It was just a few days ago when I was rushing back from work to get ready for dinner. Braving through the rain and the after work traffic, Saucer and I finally made it to the heart of KL, at Renaissance Hotel. We had a dinner appointment with a few of our friends but I guess the traffic was holding some of them back, which was good! Because we then had the chance to sample these cute little cocktails which tasted like margarita.
Cocktails before dinner
While waiting, I also went into their wine room to check out some of their wines. Halfway browsing, we saw something generating smoke inside the room! Upon asking, it was just the humidifier, maintaining the humidity of the wine room.
Some exquisite French wines
Glorious collection of white wine and glasses
The collection of wines
Soon, when the party arrived, we proceeded to the dining area of Med @ Marche-Live. Being a Mediterranean restaurant, Marche now has a new and hip Executive Sous Chef Paul Lewis who hails from Australia, serving his rendition of fine Italian food. Did I hear Italian? That’s my favourite!
Dining area of Marche
Some bread sticks and rolls, Dipping of Pine nuts with eggplant and Olive oil with crushed pistachio
I loved eating these long and crispy bread sticks whenever I dine at Italian restaurants! Why don’t more restaurants have it? I’d much rather eat these than rolls. The rolls here were divine too, warm and fluffy, they were perfect with the dipping that came together – Pine nuts with eggplant and Olive oil with crushed pistachio. Whoever invented the combination of pine nuts and eggplant is a genius! The texture was creamy and nutty, with a slight saltiness, making the roll taste so good! It’s almost like eating butter without the guilt! Awesome!
with my favourite bread stick <3
The first appetizer arrived soon, which was Pesto Pizza, a thin layer of pizza crust topped with semi-dried tomato and parmesan cheese. Simple as it was, crispy at the edges, chewy at the insides. The cheese was not overpowering, making it just nice as an appetizer.
Pesto Pizza (RM28)
If pizza sounds too heavy for an appetizer, perhaps a bowl of Seafood Brodetto should do the trick. The concoction of seafood, garlic, tomato, saffron and white wine vinegar was hearty and flavourful, sure to put any stomachs to satisfaction.
I opted for a glass of white wine to go with the pastas, which was smooth and pretty easy on the palate.
The bottle of white wine
Since there was a group of us, we ordered several types of pasta to be shared. The first to arrive was the Tortellini stuffed with goat cheese, thyme, roast pumpkin and balsamic vinegar. This was Saucer’s favourite as he loved the chewy texture of the tortellini combined with the gorgeous and creamy texture of cheese, pumpkin and vinegar as the filling. This was perfect for anyone who loves cheese!
The Pappardelle was something new to me as I’ve never eaten pasta this shape. It looked like fettuccine except in shorter pieces. This was served with a ragout (stew) of beef shin, green pea and oven dried tomato and gremolata.
Now the next dish may look a little similar to Pappardelle but it is not. This was a plate of fabulous Gnocchi, which was served with braised lamb shank, anchovies, olives and pecorino (a type of cheese). I never liked Gnocchi because I always thought it was just a blob of flour and why would I want to eat flour anyway? But Chef Paul Lewis was brilliant in mixing the Gnocchi with his amazing lamb shank, making it almost impossible to resist. Yes, gnocchi and all! I was really impressed with this dish, with how soft, tender and flavourful the lamb was and how it combined perfectly with the gnocchi. I was instantly a convert!
The Chicken Piccatta was a slice of deep fried chicken breast served with sauteed mushroom and asparagus, and in my opinion was rather average. But I might be biased since I’m not a fan of chicken breast. Give me chicken thigh anytime!
Chicken piccatta (RM60)
When the Ocean Trout came, I simply couldn’t stop admiring the delicate presentation. It was served with lemon sole, tiger prawn, calamari fritti, bread salad and basil pesto and the aroma itself was mouth-watering! I had a small piece of the fish and found the meat to be flaky, smooth and firm. Definitely a sign freshness, don’t you think?
Ocean trout (RM78)
I imagined the Wood Fired Whole Tuscan Chicken to be much bigger but I guess spring chicken was used. The whole chicken was spread across the plate, without bones and came with garlic roast potato chips and balsamic roasted vegetables. Don’t you just love how the chicken was presented on the plate?
Wood fired Whole Tuscan Chicken (RM66)
The Florence Steak served with Panzanella Salad and Garlic roast potato chips fell short of my expectations as I found the steak to be a little to tough and dry, especially at the edges. I loved eating the garlic roasted potatoes though.
Florence Steak (RM68)
Now it may seem that we ordered a lot of dishes but we really only had a small bite from each plate, so I guess they all add up nicely? The Balsamic Brushed Lamb Cutlets was served with a side of polenta or boiled cornmeal, which was soft and smooth, almost like mashed potatoes. The lamb was grilled nicely, resulting in tender and juicy meat, much better than the steak before. This would be my pick!
Balsamic Brushed Lamb Cutlets (RM66)
The Home made Linguine with tiger prawn, scallop, garlic, chilli, parsley and tomato was pretty decent, except that I would prefer it if it were less oily. The tiger prawns were deliciously succulent and fresh though.
The Penne with wild mushrooms, truffle and chives was the last plate of mains served and by then, most of us were already full. I didn’t think much of the penne, but the mushrooms and truffle were out of this world! They were juicy and delicious, and I ended up picking them out from the pasta to eat.
Last but not least, desserts! The first was a Cannoli, which was a deep fried pastry in the shape of a tube, filled with light cream cheese and crushed dried fruits/oats, which I found very similar to muesli. This was not the typically sweet or rich dessert, which allowed me to have more than one spoonful of it.
Apple Pudding (RM26)
The amazing feast was a genius preparation by the hip and happening Chef Paul Lewis himself (if you have a chance, check out his tattoos!). It was because of him that we had the opportunity to sample authentic Italian food with all the authentic Italian ingredients.
witch with Chef Paul Lewis
Med @ Marche at Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Med @ Marche-Live
West Wing, 2nd Floor
Tel: +603 2162 2233 ext 33168
Business hours: 5pm till 1am
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays