Chef Alessandro Graziosi, the new chef at Villa Danieli @ Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur will be cooking up quite a storm in the coming days. A preview of some of his recipes set the pace for some exciting dishes to be included in Villa Danieli’s menu. From my earlier posts here and here, Villa Danieli remains one of my favourite Italian restaurants in the city. Well, apart from the food, the restaurant set-up is gorgeous… rusticly chic… it’s never overwhelming that you feel equally comfortable wearing casual jeans enjoying a pizza lunch or dressing up to the nines for a more formal dinner.
The thinnest slices of beef tenderloin were laid out prettily in their “Herbs Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Arugula, Parmesan Cracker and Modena reduction”. Of course the beef is extremely fresh (for carpaccio, that’s a must!), the herbs, given a light touch, taste exquisite when chewed together with the aromatic rocket leaves.
The “Grilled Vegetables Selection with Brown Sugar Baked Ricotta and Red Wine Sauce” would go down well with diners who love their vegetables being given some luxe treatment. Slices of grilled capsicum, aubergines and sweet cucumber are sprinkled with ricotta shavings and given a light drizzle of red wine sauce – all the robust flavours came together pretty well. Personally, I prefer my vegetables raw and flavoured sparingly, so I was quite happy to let my dining partners have the lion share of this dish.
Potato Gnocchi with Hand-chopped Veal Ragout Piemonte’s Way – it’s not surprising that this dish is quite filling as gnocchi is traditionally eaten as a first course, as alternative to soup or pasta. The thick soft chewy dough, shaped into small dumplings, are clearly made from scratch as the fresh potatoes and floury tastes were quite evident. Cooked “alla Piemontesse”, had the gnocchi simmered in a thick meaty broth seasoned with Italian herbs. In this dish, veal was used and the light delicate flavor of the meat blended nicely with the gnocchi.
I love the chef’s light-handedness in cooking pasta as the Seafood Spaghetti Risottati Tears Style is my favourite dish that evening. The spaghetti is done perfectly al-dente, exactly the way I like my pasta. The shrimps, squids and clams were all juicy and succulent and the speckles of fresh chilli give this dish a tantalizing spicy lift … there’s really nothing I could fault in this simple but superbly-executed pasta dish.
Two other dishes worth mentioning are the Beef Cheeks with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, Leek & Roasted Asparagus and the Cod Fish with Chick Pea Mash. The beef cheeks were meltingly tender and I like the chickpea mash served with the Mediterranean-style cod fish as the chef had used olive oil and thyme to flavor the mash. The Beef Sirloin, seared and sliced didn’t quite hit the mark as it was severely overcooked – it was anything but tender. Leaving that too long on the pan had rendered it tough and chewy.
We ended the meal with Villa Danieli’s signature Panna Cotta and Tiramisu. I like the tiramisu but I always find their panna cotta’s texture a bit firmer than my personal preference. If you prefer it that way, then you’d be very happy with its generous portion too!
Level 5, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2717-9900 ext.6922
Opens for lunch Mondays-Fridays @ 12.00noon-2.30pm
Serves dinner from Mondays-Saturdays @ 6.30pm-10.30pm
(closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)