Thursday, February 12, 2015


I'm in the mood for love...are you? With St Valentine's Day mere days away, now is the time to start panicking if you haven't made any reservations to wine and dine the love of your life! 

After sneaking samplings of the seductive San Valentino set menu at La Risata, I'd suggest you make haste and book a table asap. Priced at RM110++ per person, the lovely multi-course meal is available at both the Ampang and Damansara outlets.
To set your pulse racing and palate aptly primed, a sublime amuse bouche of Chilled Gazpacho with Cumin & Capers will be served. The bright vermillion hue of the tomato conconction captures the red-hot passion of this lovey-dovey celebration perfectly.

It's never too early to fish for compliments on your tasteful celebration venue choice as you tuck into the pretty as a picture appetiser of Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Avruga Caviar, Rocket Salad, Boiled Quail Egg and Cherry Tomatoes. Light on the palate, the delicately rich quail egg and smoky fish slices dotted with tiny clusters of avruga caviar are balanced by the peppery zestiness of the rocket leaves and herbaceous accent of sliced fennel.
Like your whispers of sweet nothings, the subsequent course of Traditional Bergamo Raviolo stuffed with Lamb, Pears, Biscuits & Cheese in Butter & Sage Sauce Garnished with Mosto Cotto Sauce should leave you waxing lyrical over its exquisite deliciousness. These dainty lil' parcels pack such voluptuous flavours that just one bite will leave you wanting more. The dark mosto cotto sauce is a chocolate reduction so the deep-seated nuance lends extra allure to the dish.
For mains, the chef plans to proffer a choice of Seared Red Tuna Loin with Leek Risotto, Rose Jam & Squid Ink Salted Butter or Milanese Style Braised Osso Bucco with Polenta and Gremolata Sauce.

Both are equally sumptuous so you'd have to follow your heart or palate. The tuna is deftly prepared with a blush-pink centre and an outer seared rim, leaving it buttery tender. A match made in culinary heaven on a bed of creamy, nutty risotto, fragrant rose jam and a squiggle of bewitchingly dark squid ink-tinted butter.
The osso bucco ('bone with a hole' in Italian) is a Northern Italian speciality of cross-cut braised veal shank (revealing the marrow within the bone). Staying true to tradition albeit with a modern take on its presentation, the delectable meat is enlivened with gremolata (chopped herb condiment using parsley or coriander blended with garlic and lemon zest) and polenta (cornmeal).
The sweet treat of Cold Chocolate Sabayon on Strawberry Salad with Hazelnut Crumble & Whipped Cream is bound to set hearts a-flutter. Admittedly the classic trinity of strawberries, chocolate and nuts is a real tease; coyly sinful without segueing into utter decadence.
La Risata is not only for the lovelorn as its relaxed, inviting ambience also attracts a fair share of the professional and family crowd. Timeless classics rule the roost so if you're craving for some good hearty pizzas or comforting pasta dishes, take a seat and eat to your heart's content.
Groups of two or more would do well to start with the house Antipasti Misti (RM42) comprising buttery grilled mushrooms, crisp deep-fried calamari rings, slivers of beef carpaccio with cheese and garlic crostini with chicken liver pâté. We find the last most addictive especially when eaten with the sliced garlic, to counter the dense richness of the velvety pâté.

Pizza fans are spoiled for choice as there's 20 different variants listed! Naturally, the runaway crowd fave is Pizza Fruittì Di Mare (RM31++). Laden with succulent squid, mussels and prawns and accented with garlic, tomato and mozzarella on a thin and crunchy crust, it is possibly one of the better (if not the best) seafood pizzas in town.
Like Giorgio Armani's designs which advocate 'less is more', the Pizza Pera E Gorgonzola (RM30++) may look a tad plain but bite into a slice and you'd discover its true 'beauty'. The sweet-salty-savoury-peppery overtones rendered by the pear shavings, fresh rocket, gorgonzola, mozzarella and walnuts on the pizza are simply 'to die for'.
If you want something more distinctive, try the Pizza D'Anatra (RM36++) which marries smoked duck, rocket leaves and anchovies with caramelised onion and mozzarella. The results are surprisingly agreeable despite having so many strongly flavoured ingredients vying for attention.

Meat & potato fans would enjoy Agnello Alla Griglia (RM56++) - grilled chilled Australian lamb tenderloin with fennel & black pepper crust on a bed of mashed chickpea and vegetable caponata. Again the doneness is perfectly executed, leaving the loin centre with a healthy pink. Finished with a red wine reduction and boosted by the scrumptious 'side kicks', this speciality should leave you happily replete.
Those who prefer fish, we recommend the Pesce Alle Melanzañe Piccante (RM38++) - fried barramundi with sauteed eggplant, anchovy, garlic, pine nuts and chilli flakes, and julienned vegetables. You'd be hard pressed to find fault with the ensemble's delicate appearance and subtle layering of textures and taste. It is commendable that the vegetables are handled with a light hand, to retain their gorgeous colours and textures.

Pasta choices also abound but trust me, once you go black with Capellini Al Nero Con Fruittì Di Mare (RM35++), there's no turning back. The perfectly al dente angel hair pasta dressed in squid ink come adorned with juicy cherry tomatoes, whole springy prawns and squid rings.
I have a penchant for wicked Italian dessert and top of the list is Zucotto (RM18++). Now this pix doesn't do this liquer-spiked dome cake justice. Chocoholics would go weak at the knees at its chocolatey centre surrounded by vanilla cream studded with bits of almond, hazelnuts and more chocolate!

Savouring the Sicilian Bombe (RM38++ ample for two) brought back memories of my first taste of a classic dessert known as bombe Alaska. Both works on the same premise to impress - the outer meringue layer is doused with alcohol (usually brandy) then set alight to scorch the surface. Dig into the liquer-laced sponge and you'd find chilled lemon about fire & ice.
Italians are crazy about Cannoli (RM16++) - Sicilian fried pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta cream then dipped in chocolate and pistachio bits. Find out what's the appeal for yourself's an irresistible treat with lots of crunch and naughty temptation.

Personally I've never been a fan of the Christmas panettone as I find it hard and dry. But La Risata's Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding (RM16++) has changed my view drastically as it has never crossed my mind that the bread can be transformed into such a wonderful dessert. Studded with plump raisins and choccy bits, the spongy pudding is enlivened further with butterscotch and vanilla ice cream. Yums.

For reservations at La Risata, please call tel: 03-2095-9572 (Damansara) or

03-4252 6269 (Ampang). Details and more information available from
La Risata
128 Jalan Kasah
Medan Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2095-9572 - See more at:


KY said...

Really love the way they plate the food here, so meticulous. Also I'd hate to be the guy who had to shell those boiled quail's eggs tho.

Alice JomMakanLife said...

@KY LOL! Well, you know what they say about F&B being a labour of love ;))

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