Italian flavours all around
Ground Floor, The Somerset,
8 Lorong Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2070 0530
Business hours: 11.30am to 11.30pm, daily
CHEF Massimo Zampar does not need a frying spatula when he cooks.
Instead, he holds the pan in his left hand, stirring the contents by shaking the pan, or flipping them with a flick of his wrist.
His only tool was a pair of tongs, which he used to nudge the bacon, garlic, mushrooms and cod when they stuck to the pan.
The mixture sizzled, and a quick dash of brandy sent flames leaping up from the surface.
After flavouring the mixture with pork and fish stock, chef Zampar tested the taste with a spoon.
“Okay, it’s good,” he said.
Boiled pappardelle (broad fettuccine) was added next, and an enticing plate of pasta was soon ready to be served.
At Neroteca, a non-halal Italian restaurant under the Nero Group, pork dishes hog the limelight alongside fresh pasta.
Besides Porcellino (a roasted suckling pig weighing between two to three kilograms), Grilled Pork Chop is also one of the house specialties.
The thick slab of pork — with sautéed spinach, roasted potato wedges and cream sauce on the side — was served on a wooden board.
“The pork is seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme before it is sent into the oven for about 20 minutes.
“The cheese sauce is a mixture of gorgonzola, taleggio and parmesan cheeses,” Zampar revealed.
Neroteca boasts a high ceiling that makes up for its narrow width, while the vintage interior and soft lighting provide a cosy ambience for patrons.
Next to the open kitchen is a delicatessen, where assorted cheeses and salami were displayed.
For our dinner, Chef Zampar picked a few varieties of the cured meat — mortadella, finocchiona, salami Milano, speck, Parma ham and honey ham — and paired these with burrata, a fresh, juicy and soft cheese.
A plate of rustic bread and focaccia was served as well, to be dipped into the olive oil that was readily provided on every dining table.
As far as desserts were concerned, the special tiramisu at Neroteca was not to be missed.
Served in a cappuccino cup, it took on a local twist with additional layers of mango puree and cubed mango, besides the usual mascarpone and lady fingers.
“I wanted to use a local fruit in this dessert. Mango is tasty and sweet, and people like it,” chef Zampar said.
Another dessert he recommended was Millefoglie with Crema Pasticcera and Strawberry, a delightful combination of puff pastry, pastry cream and strawberries.
Neroteca also offers an extensive selection of Italian wines for the quintessential Italian dining experience,.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.