Lot G68, Jalan PJU 7/3,
The Curve, Mutiara Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03- 7725 2822, 03-2713 2333 – Jalan P.Ramlee,
03-2697 4020/1 – Capsquare,
03-3343 8446 – Centro Mall
Business hours: noon-1.00am, daily

UNLESS you are well-versed in the Italian language, chances are you have to play guesswork to pronounce and understand Modesto’s menu.

Of course, there were English descriptions and photos for reference, but this reflected owner Modesto Marini’s determination to keep the chain of restaurants truly Italian.

0B265563D7E247DCBC056C9758071F35Plenty of toppings: Capricciosa has an added flavour when Teh sprinkled slices of artichoke on it.

Executive chef Sonny Teh said the most important lesson he learned from Marini was to keep the dishes authentic.

“We don’t do fusion here,” he said with a tinge of pride.

Not only that, certain ingredients such as artichoke and olive oil are imported from Italy.

Italian cuisine is best defined as simple and easy to prepare, added Teh.

Established in 1995 by Marini and Bob Wong, the chain currently has five outlets in the peninsula — four in the Klang Valley and one in Johor — combines cosy and trendy dining with clubbing experience.

010ACB5CD4CB46D0AE087FBDD4A18585Going with the classics: The Crispy Duck is one of the dishes at Modesto’s Chinese kitchen.

At its outlet in The Curve, the partying scene comes alive after 10pm at its bar, Q Tree, with a deejay spinning retro music.

Our Italian culinary journey unfolded with Antipasto Modestos, a starter for two, comprising spicy zucchini on toast, deep fried prawns, marinated salmon on toast, buffalo mozzarella, sauteed mushroom on toast and turkey ham (in place of air dried beef with rocket salad to accommodate our dining companion who does not consume beef).

The dainty creations were a teaser to the following dishes, Stinco D’ Agnello Al Forno (Lamb Shank Braised in Red Wine and Fresh Herbs) and Capricciosa (Thin Crust Pizza with Toma-toes, Cheese, Mushroom, Turkey Ham and Artichoke).

The lamb shank had gone through three hours of baking in the oven, resulting in its flavourful and tender meat.

Its meat was not gamey and Teh has only one secret to share, “We use expensive lamb.”

The mash potato was enjoyable and he revealed it has been drizzled with truffle oil.

“Just like us, the food needs perfume too,” he quipped.

Artichoke is an unusual topping for a pizza but it added texture and a salty flavour to the thin crust delight.

From the selection of pastas, we sampled Orecchiette All Italiana (Round Pastas with Smoked Duck Breast, Rocket Salad, Parmesan Cheese and Truffle Oil) and Ravioli Al Tartufo Con Crema Di Spinaci (Ravioli with Mushrooms, White Truffle Oil, Parmesan Cheese served in a Spinach Cream Sauce).

“For the ravioli, we saute the mushrooms, add in parmesan cheese and egg before wrapping the filling with pasta dough. The spinach cream sauce, which is flavoured with truffle oil, is made a la minute,” he said.

This outlet has a separate Chinese kitchen, Chinois, specialised in London-styled Chinese cuisine.

The Crispy Duck was recommended, not only for its plum and hoisin sauces, but also for the fun of wrapping the shredded meat, cucumber and spring onions in steamed popiah skins, and eating it by hand.

Currently, Modesto’s is running a few promotions. Set lunch, with the choice of pasta, pizza or sandwich, is available from RM12.80 nett. Soft drink and fruits are included.

There is also a 50% off pastas and pizzas from noon till 3pm. A complimentary dessert will be given to every four diners from 6pm onwards. As for alcoholic drinks, three half-pints of Hoegarden are at RM38+ and a jug of Carlsberg is at RM28 nett from 5pm to 8pm.

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

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