The last time I met Chef Stefano was at Enoteca Restaurant earlier this year. He has since moved on to spearheading and helming a new restaurant – Passione Ristorante Italiano, located in Sri Petaling.
As we all know, Sri Petaling is full of eateries, predominantly Chinese and local ones, so an Italian restaurant here stands out like a shining beacon. And what a nice beacon it is! From the simple facade, one steps into an incredibly chic interior. It’s clear the owners have invested significantly into the setup as the clean contemporary design breathes class, comfort and functionality in the spacious premise. The bar takes centre-stage on the ground floor with high stools and tables marking the seating and this obviously is where diners chill out before going up to the upper level for proper dining. At one corner, holding a position of pride is a gorgeous-looking woodfire oven for Passione’s fresh pizzas.
A real woodfire oven!
Guests get to walk up a white metal-clad staircase to the dining space upstairs. Diners get to watch the chefs preparing their meals at the open kitchen. A more private dining area is marked out on one side of the dining space, segregated by a charming “hanging bridge”. This part of the restaurant is just perfect for an intimate private party with long flowing curtains partitioning the space.
We settled ourselves right in front of the open kitchen and enjoyed watching the chefs at work.
First to be served at our table was the Chef’s premium selection of cold cuts – Passione di Salumi. There’s parma ham, classic & spicy salami, honey ham and mortadella cured meat with pistachios – we ate this together with a loaf of the crustiest bread and some great-tasting tapenade and olive oil & balsamic vinegar.
Passione di Salumi – Chef’s premium selection of cold cuts –
(RM49 regular/RM89 large)
Chef Stefano is a wizard with pastas – all his pastas are made fresh every day. From tagliatelle to tagliolini and his signature chitarra spaghetti, you can be sure they are all made fresh in-house. We had some lipsmackingly good tagliatelle with braised wild boar in tomato sauce, rivalled only by the tagliolini (thin spaghetti) saute’ed with porcini mushrooms and made insanely aromatic with fresh summer truffle.
Wild Boar Tagliatelle (RM35)
Tagliolini al Tartufo & Porcini
Chef Stefano decided to spoil us with a new appetizer of pork shoulder slices drizzled with an amazing sauce with hints of vinaigrette, anchovies, pepper, mint and parsley. It’s something to experience – that burst of delightful flavours in the mouth chewing the meat together with sprigs of rocket leaves.
Our meal was made heartier with Chef Stefano’s signature Pork Knuckle. The chunky meat had been marinated and braised in white wine and secret seasonings with golden roasted potatoes to mop up the house gravy sauce.
Stinco de Maiale Arrosto (RM68) – Pork knuckle in white wine
Knowing that we were keen to see the woodfire oven being put to good use, Chef Stefano made us his top-selling Pizza 3 Salumi. Making the dough deftly from scratch, our pizza had to-die-for toppings of spicy salami, honey ham, salsiccia, onions, mozarella and tomato. Every bite was just scrumptious, trust me.
Pizza 3 Salumi (RM35)
Passione is the place to head to for some Italian love in the bustling neighbourhood of Sri Petaling. In this local food haven, fresh pastas and pizzas do make a refreshing and appealing change!
PASSIONE RISTORANTE ITALIANO
19 Jalan Radin Bagus 9
57000 Kuala Lumpur