La Risata, Ampang1 Sep 2011
Ampang is modestly quiet most days, messy during weekdays and full of eccentric fussy people. Sundays are our favorite days, and best for lazy lunches and good old fashioned laughter. Cue La Risata (meaning laughter in Italian). It’s my favorite non-Italian owned Italian restaurant in town.
Having been a diner here for yonks, their tagline “14 years of good food” rings true. The menu is predictably consistent in taste and portion and prices are also reasonable. It’s where I take my family, my friends and new guests in town and being regulars, it’s very much a place where “everyone knows your name”. The ambience is rustic and full of character, with framed fat red cartoon cats eating pasta on the walls giving it a happy, trendy vibe.
If you were to ask me what you should have, I would dutifully copy and paste the entire menu right here. For something light try the Calamari Fritti. I like my calamari golden (not brown), crispy and succulent, La Risata is on my top three places that does them well. A drip of lemon, sprinkled with pepper and salt. Perfecto.
But this does not constitute a complete light meal. Next, I would choose Pollo Farcito, deep fried breaded chicken breast stuffed with ricotta and spinach.
If you are sufficiently hungry, but don’t want to go overboard, a plate of pasta is simple and satisfying. My partner always orders the Penne Bolognaise e Piselli, penne pasta with tomato minced beef sauce and green peas. Even if he starts out by being adventurous he will usually end up with this favorite dish.
If you are in the mood for beer and pizza, the list is long and indulgent. Pizza Bianco or Rosso, white sauced topping or tomato based, the options are exciting, and best shared with friends. Cooked in a wood fire stove, it is always best to eat when the cheese is still bubbling and golden brown. The toppings to choose from are salmon, Quattro Formaggi, carbonara, turkey ham and gorgonzola or from the Rosso list, mushrooms, pepperoni, lamb ragu, or the classic magherita.
And don’t leave without trying the roasted pumpkin salad. It comes with rocket salad, crumbled feta cheese, pine nuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Insalata Di Rucola E Zucca goes perfectly with the Pappardelle Al Ragu D’Angnello as your secondo piatti. Wide flat ribbon pasta with herbed lamb chunks (not minced) laced with some sassy red and green pepper slices. I Dolci! You must make room for dessert! My sinful picks; Torta Di Cioccolato (flourless dark chocolate cake with melting chocolate in the centre served with vanilla ice cream or the classic Tiramisu.