Showing posts with label mediterranean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mediterranean. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


It was a Mediterranean-style Mother’s Day celebration with Mom. The venue of choice was Marinero, a newly opened restaurant specialising in Mediterranean fare at LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC).

The food got Mom’s stamp of approval – a good sign as she can be rather picky when it comes to non-Chinese fare. She loves the spacious dining area which is dominated by a circular bar.

Eye-catching wall murals depicting scenes of Mediterranean life are Insta-worthy. One corner is dedicated to a modern wine cellar with its cachet of fine wines.

To whet our appetite, we sampled crisp, battered Calamari Fritters (RM30). Served with lemon mayonnaise, the tender squid rings went down a treat. Even better was the heap of zucchini strips - that airy light batter would make any tempura master proud.


Mom gamely tried the Trio Dips Platter with Pita Bread (RM49) and gave it the thumbs up. Her favourite was melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip) but found both the hummus (chickpea purée), and tzatziki (shredded cucumber with yoghurt) agreeable when spread onto the soft triangles of lightly toasted pita bread.


Moroccan Lamb Kofta (RM35) made from ground lamb mixed with spices then grilled on skewers – proved to be another winsome appetiser. The house peri peri sauce bestowed a touch of fiery heat when we dabbed the kofta with it.

The only minor hiccup was the underwhelming Watermelon Salad (RM28): the crumbly bits of feta barely left an impression whilst the chunks of watermelon, too big and the sumac vinaigrette and balsamic reduction, too little. We shared the feedback with the Marinero team who promised to improve on this.

For mains, we highly recommend Moroccan Lamb Shank (RM95) with Apricot Cous Cous (the other option is Biryani Rice). The fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shank was scrumptious; its rich meaty flavours nicely soaked up by the fine cous cous studded with dried apricots. Smooth, thick Greek yoghurt sprinkled with pomegranate seeds enhanced the dish further.


Infused with saffron, the Seafood Paella (RM99) came laden with mussels, squid, fish and tiger prawns in addition to red capsicum and peas. What we missed from this deliciously comforting speciality is socarrat, that layer of slightly scorched, crusty rice at the bottom of the pan.

Our meal wrapped up on a high note thanks to the excellent Chocolate Fondant (RM28). Served with a scoop of chocolate gelato, chocolate crumbs and some fresh berries, we were stoked when molten chocolate actually flowed out once we cut into the cake. Few places do this dessert well so kudos to the resto team for pulling this off.


A round of buttery phyllo pastry, chopped pistachios and juicy berries crowned with luscious Vanilla Gelato (RM25) proved a tad indulgent but this sublime treat is shareable when you embark on a Mediterranean culinary “cruise” at Marinero.

For reservations at Marinero Mediterranean Dining & Bar, call 012 673 0046 or visit:

Address: Gourmet Street of BBCC, Lot G-49,50,77, Ground Floor, Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport, Jalan Hang Tuah, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: 1130 am to 11pm; weekends until 12midnight


Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Chef Marco Violano from Puglia, Italy brings over 20 years of culinary experience from internationally acclaimed restaurants and luxury chain hotels worldwide to Senja, the all-new Italian restaurant at The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur.

Surrounded by a cascading pool and lush gardens, the new Senja now occupies the stylish space (formerly The Restaurant) effective August this year. The plush lounge remains the hallowed threshold that accords arriving patrons tentative glimpses into the ambient-lit dining area. Beyond the bank of French doors is the serene alfresco terrace
A complimentary cocktail of Campari Soda heralded our sneak preview of Senja's Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival (MIGF) menu created by Chef Marco. The perfect antidote to drown out the weariness of battling post-work traffic.
Patrons partaking the MIGF menu will commence with Amuse-Bouche of Tortino di
Parmiagiana di Melanzane con Pomodori San Marzano e Crema al Parmigiano (Baked Layers of Eggplant “Parmigiana” Style with Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella). 
Such bright, lustrous and winsome flavours evoked by the cheese, eggplant and tomato trinity were brought to a crescendo by the citrusy freshness of the Frankland Estate 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Western Australia. Our palate was suitably 'amused' in anticipation for the slew of exquisite dishes to come.
Appetiser to open the showcase comprised Battuto di Tonno Pinna Gialla con Croccantino di Polpa di Granchio Piccante e Salsa Tonnata (Yellow Fin Tuna Loin Tartare with Crab Cake and Tuna Sauce).
It was comparable to a summer carnival where voluptuous tuna dices dipped and frolicked with the crusty and delicately sweet crab cake, amidst ripples of concentrated savouriness. The sparkling duet garnered extra accolade from the accompanying Western Australia's Frankland Estate 2014 Chardonnay.
Warming up to the stellar performance was Zuppa di Pomodorini Pachino Siciliani con Burratina di Corato ed Olio al Basilico (Sicilian Cherry Tomato Soup with Burrata Cheese) complemented by Margaret River's Miles from Nowhere 2013 Chardonnay. We were bowled over by the vibrant vibes of the Mediterranean in which sun-ripened tomatoes imbued their fruity sweetness into the salubrious broth, amplified by swirls of aromatic basil oil with a mild cheesy richness at its core.
We then fell hook, line and sinker for the sumptuous main course of Rollata di Filetto di Merluzzo con Zucchine Verdi in Guazzetto di Vongole Piccanti (Roasted Cod Wrapped with Zucchini and Lemon Thyme in Spicy Clams Stock and Broccoli Purée).

Washed down with prevalent notes of vanilla, melon & peach in the same Chardonnay, we were reeled in by the smooth, fine textured fish wrapped in zucchini ribbons which had gently soaked up the soulful clam essence and zingy purée.
As an ardent fan of scallops, I succumbed to the lure of Risotto al Nero di sepia con Medaglione di Cappesanta e Bottarga (“Carnaroli” Squid Ink Risotto with Hokkaido Scallops Medallion and “Bottarga”).
Complemented by a plummy Frankland Estate 2014 Shiraz with faint spice overtones, the divine scallop charmed the palate with its coy sweetness; the seafood's tender succulence stood out like a shining beacon in the unctuous pool of bewitchingly dark, nutty grains. A dusting of grated salted mullet roe ensured everything ended on a clean plate.
The chef proved going meat-free need not be boring as his Lasagna Cotta al Forno con
Funghi Porcini e Vellutata al Tartufo (Baked Lasagna with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Fondue) proffered an endearingly rich, rustic tempo no serious food lover could ignore.

Crème Brulée al Pepe Nero con Composta di Banana (Black Pepper Crème Brulée with Banana Compote) brought sweet closure to our splendid preview. The portion was far too decadent although it was a well-matched cohort for Deakin Estate 2014 Moscato from South Australia.
The special MIGF menu is priced at RM280 nett per person (without wines) and RM370 nett with wine pairing, available until 31 October 2016.

For dining enquiries or reservations at Senja, please call (03) 7806 7000 ext 6722.
Address: The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS, Shah Alam, Selangor. Website:

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