During my recent trip to Kota Kinabalu, I had a chance to check out Favola at the Le Meridien. Freshly refurbished, the restaurant breathes warmth, modern charm and a certain rustic elegance in its ambience. It’s not a huge space, just comfortably cosy and can be as private as you want (there’s a nice private dining room in Favola too).
Favola’s menu spells “modern and creative” Tuscany-style cuisine. With a wine list that boasts not less than 60 selections of Italian and international labels, I was set for a roaring dinner.
It’s always good to start with some freshly-baked bread!
The 2 starters we had truly captured the promise of contemporary creativity from their culinary team.
The Favola Salad (RM38) was a display of artsy fancies on a slate. Winsome baby spinach, endive, fennel, radicchio, semi-dried sweet tomatoes and rye bread were scattered around a roll of lacy crispy parmesan and paired with pomegranate dressing. The colours and flavours contrasted well among the fresh ingredients.
Similarly, the Trio of Salmon (RM45) featuring Norwegian salmon presented in 3 different ways was a visual delight. Black olives tapenade, capers berry, flaxseed crackers and avocado ice cream completed the pretty ensemble.
Fresh seafood are aplenty in Kota Kinabalu and the chefs at Favola put these to good use in their Cioppino Seafood Soup (RM48). We totally enjoyed the bouncy fresh prawns, mussels, calamari and fish in the sweet light tomato and anchovy broth.
I satiated my pizza cravings with their Bresaola Pizza (RM62). The crispy thin-crusted pizza was scrumptious with mushrooms, arugula made fragrant with parmigiana and buffalo mozzarella. Oh, the slices of rustic bresaola (air-dried salted beef) were magnificent too.
I’m glad I took the maitre’d’s recommendation on the Scallops & Leek Ravioli (RM58). Those Italian dumplings were fat and bursting with sweet flavours of the scallops which went splendidly with the garlic tomato sauce and basil pesto. Yes, this is a must-order item, for sure.
Have the Mixed Grill Platter (RM120) if you can’t decide which meat to go for. Here you get to sample lamb chop, chicken fillet, beef tenderloin and even a sausage with sides of zucchini and saute’ed potatoes. Satisfying.
Favola’s range of dessert was rather exclusive and we tried 3 of their best-sellers.
Classic Tiramisu (RM38) made all the better with its liquer addition!
Amaretto Ice Cream with Honey Kataifi (RM22) – would have preferred more amaretto in it!
Chocolate Decadence (RM33) Valrhona manjari chocolate mousse, hazelnut cake, grand cry sauce and cream chantilly – absolutely decadent!
So, if you are in Kota Kinabalu and looking for a chic cosy restaurant for a quiet intimate meal of delicious Tuscany flavours, your best bet is Favola.
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen
88000 Kota Kinabalu