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Villa Danieli,
Level 5, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2717 9900 ext 6922
Business hours: Lunch from noon to 2.30pm (Mon – Fri)
and dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Mon – Sat)
Pork free.

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IF YOU order something new on the menu at Villa Danieli and it comes to you looking not quite Italian, be rest assured of its authenticity, says new Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur chef de cuisine Simone La Gamba as Italian cuisine is all about the ingredients.

According to native Italian La Gamba, Italian food is not about how you cook the dish but what you use in the dish.

“There are two different styles of cooking in Italy. In the north, there is more butter, cheese and rich products in the food. This is because winter there is very cold and such food can help keep the body warm and provide it with much needed fats,” he said.

On the other hand, southern Italian food has a tendency to be lighter and makes liberal use of items like tomato, olive oil and salad.

La Gamba said the menu at Villa Danieli features both type of styles.

“New flavours can also be created or old ones enhanced by combining elements of different recipes or using more ingredients in a single dish,” he said, adding that many of the customers came to eat something different from what other Italian restaurants were offering.

The restaurant will have additional new items on its menu under the appetiser, main course and dessert categories, all of which embodies all that is Italian cuisine from the traditional to the unconventional by La Gamba who only started working here in April.

First up is the appetisers of salmon and cod fish terrine served with fennel and mustard sauce for that bit of tang to whet the appetite while the salmon plays hide and seek, served inside a wrapping of cod fish.

There is also Norwegian salmon wrapped around snapper ceviche and accompanied with clam vinaigrette as well as warm seafood salad with fennel, red onions and extra virgin olive oil.

“The salad is a classical appetiser in most Italian restaurants though it is served cold. Here we serve it warm so that the taste of the ingredients are enhanced, adding to the enjoyment of the diner,” La Gamba said.

He also said that Italians ate a lot of meat and all kinds are reflected in the additional main course items such as the lamb chop with black olive mashed potato, baby carrots and green pepper as well as the pan-fried beef tenderloin with slightly sweet mashed pumpkin, vegetable ratatouille and basil sauce.

051F89FB61CA4CE6A49BAC558279D61BItalian dim sum: Seabass, foie gras and mushroom wrapped in white cabbage with salmon broth.

“I was inspired by the Chinese for one of the dishes that is the sea bass, foie gras and mushroom.

“Back home, people do not steam food. I have been working in China for a few years now and I find fish is very suitable for steaming,” he said.

La Gamba wraps the three main ingredients in white cabbage and cooks it all in a light salmon broth, all in a dim sum basket.

He also highlights the new chocolate mousse that is flavoured with spiced-orange flavoured olive oil.

“Chocolate is very sweet and makes a good combination with something sour or spices. This dessert is also good together with red wine,” La Gamba said, adding that he had tried between 10 and 20 different combinations before arriving at the current selection.

Other new dessert items include the tiramisu with Barolo wine-poached pears and cream as well as chocolate and peanut butter semi-freddo with berries compote.

All of the above and more can be enjoyed at Villa Danieli that features a cozy setting within its romantically lit premises.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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