il Lido, KLCC1 Dec 2011
A little over a year after it opened to great acclaim, paving the way for a new golden era of Italian food in Kuala Lumpur, ilLido has once again undergone a metamorphosis, emerging afresh with a new executive chef – Andrea Zanelli, who has also helmed the kitchen of several other Italian eateries in KL and therefore is no stranger to the Malaysian palate – and a brand new pork free menu.
This time round, veal rather than pork will be the focus of the back-to-basics menu. Says owner Beppe di Vito, who has also orchestrated the launch of a number of well-received Italian-themed eateries around the region, notably Singapore and Hong Kong, it’s veal’s turn to go under the spotlight, not least because the restaurant now has an exemplary supplier of veal from Italy.
Acccordingly, the new menu encompasses such gold standards as veal Milanese and osso bucco, here interpreted with veal shanks and marrow separately presented, and served with an irreproachably al dente saffron risotto.
Veal aside, the new menu includes some notable signature dishes, of which the crab salad – an offshoot from the original ilLido in Singapore – is particularly memorable. Crunchy watermelon morsels are juxtaposed with the fresh, subtly briny flavors of the crab to produce flavors that are simultaneously crisp, clean and evocative of summer. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser whose popularity is utterly justifiable.
Meat free alternatives are equally meritorious: Sardinian-style homemade sheep cheese ravioli is delicately scented with truffle honey and black peppercorns, while citrus marinated fish and seafood are paired with micro greens, fresh vegetables and a herb salad for a salubrious meal.
For dessert, a warm lemon flan with caramelised nectarine peaches pays homage to the picturesque town of Sorrento in southern Italy. Limoncello and lemons are two of the town’s better known produce and both form the inspiration for this dessert.
In a time when pork-centric restaurants are now a dime a dozen, Il Lido’s strategy to go pork-free is an intelligent one that will set it apart from the rest. Coupled with its trademark impeccable service, restrained but elegant setting, and superb wine list, and there is much to look forward to at one of KL’s most endeared Italian restaurants.
Lunch weekdays and dinner nightly