Monday, October 5, 2015



La Vita Bella

Over the past a decade, a deluge of Italian restaurants have all but inundated KL's dining scene, from simple pizzerias and casual trattorias to the fine dining elite. At the head of this pack is the highly acclaimed Nero Group – purveyors of only the most authentic Italian fare, with a raft of renowned restaurants under its name.

It is at one of these – Neroteca – that the most recent MIGF Publicity dinner took place, bringing together a group of 20 gourmands who made their way to a quiet suburb of Bukit Damansara to sample Head Chef Buck Stanlie's rustic Festival Menu.
Before stepping inside the trendy restaurant, however, guests made their way to the ultra-cool Blue Elephant bar – a speakeasy accessed through a secret entrance above the restaurant – for pre-dinner drinks and canapes.

A sleek and smooth interior that offers cosy, semi-private booths swathed in fine leather.
Regional Italian specialties adorn the menu

Dato' Steve introducing Chef Buck while Abethan Kanthasamy looks on
As the bar's deep house vibes pulsed away, keeping the atmosphere upbeat and lively, and the last of the diners walked through the magic concealed doorway, MIGF Organising Chairman Dato' Steve Day called for the restaurant team before giving his customary introductions.

"This is one of the coolest restaurants in town, with, undoubtedly, one of the coolest hosts,” said Dato' Steve of the eatery and the man stood beside him – Managing Director of the Nero-Group, Abethan Kanthasamy, who made a rare appearance at an MIGF dinner.
Cherry Lee Lee Ho and Kerry Tam

Jay Lee and Pat Liew

Mea Fatt Leong, Dato' Raymond Liew, Vivian Wan, Paul Ow and Shirley Tay
Following the traditional group shot for posterity, the diners made their way downstairs to the slick and smooth interior of Neroteca. A magnificent classic electra coffee machine in rose gold greeted guests at the restaurant entrance, who made their way passed the bar and wood-fired oven and into the sleek main dining room.

It was time for Chef Buck to shine and with all guests seated, the first course emerged from the busy kitchen – a lightly smoked Petunia trout carpaccio skewered with orange and raison crispy bites. Light and airy, the wafer thin fish cuts were a perfect counterpoint to the citric orange and sweet raison.
Trota Marinata: Lightly Smoked Petunia Trout
Carpaccio Skewered with Orange
and Raison Crispy Bites
Zuppa de Porcini e Serano Garlic: Celery and
Cepes Mushroom Soup with Rosemary Dumpling
Chef Buck plating up the soup course.
Note the impressive hunk of Serano ham
to the left of the picture
Ravioli di Ricotta e Spinaci: Homemade Pasta
stuffed with Ricotta and Baby Spinach
on Truffle Fondue
A glimpse into the two glass panels opposite the table showed the blue-capped Chef Buck and his crew preparing the next dish – a celery and cepes mushroom soup with rosemary dumplings.

Then came the first of the main courses – homemade egg ravioli stuffed with ricotta and baby spinach on truffle fondue. The parcels of freshly made pocket-pasta held a lush and creamy mixture that coated the palate in a rich flavourable film.

Porchetta: Roasted Piglet Stuffed with Artichokes and Sausages on Mustard and Spring Onion Coulis
Up next was what many considered the star of the show – a savoury, moist, meltingly tender porchetta. The roasted piglet is one of the establishment's signature dishes and comes stuffed with artichokes and sausages, on a bed of mustard and spring onion coulis.

Then the dessert of tiramisu, a mainstay of any respectable Italian kitchen. Translated from Italian as 'lift me up' the dessert did just, with many diners praising the lush recipe beyond words.

Dato' Kok giving a detailed review of the five course Festival Menu, noting also that the flight of wines with
each course was paired perfectly
Eminent food critic Dato' Kok waxed lyrical on the dish: "The crackling of the macadamia nuts, the semi-soft crunch of the pistachio, the silkiness of the mascarpone cheese and the sharp edge of the grappa made this tiramisu the best I have eaten at any restaurant,” which received a round of applause from the group.

HE Jose R Baranano, Lifestyle & Health Care Services Director, also took to the mic, congratulating the team on a fantastic evening in all aspects.
HE Baranano wrapping up the evening
in fine fashion
Last but not least, Mr Kanthasamy
bidding guests a fine farewell
This brought to a close what was considered by many as one of the top Italian feasts they had eaten in some time. Before leaving, Mr Kanthasamy reminded guests that a full a la carte menu featuring pork in a stunning array of varieties is available, with the speciality at Christmas being the much-loved cotechino sausage.
Click here to view the full Vision KL story of the Neroteca.
Don't miss the opportunity to taste the much-talked-about inundated KL's dining scene, from simple pizzerias
and casual trattorias to the upper echelons of the fine dining elite at Neroteca during the
Malaysia International Gourmet Festival from 1st to 31st October!


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