I have yet to visit Italy, and I can’t wait for the time where I can take off for a few months and explore the entire ‘boot’ of the country. Italy — its natural beauty, its people, its culture, and of course its food, has always been fascinating and alluring. So when the chance to indulge in a night of Italian cuisine was presented to me, I thought, “Why not?” I may not make it to the country anytime soon, so I might as well enjoy some good Italian food instead!
The Extraordinary Italian Taste
“The Extraordinary Italian Taste” is a series of dinner pairings held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in conjunction with the World Week of Italian Cuisine. Running from the 20th to the 26th of November 2017, the event is organized by the Italian Trade Agency Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with The Embassy of Italy and Italy Malaysia Business Association. There are a total of three dinner pairing sessions of different themes — ‘Italian Street food is Glam’ at Ciccheti di Zenzero, ‘Italian Street Food is Trendy’ at The Wine Bar @ ONE KL and ‘Italian Street Food is Gourmet’ at Villa Danieli @ Sheraton Imperial KL.
I was invited to join the second event at The Wine Bar, and it promised me an evening of Italian food and wine indulgence. They even brought in a chef all the way from Italy to really introduce our local Malaysian senses to the Italian gourmet identity and culture.
Chef Roberto Dal Seno
Professionally-trained Italian Star Chef Roberto Dal Seno was brought to Malaysia all the way from Venice, Italy to showcase his skills and expertise in haute and fusion cuisine. Chef Roberto is currently an Executive Chef at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice — and other than being a star chef, he is also a culinary instructor on F&B training and consulting roles.
Some of the culinary awards that he has won includes the Starwood’s ‘Dinner-Around’ award as the Best Cuisine in the area, and under his management, St Regis Venice was rated as #16 Best Hotel Restaurant of the World 2014 by The Daily Mail. During our dinner, he took a short break from preparing dinner to talk and take some photographs with the diners. He was also proudly wearing his chef uniform from the Hotel Excelsior!
Italian Street Food is Trendy
The second food pairing session was themed, “Italian Street Food is Trendy”, and held at The Wine Bar in ONE KL. The menu included 7 starters, 2 pastas, 3 pork main courses and a free flow of selected alcohol; and cost RM168 nett per person. You can check out the full menu at the bottom of this post.
The restaurant was pretty bustling that night — with an Italian beauty queen as the emcee, an Italian DJ on the decks; and women in gorgeous dresses and men in bowties, each holding a glass of wine in their hands… I guess you can’t get any more Italian than that in Malaysia!
A Night of Fine Dining
To me, street food comes in huge, hearty portions — however, we were savoring street food in a fine-dining setting, so the portions came in bite-sizes. Our first course were the starters, and all 7 dishes were served together in small plates (like tapas). My favorites were the crispy bread and prosciutto, and the bread crumb marinated pork loin — because it had a lot of meat! The second course of pasta and risotto were alright, though I absolutely enjoyed the main course of pork, pork and more pork. The pork belly, pork and ribs and pork ‘zampone’ were well cooked and tender, and it came with an awesome spicy-ish dip.
There was also free flow of several wines and liquors — but I fell in love with the sparkling wine “Consoli Grand Cuvee Spumante Brut”, so that was what I had all night. Nothing beats Italian food and bubblies combined together! Oh, and I also enjoyed that one shot of Limoncello Lazaronni that served as my dessert drink to end my dinner course.
A Little Bit on the World Week of Italian Cuisine
The World Week of Italian Cuisine aims to spread tourist destinations and the culinary specialties of Italy to the world; and boost the export and distribution of authentic Italian food and wine products of the country. This is part of Italy’s Strategic Plan for Tourism 2017-2022, which aims to highlight the undiscovered Italian Regions and to promote it globally.
So in conjunction with the second edition of this initiative, the “The Extraordinary Italian Taste” was held. I had a fun night at the “Italian Street Food is Trendy” dinner pairing session, savoring all that Italian street food, and great company with a few lovely ladies.
*The World Week of Italian Cuisine runs from 20 to 26 November 2017.
*She Walks the World attended the ‘Italian Street Food is Trendy’ dinner pairing as a guest. As always, all opinions stated here are my own.
*Photos marked with + are official photos of the event.