A2-G2-09, Solaris Dutamas,
Jalan Dutamas 1,
Tel: 03-6211 2838
Business hours: 11am-11pm (Monday to Thursday and Sunday)
and 11am to midnight (Friday and Saturday).
HONEST cooking begins with putting the diner first.
From the generous portions and sounds of a busy kitchen, Alessio is a restaurant that does not try to hide its homegrown roots.
Comforting aching appetites since 2012, the hidden gem in Solaris Dutamas is run by home cook and entrepreneur Alice Yeap.
“Alessio means someone who enjoys good food and hospitality in Italian.
“As a food lover myself, I am very particular about quality food at an affordable price.
“I also wanted Alessio to be a caring restaurant, that is why all the food is free of MSG and preservatives,” said Yeap while explaining the new additions to her menu.
Living up to its name, every dish feels like a thoughtful gift from a long lost friend, starting with the noteworthy skewers of juicy grilled black pepper lamb kebabs.
Though the “Paradiso” fruit cocktail salad of mostly diced apples in mayo was lacklustre, its pairing with fresh coconut water was a delightful first impression.
Honing her skills since the age of 12, the humble epicurean attained her diploma in culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute and valuable experience from courses in New York.
“I won my first cooking competition in school by making chocolate profiteroles, and that is how I knew I loved cooking,” said the 40-year-old chef.
Right down to the sauces for every Western dish and the puree for Asian varieties, Yeap’s attention to detail drove her to personally train all of her five cooks.
“All the recipes are my original creations, after lots of trial and error.
“I believe in making everything from scratch.
“That is why I still find myself in the kitchen eight hours a day,” she said with a modest smile.
Making an instant devotee out of me, the Twin Duck Spaghetti is an explosion of flavours with crispy duck bacon, duck confit, sundried tomato, olives and fresh orange slices.
Being a dish that demands patience, Yeap’s duck confit is cooked for eight to 10 hours on low temperature.
“I am very proud of this recipe!
“It took me a while to get the combination just right.
“After trying all kinds of protein, I finally found balance of flavours and textures with the crispiness of the smoked duck bacon and slow cooked duck confit,” she said, adding that it was one of her favourite culinary milestones to savour.
If it is not already crystal clear, Yeap’s affection for gastronomy is also evident in her Tuscan Lamb Shank.
Accompanied by well-seasoned ratatouille and creamy mashed potatoes, the tender slow roast will surely build a fan base among connoisseurs.
Seafood patrons will bow in awe to the sheer size and symphonic taste of the Coconut Island King.
Sauteed in curry leaves and salted egg and laid to rest in a bird’s eye chilli infused coconut sauce, the XL King Prawn is the stuff dreams are made of.
It is as if Alessio is hell bent on spoiling its customers, with the hand tossed sourdough pizza trio of beef pepperoni, Hawaiian and wild mushroom toppings.
Confessing the secret of the pizza’s tender crust, Yeap admits that the dough is made from wild yeast which she sourced from a baker in France.
“The wild yeast makes the dough rise slowly in the stone oven, giving it a better texture,” she said.
For those who crave a more fiery topping, Yeap presents a spicy chicken pizza bursting with peppers and chilli that only inflicts a mild burn.
Fans of salmon will adore the Charcoal grilled Fillet Duo, one in miso butter and another in teriyaki sauce.
Served with crispy golden enoki mushrooms and a choice of either aromatic garlic egg fried rice or kampung fried rice with crunchy ikan bilis, weight watchers like myself will mourn the overwhelming carb selection.
The Nasi Lemak Muhibbah is Alice’s ambitious attempt at creating a dish to represent all of Malaysia.
However, the combination of basmati rice and coconut milk saturated with onion lemongrass and pandan served with ayam goreng berempah, butter tiger prawn and kari ikan tenggiri was less than sum of its parts.
Yet the minor hiccups can be easily forgiven as Alessio is a culinary experience that will soon find its way into your list of favourite things.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement byStar Metro.