Savour crisp pizzas, hearty pastas and rustic home-style specialities at Tosca, Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s signature Italian restaurant.
Achef’s work is never done. Just ask Eric Siew, the executive sous chef of Tosca, Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s spanking new Italian trattoria (restaurant).
The outlet is just three months old, but Siew has been working non-stop at conjuring up new dishes for the restaurant. “Tosca’s a la carte menu would always be a work in progress,” says the affable chef. “Once the current selection is finalised, I’d be thinking about creating newer specialities and testing them out for the next menu change.”
Designed as an informal yet classy Italian trattoria, Tosca sports warm wood and stone-clad interior and an open kitchen with a purpose-built pizza oven, a full bar and a cosy dining area that looks out to the hotel’s outdoor pool and stunning night views of the city.
Besides the usual clusters of dining tables for small groups, it also boasts a long communal table. There are secluded seating for couples and inviting sofas for those who wish to unwind over dinner and drinks. In keeping with Tosca’s trattoria concept, the menu offers rustic regional specialities interspersed with more contemporary creations.
“Popular dishes that go down well with diners would invariably be retained whenever the a la carte menu changes,” says Siew. “New items would only be incorporated after an initial trial period.
For instance, the Brasoto Di Stico d’Agnello (RM48++) or braised lamb shank on soft polenta, sweet baby onions, wilted spinach and gremolata (traditional Italian condiment of minced parsley, garlic and lemon zest) is expected to stay put in the menu as it has become one of Tosca’s signature specials.
“Malaysians have a penchant for strong flavours so we’d be featuring more robust delicacies from southern Italy to appeal to the local palate in the next menu,” Siew elaborates.
Diners can also expect tempting seasonal dishes such as Insalata Di Polipo Alla Griglia (RM32++), a typical Southern Italian delicacy of grilled octopus with shaved fennel, rocket salad, sundried tomato, olives and anchovies tossed in lemon herb vinaigrette. You’d find the appetiser’s gamut of briny, smoky, peppery, herbaceous and tart nuances a titillating combination; the octopus’s chewiness a delightful contrast to the fennel’s crunchiness.
Other simple but sublime offerings include Smoked Salmon and Potatoes (RM30++) and Char-broiled Norwegian Salmon with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Braised Fennel and Eggplant Caponata (RM34++).
The former juxtaposes hot and cold elements in one dish with wedges of fluffy Idaho potato wrapped in slices of smoked Norwegian salmon dressed with dill crème fraiche. Thanks to the warm potato, the salmon’s rich and briny flavour appears more pronounced on the palate.
“For the char-broiled salmon, I pan-fry the fish skin side up to retain its crispness. The fish’s natural oiliness is tempered with the mellow tanginess of caponata — a Sicilian speciality of diced eggplant, capers, tomatoes and pine nuts in balsamic vinegar,” says Siew.
Of course, no visit to Tosca is complete without sampling its scrumptious pizzas. According to Siew, the dough base is never pre-rolled ahead of time.
“To ensure our pizzas stay fresh and crisp, we only roll out the dough when an order comes in. Pizza dough cannot rest for too long or else it’ll turn flabby and won’t be strong enough to hold its topping. It’s also important to regulate the heat when the pizza’s baking,” he reveals.
Having sampled the outlet’s Diavola Pizza (RM36++), we daresay it is a hearty and satisfying treat, being laden with pepperoni, cheese and onion. Plans are afoot to introduce pizzas with fresh, cold toppings, such as air-dried beef slices and rocket salad, to add variety to the existing selection.
Their Risotto Al Funghi Con Odore Di Tartufo (RM30++), meanwhile, is a simple but indulgently creamy dish of nutty short grain rice cooked with tender slivers of earthy wild mushroom, and accentuated with white truffle oil and musky parmesan shavings.
Sweet seductions to round off your meal here range from the light and fruity Fragole Marinate (RM26++), marinated strawberries with Stracciatella ice cream and pistachio crumble to the novel Espuma di Cioccolato e Frutti di Bosco (RM24++), a cupful of frothy-creamy chocolate foam with mixed berries, vanilla sponge and berries coulis. The good news is that these desserts are less sinful than they appear.
For reservations, call (03) 2172 7614 or visit www.tosca.com.my. Tosca is located at Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, The Intermark, 182, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.