Early this month, it was Panda Foong‘s birthday and being the nice tweeples that we are, we organized a birthday dinner for him. What was originally a party of 9 persons soon turned into 6 when several of us couldn’t make it at the last minute. We reached Pasta Zanmai just before 8pm on a Tuesday, only to find the restaurant full! Served us right for not making a reservation in advance. So we waited and waited and we got our table about 15-20 minutes later.
Chopsticks for us
It was my first time at Pasta Zanmai Mid Valley and I found the environment pretty clean, bright and fuss-free. Chopsticks were placed altogether in a basket instead of individually arranged. Our green tea was to be ordered in pots instead of cups, but each pot could be shared by up to 3 persons. I wonder why such a policy?
Dining environment of Pasta Zanmai Mid Valley
I saw many items that I wanted to try that night, most of all the pasta! But Saucer had his eye on the Unagi Kabayaki set as well as the Grilled Chicken set, so being the nice person that I am *cough* I ordered the Unagi so that he could have a bit of it. The Unagi set came with quite a sizable amount of unagi, thickly sliced with sweet teriyaki sauce, a bowl of miso soup, rice and salad. The salad was nothing to shout about, just some slices of lettuce and cabbage topped with some salad dressing.
Unagi Kabayaki Set (RM20)
The unagi slices were firm and fresh, instead of mashy. It was pretty tasty except that I would have preferred more sauce. Eating only this with white rice could prove to be rather dry.
Unagi with teriyaki sauce
Ready to feast?
We ordered 2 other dishes to be share, one of which was the Assorted Mini Canapes, which were small pieces of crackers with various fillings in between them. One of them had a slice of salmon in between, another had tuna, while the one I had was soft shell crab. Even though they looked cute, they were really quite ordinary. Definitely not something that I would order again.
Assorted Mini Canapes
The Turkey Ham and Japanese Mushroom Pizza was one of December Specials that was recommended by the waitress. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite find anything special about it. Perhaps it had something to do with the cheese used? I found that it wasn’t fragrant or cheesy enough, if you would. It was merely a piece of savoury pastry topped with ham slices to me.
Turkey Ham and Japanese Mushroom Pizza
One of the nicer dishes that night was actually Saucer’s Sizzling Grilled Spring Chicken with Mushroom Sauce. It definitely arrived with much fanfare, as with most sizzling dishes, and definitely became the attention of the night when mushroom sauce was poured over the chicken in front of watching patrons.
Sizzling Grilled Spring Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
I’m happy to say that the chicken was not only gorgeous in looks and smell, it actually was tasty! Considering a spring chicken was used, it was actually quite huge. Half of it! The meat was well-marinated, the skin was lightly crispy and the the mushroom sauce was oh-so-heavenly! The meat was fall-of-the-bone tender! I almost regretted I didn’t choose this dish over the unagi. :/
Tender and smooth chicken meat with delicious mushroom sauce
Here are some of the pictures of food ordered by the rest of the gang:
Mini Tempura Prawn Sesame Pasta
Unagi on Rice
Both the items above were actually part of a ‘Mini Pasta Set’, which didn’t turn out to be that mini after all! In fact, I think the unagi portion in this mini set was quite similar to the Unagi Kabayaki set that I ordered! Which was why I was so annoyed with myself for not ordering the mini set! I could have had a taste of the pasta as well! Smart people like Foong, Erika and Grey ordered this.
Mini Tempura Prawn Sesame Pasta & Unagi on Rice with Miso Soup (RM23)
Eric also ordered a Mini Pasta Set, but of a different combination.
Mini Shortneck Clamsoup Pasta
Mini Grilled Chicken Cutlet on Rice
Mini Shortneck Clam Soup Pasta & Mini Grilled Chicken Cutlet on Rice (RM23)
Overall, apart from the appetizers, I was quite satisfied with the quality and portion served at Pasta Zanmai. In fact, since I didn’t have the chance to eat pasta that day, I told Saucer that we had to go back there and try the set! After all, what’s a visit to Pasta Zanmai if you had not tasted their pasta before, right?
Confession: OK, I did have a taste of the pasta from Foong’s serving, but I thought telling the story the way I did would be more interesting. 😛
Group picture: Saucer, witch, Eric, Grey and Erika (picture courtesy of Foong)
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a group picture now, would it? As usual, Foong’s face would be off limits! Just imagine him as a Panda! LOL! Anyway, I hope he had a wonderful birthday celebration because we certainly did have a great time catching up!