October 23, 2012

Spasso... Milano Italian Cuisine

The first time we walked right up to the door and took a peek.  It was empty...no tables were occupied. We decided to go somewhere else to eat. The second time around we walked straight inside. Actually, we have already decided on the place after hearing a few recommendations from friends. I liked what I saw the minute we walked inside...Spasso, an Italian restaurant located in Straits Quay.
As we took our seats, I could not help telling the men (with me) that the place looked sparkling. All so beautiful…done in simple design with a theme of white and stainless steel. I loved the way the tables were positioned. They were quite apart from each other. It was something I always preferred in a restaurant. For me, that gives 'privacy' in dining.
The appetiser we had was a plate of Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (RM18.80). It was a plate of toasted focaccia bread topped with tomato, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil. It would be nothing spectacular if not for the focaccia bread. That, I have to say was a good slice of bread.
Porcini mushroom soup
After much debating, (we could not make up our minds), we settled on a bowl of porcini mushroom (RM18.80) soup. I could smell the nice aroma of the soup as the waiter placed the bowl on our table.  I took a scoop of the soup. Woo, it had a lot of substance in that it was creamy and thick with chopped porcini mushrooms. The soup had a nutty-woodsy and sweet taste. I took another spoonful and decided I did not like the overpowering taste of the mushrooms and white truffle oil (drizzled on top). The other two loved the soup and kept telling me that it was Italian soup 'for real'. 
Chicken Valdostana
A plate of Chicken Valdostana (chicken escalope topped with baked chicken ham and Fontana cheese-RM38.80) and a plate of Chicken Picata (Pan-fried chicken fillet coated with egg and Parmesan cheese-RM28.80) were our next orders.
Chicken Picata
The Chicken Valdostana was just 'so-so' was hubby's remarks. I had a piece and could not agree more. Maybe as Malaysians, we need something stronger.  Italian cooking would be bland compared to our curries. (LOL). I asked hubby to add the condiments from the little containers. Shredded cheese, salt and chilli pepper. The Chicken Picata was not too bad. I thought they were like mini omelettes. The capers sprinkled on the top of the pieces added extra flavour. The pasta aglio olio (pasta tossed in virgin olive oil, garlic and ground chilli pepper) was a good combination. Had it been in any form, I think we would be 'jelak'. Do not judge the portion served as little.  The three of us could not finish off the pasta. 
The stand out of the whole meal (main course) was without a doubt the Pizza Margherita (RM26.80). It looked different from what we had in Italy but the taste was awesome. Being wood fried; the pizza had a smoky, woodsy taste. The basil used was fresh and fragrant. The tomatoes tasted juicy and sweet and lastly...lots of mozzarella. The pizza dough was equally good. It was light and not rubbery in bite. 
A cup of Tiramisu
Spasso serve very nice desserts. We had the Tiramisu (RM18.80) and Panna Cotta (RM14.80). The tiramisu deliciously melted in my mouth. I attest... the taste was awesome.  The Panna Cotta also deserved two thumbs up. It was slightly wobbly, creamy and good to the last lick. In fact, both deserts were licked clean.
Panna Cotta
The Affogato (espresso with vanilla gelato/ice cream) and Cappuccino were both good coffee.  There was no scrimping here. The coffee was aromatic and thick (not liquid).
Spasso has quite a wide selection of other Italian food. Ravioli, spaghetti, etc. There is also quite a wide selection of pizza. We agreed that the staff were friendly and helpful. The chef, an Italian even came out to bid us good bye and good night as we walked to the exit.:o) 
SPASSO MILANO ITALIAN CUISINE, Lot 3C-G-2, Block C, Ground Floor, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong.  Business Hours: 12 noon-11:00pm. Tel: 604 8912888. **10% Service Charge and 6% Government Tax.

October 10, 2012

Las Carretas...Mexican

"Are both of you game for Mexican food?" was BB's question when asked what he would like to have for dinner. Where I was concerned, I was not game for anything except the bed. We have been on the road since 10 am on that day. We were caught in the heavy traffic in KL. Bumper to bumper driving that was how bad it was. If that was not enough, we spent almost two hours trying to locate our hotel. We checked into the hotel and before I could, climbed into bed for a short nap it was time for dinner.
The restaurant was only a 20 minutes drive from BB's apartment but all thanks to a GPS gadget that knows no shortcut route; we took an hour to reach. Las Carretas is a nice restaurant that serves Mexican food such as Burritos, Quesadillas, Enchilada and many more. The place looked colourful. The displayed wine bottles, candles and other cheesy chintzy items looked cluttered but done in a beautiful manner. There are even plastic palm trees to give that tropical feeling. 
Whilst we sat talking and waiting for our food, a basket with tortilla chips and salsa arrived (FOC). A piece of chip and a dip into the salsa...oohlala, the dip was delicious and so was the chip. There was enough jalapeno, tomato and it had a tinge of smoky flavour. 
El Presidente (RM25.50)
Our drinks arrived shortly. According to BB, this place served very good margarita. Hubby took a sip and agreed with him.
The glass of Pina Colada (RM16.90) had all three of us disappointed. The coconut used was not of the fresh kind and it tasted ‘old and oily’. However, we have no complaint as to the rum used. It was good and enough. A glass of iced lemon tea (RM5.50) was what I had solely to myself. That was what I needed badly.
As BB bit into his burrito (RM25.90), he raved that there was nowhere else in Kuala Lumpur that served burrito like Las Carretas. As I watched him cut and chew each piece, I have to agree that it must be tasty. I am not a beef person so I took nothing from his plate.
To go with his Burrito BB added an extra order of guacamole dip (RM3). I was slowly nodding off waiting for my food but at his insistence, I took a chip and dipped into the dip. "Holy mole", this is guacamole is heavenly.  There was lots of avocado, enough onions, garlic and tomatoes. Then there was this extra ingredient. "There, there I told you so, it is good!" BB piped in. Hubby mumbled (he had some tortilla chips in his mouth) an agreement. Do try this dip if you happen to drop by this restaurant.
Hubby had a plate of braised lamb shank served with pasta (RM39.90). He cut a small piece for me to taste. The meat was so tender and well seasoned there really was no need for the sauce that came with it. The sauce was good though...peppery, BBQ flavoured sauce with some herbs.
I had a plate of Salchicha de Pollo (RM27.90).  It was a plate of sausages with some sauce. I thought the taste of the sauce dribbled over the sausages tasted like the sauce on hubby's plate. The sausages had me disappointed. I would expect some gourmet sausages served but it was not to be. They tasted like the frankfurters I bought from the supermarket. I ate only the salad and the chips. The rest, I handed them over to the other two sitting across me. :o)
I forgot to check their business hours but I know that it closes at 10:30pm. The location of Las Carretas : 29 Jalan USJ 10/1F, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-5637 3058. It is in TAIPAN, USJ. The road in front of Las Carretas is a one-way street.**10% Service Charge & 6% Government Tax.