Pasta and cheese are inseparable in Italian cuisine. Expect abundance of both when you dine at Olive Garden, the largest casual Italian dining chain out of the USA. While you peruse the menu, enjoy a glass of Frozen Strawberry Margarita (RM31) from the bar.
In keeping with its tradition of warm, welcoming and satisfying Italian-inspired dining, diners are treated to unlimited servings of oven-fresh breadsticks and soup or House Salad (available a la carte at RM15.50) with any entrée ordered. Freshly grated cheese is added at tableside to lend the salad extra ‘oomph’.
Big on cheese? Then you’d swoon over cheese-laden dishes such as Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta (RM29.90) – Italian fondue of smoked mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and romano cheeses baked and served with breadstick crostini, and Triple Cheese Carbonara Piadina (RM18.90) – flatbread pizza smothered with melted mozzarella, parmesan and Grana Padano alongside cherry tomatoes.
The game opener to bank on here is Sampler Italiano (RM59.90) – a sampling plate of three antipasti: classic or spicy deep-fried, lightly breaded Calamari (available in solo serving RM18.90 or sharing portion RM29.90), Lasagna Fritta (solo RM15.90 or sharing RM39.90) and Shrimp Scampi Fritta (solo RM16.90, sharing RM36.90) in some garlicky butter sauce.
Out of the trio, our vote goes to the uncommon yet tasty fried parmesan-breaded lasagna topped with parmesan cheese and marinara sauce.
White broad beans, ground beef, fresh tomatoes and tubetti pasta in a savoury broth stir up loads of hearty flavour in Pasta e Fagioli (RM11.80) while fresh vegetables, beans and pasta in a light tomato broth forms the foundation for Minestrone (RM11.80). If you prefer creamy soups, we recommend opting for Chicken & Gnocchi (RM11.80) – a lush broth made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach.
You can even treat yourself to an indulgent Lobster Fettuccine (RM53.90) - a superbly rich pasta dish complete with lobster tail and shrimps in lobster seafood cream sauce.
Two lightly fried parmesan-breaded chicken breasts smothered with Olive Garden’s homemade marinara sauce and melted Italian cheeses in the Chicken Parmigiana (RM26.90) are perfectly suited for hearty appetites.
Prepared fresh daily with layers of pasta, parmesan, mozzarella and meat sauce from a mixture of seared beef and Italian sausage, is it any wonder Olive Garden’s big flavoured classics like Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken (RM38.90) has enduring appeal.
For those who want it all, embark on a Tour of Italy (RM59.90) – a sizeable serving of Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna and Fettuccine Alfredo that should satisfy pasta gluttons.
A treasure trove of seafood abounds in Pasta Pescatore (RM41.90). Most local diners would enjoy this sublime dish as apart from its wickedly lush red pepper seafood sauce, succulent shrimps bay scallops and mussels are buried in the pasta.
Otherwise, you can always count on Salmon Risotto (RM45.90) to deliver the carbo allocation. It’s best suited to those who like thick, viscous textures. Tomato-basil pesto helps to alleviate the cloying aftertaste.
Carnivores can ‘meat’ up with Steak Toscana (RM79.90) and Center Cut Filet Mignon (RM79.90) – two notable options to satisfy their red-blooded cravings. The first features a marbled ribeye cut while the latter comprises a juicy, tender prime cut with grilled vegetables.
Dessert is as safe as they come with popular choices like Black Tie Mousse Cake (RM12.80) and Tiramisu (RM12.80) ruling the roost.
In response to market demand for lighter, less guilty sweet treats, small shooter glasses of Piccoli Dolci are available. Take your pick from Almond Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Mousse, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cream or Strawberry & White Chocolate (RM6.80 for 1, RM18 for 3 or RM29 for 5) for that proverbial sweet ending to your visit.
For reservation at OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN KITCHEN, call tel: 03-2201-0221. Address: Lot F051 Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur. More info available from www.olivegarden.com