The thick tomato-based gravy is so flavourful that we practically mopped up every drop of it with the accompanying pieces of toast.
What looked like a mass of angry red meat turned out to be Veal Carpaccio (RM38). Thin slices of tender veal, which had been marinated in hay with chamomile and juniper are served with grilled artichokes, drizzled slightly with some honey. Despite its sinister look, the veal tasted really good.
Our platter of Jamon and Salami (RM88) was a big hit. Chef Riccardo took out meaty chunks and salamis from the special chiller (facing the front door) and proceeded to shear slices of the smoked meats for us. The plate was filled with Serrano ham, salami and various types of cheese. There were slices of wild boar mortadella and roast pork belly with dollops of ridiculously delicious tomato chutney, fig marmalade, balsamic baby onions and pickles! This is something I will definitely order again and again in Mediteca.
Potato & Mushroom Gateau with Poached Egg, Onion Jam & Bacon
Potatoes and boletus – Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon (RM28) was one of my favourites that evening. A dish popular in southern Spain, the gateau was enhanced with white wine and served with a poached egg on top. You can’t really go wrong with bacon and poached egg… we adored the smoky savoury flavours of the potato and mushrooms which had absorbed the oily juices from the bacon!
Another eggy favourite is the Fried & Baked Egg with Spinach, Pancetta and Besciamelle Sauce (RM22). The salt-cured pancetta has imparted its peppery and lardy flavours into the spinach and each eggy scoop of this is enhanced with the rich creamy besciamelle sauce… it’s pretty addictive.
Stewed rice with Pork, Beef and Lamb Sauce (RM30) is the Croatian version of risotto. With 3 types of meats flavouring this pot of rice, needless to say the robust combo of tastes is dense and heartening. The fat grains of rice are cooked through to a perfect texture and served soaked in its wholesome broth.
Roasted & Crispy Piglet Glazed with Honey
When we saw Roasted & Crispy Piglet Glazed with Honey (RM68) on the menu, we could barely contain our excitement. Chef Riccardo explained the long process of roasting the piglet. After marinating it, it is roasted for 7-8 hours and then glazed with a mixture of honey, white wine and orange juice. When the glistening golden-skinned pieces were served, its visual impact was quite impressive. We took one bite into the crispy-looking skin and was quite disappointed that it wasn’t as crispy as it looked. The meat was tender enough but the skin needs much more work to render it crispy-perfect.
The Iberico Pork Ribs with Salsa Verde & Potatoes (RM78) did not quite hit the mark in terms of flavours. There’s no faulting the tender juicy meat clinging to the ribs but the marinade could have done with a bit more sea salt. There were very slight hints of lime, thyme and peppercorn in the marinade. We could see how Chef Riccardo has taken great pains to embellish this dish – the slice of slightly-charred lemon by the side took one month to be properly “rested” after being pickled with cinnamon sticks and bay leaves in layers.
We tried 2 of the chef’s signature desserts – the Chocolate Gateau made from 70% milk chocolate and 30% cream mixed with melted chocolate and the Creme Caramel – a French classic served quaintly in a sardine can!
Mediteca is helmed by a chef so passionate and dedicated that he has travelled to half the world immersing himself in the culinary intricacies of European and Mediterranean cuisines.
Chef Riccardo Ferrarotti (photo courtesy of Mediteca)
To give guests a varied experience in the fine dishes conjured by the chef, Mediteca offers monthly themed promotional menus of special dishes inspired by traditional recipes from Southern Europe like France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Malta, Lebanon and more.
Lot 163, Fraser Place
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Open Mondays-Saturdays @ 11.30am till late night
Closed on Sundays until further notice