Malaysia has recently joined the list of locations of Olive Garden, a chain of Italian restaurants originating from the USA. Operated by the Secret Recipe Group here, Olive Garden is housed inside MidValley Mega Mall. The restaurant adopts a casual dining concept with its tiled floor, stone-clad pillars and wooden beams across the ceiling. The earth tones exude a sense of cosy warmth and somehow the booth seating on one side of the restaurant reminds me of an American diner.
The menu shows the entire gamut of casual Italian dishes from antipasti to desserts. Prices are decent, for the portions and quality given. Most of the dishes are heavy on cheese and cream so it’s a good idea to start with some lighter options like their House Salad (RM15.50) which has greens, croutons and boiled eggs tossed with their signature Italian dressing.
From their soup selections, I like the Minestrone (RM11.80), a hearty traditional vegetables soup with beans and pasta simmered in a light tomato broth.
If you love cheese, Olive Garden’s offerings would be just right up your alley. I’d suggest you start off with their Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta (RM29.90) – the cheesy trinity of oven-baked smoked mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Dip the pieces of Tuscan bread into this and enjoy.
Next, for a taste of their assorted appetizers, check out the Sampler Italiano (RM59.90) which has calamari, lasagna fritta and shrimp scampi fritta. It’s good for sharing as the portion is quite considerable.
For a heavier tasting, their Tour of Italy (RM59.90) serves 3 classics all in one plate: Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna and Fettucine Alfredo. I would have preferred the pasta to be more al dente but otherwise the flavours and portions are good and hearty.
More cheesy delights come in the form of Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken (RM38.90). It’s a mountain of hand folded lasagna filled with spinach, bell peppers and Italian cheeses topped with tomato basil sauce, grilled chicken and creamy parmesan sauce. If that doesn’t fill you up, I don’t know what will.
I like Olive Garden’s pizzas, particularly the Triple Cheese Carbonara Piadina (RM18.90) – freshly baked crispy flat bread pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, grana padana cheeses, roasted cherry tomatoes and beef bacon.
For pastas, I like fettucine and the Lobster Fettuccine (RM53.90) with Maine lobster tail and shrimps tossed in a lobster seafood cream sauce was expectedly good as you can’t really go wrong with these premium crustaceans.
Having said that, personally I found their Pasta Pescatore (RM41.90) more satisfying. The deep dish of fettucine is generously filled with saute’ed shrimps, bay scallops and mussels tossed in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce with green beans and tomatoes. I like the rich combo of umami flavours from the seafood and the refreshing nuances of red pepper and tomatoes.
For a casual dining restaurant, Olive Garden serves very decent steaks which should please beef lovers. Reasonably priced at RM79.90, the Steak Toscano (200g Ribeye) and Center Cut Fillet Mignon (170g premium center cut) are good bets. Perfectly executed, our “medium rare” servings satisfied the steak cravings in us.
Steak Toscano topped with butter and Italian herbs, served with garlic mashed potatoes
Center Cut Fillet Mignon topped with butter and Italian herbs, served with grilled vegetables
Salmon Risotto (RM45.90) grilled salmon topped with fresh tomatoes and basil pesto served on seafood risotto with sautéed shrimps
Olive Garden serves a modest selection of desserts. We checked out a few and the wholesome sweets are pretty good value for the prices shown.
Piccoli Dolci – handcrafted little dessert treats layered with cake, mousse, pastry cream and berries. Almond Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Mousse, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cream, Strawberry & White Chocolate. They can be ordered individually RM6.80 a piece or 3 for RM18 and 5 for RM29.
Black Tie Mousse Cake (RM12.80) chocolate cake topped with dark chocolate cheesecake and creamy mascarpone custard topped with dark and white chocolate icing and chocolate sauce – my favourite, for sure.
Tiramisu (RM12.80) espresso-soaked lady fingers topped with creamy mascarpone custard and sweet cocoa – they serve the virgin version here, no liquer.
Lot F051 Mega Mall
Mid Valley City
Lingkara Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur