Thursday, December 11, 2008

IL DIVO Ristorante Italiano

As I was writing this post, I began to salivate looking at the pictures that I was about to upload. It was as if I need a fix of Italian food right now, right here! I don't like to insult (yeah right?!!) but if there's a thing you need to learn about Italian food, please, please eat the right Italian food at the right place! If Italiannies or Pizza Hut = Italian food, then my dear, you've got your equation wrong.

Now, to fix the equation, let me just reveal to you, Eiling's preferred Ristorante Italiano which is Il Divo @ Desa Sri Hartamas, located just diagonally opposite Coffee Bean. For a person who is lazy enough to get my ass down to Hartamas, I would never resist an offer at Il Divo. In fact, it was so good, that I needed to bring KY there (it was many moons ago). But recently, I was there again on the invitation from one of my wine drinking friends whom asked me to join him to try out the new chef's menu. The owner, the ever bubbly and charming Vincenzo has just hired a new chef, and a new chef comes with a new and improved menu but the old favorites are still available.

During the last time when I brought KY there, we had a 3-course meal starting with a starter and then 2 mains for sharing. It was such a coincidence that a few days later, it was his birthday so I guess it's an early birthday treat for him. Just like any other ristorante italiano, bread and balsamic vinegar is complimentary. The bread here is special and although some complained that it was salty, I think it's perfectly fine. Oh, btw they do not serve normal plain water and RO water ok?!! Like any true ristorante in Italiano, they serve either still or sparkling water. And here we have a choice of Aqua Panna (still) or San Pellegrino (Sparkling) which is both good brands from Italy.

Vincenzo is such a professional host. He knew that I wanted to write a review on his menu and he did not even disturb us while we were having our dinner. He just let things be the way it is. He's a natural. The best deal - he treated both of us to a glass of house pour wine. Well, that doesn't seal the deal for your information. I complimented the restaurant because I really like it. In terms of ambiance, I really have no complains.

On the recent visit to try out the new chef's menu, I managed to change my perception towards Australian wines. Thanks to Mr.W, we had a vertical tasting on Lake's Folly, a few different vintages from 1998 to 2002.

Lake's Folly was the first new vineyard in the Hunter Valley last century, established by Max Lake and his family in 1963. The tradition continues, with the first boutique winery in Australia making only two wines, a red (Cabernet blend) and a white (100% Chardonnay), using all estate grown fruit. The property changed hands in May 2000 to Peter Fogarty. Peter was the chosen buyer because of his wish to maintain the integrity and current direction of the Folly. You see Lake's Folly comes from a very small vineyard, so small that the supply of this bottle is so limited that it's difficult to find. My friend managed to get it from Singapore. This bottle really surprised me. I never thought an Australian vintage can taste this good. Honestly, if I can spot this bottle somewhere, I will surely get myself a bottle of it.

The wine are decantered for hours before we arrive at the ristorante. We started from 1998 and move upwards. I like the 1999. It was really good - so smooth and easy to drink. Totally my type of bottle. The new menu was impressive. in fact, I liked the new menu more than the old one. I guess a change is good. Everyone might be sick of the same ol' thing after a period of time but the favorites remained.

Il Divo really serves true Italian soul food. It's authentic and the presentation of it just blows me away. Maybe the price is a little bit costly, but what you pay is what you'll get. That night, we had tried at least 4 different starters, 3 pastas, 2 mains and then some chocolatey desserts. I managed to capture some pictures.

New on the Menu

I really give this outlet a 3 thumbs up (if I have one). It was my place to splurge if I want good food, good wine and good ambiance. No wonder this place is frequented by so many expatriates, more than the locals I think. Most of the time I was there, there were more foreigners than us locals. Maybe it takes time for people to find this gem but I'm sure I have found it. Now, please don't start flocking to this place. Give me some privacy, please! Haha...

Il Divo Ristorante Italiano

241B, Lorong Nibong off Jalan Ampang (behind Hock Choon Supermarket)

Tel: 03-2145 4108

New review of the place here.


suituapui said...

Place looks great, food absolutely stunning (and lady diner too...and just the lady only, ya! LOL!!!)...but can't they find a better name? Eeee....that Simon Cowell's discovery! LOL!!!

-eiling- said...

STP: Thank you. Well, I wasn't sure why that name was picked but I think it doesn't matter cos I like Il Divo as a restaurant or a singer anyways! Haha...

Philip said...

Every time in KL I will dine at Sri Hartamas area...but have not tried Italian food there.Stupid me don't even know which Italian food is nice!

KY said...

Wohoo thanks for the free food. I remember it, of course. :D

-eiling- said...

Philip: Don't say that. It's just that you haven't heard of the restaurant. Nvm, you can always give it a try the next time you're here!

KY: Wah good memory!

KY said...

and i haven't blogged about it yet. :P

Huai Bin said...

I am extremely bitter about not being invited to an event...with wine! :p

Vinos is my greatest pleasure now tat I'm out of rehab. ;)

-eiling- said...

KY: I know.

Huai Bin: That was before you were here la. Now that you're here, I will remember to ask!

foongpc said...

I have not tried authentic Italian food before. The closest I've tried is Avanti Ristorante in Sunway Resort, but theirs is Italian-American. Must give this a try. Too bad you mention it, now no more privacy. Haha!

-eiling- said...

Foongpc: haha.. go try it. Hope you'll like it!

Farn Tan said...

hi,have you tried Sassorosso Italian Restaurant and Wine Retailer
Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur?I've read some good reviews about it.
If you have, can you tell me which is better, il divo or sasso?
Would like to have birthday dinner for my hubby at an italian place..thanks!

eiling lim said...

Farn tarn: I have not tried that italian restaurant so I'm sorry i couldn't tell which is better. Maybe you can hop on to to check.

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