‘A heavyweight Renaissance art city peppered with colossal palaces and still ringed by its intact medieval walls, Ferrara jumps out at you like an absconded Casanova (he once stayed here) on the route between Bologna and Venice.’ Why do I mention this Lonely Planet quote about this small town in north Italy? Because it’s the hometown of the owner of Luce and the chef himself. It has a deep meaning for their cuisine and for entire feeling of Luce Osteria Contemporanea.
Situated in Old Malaya building, Luce Osteria welcomes you in a proper Italian spirit. Terrace in front of the venue with wooden tables, beautiful arcades at the windows at the top floor, balcony in the back with a great view of the KL tower. A very warm elegant atmosphere makes you predict that you will enjoy a very relaxing dinner in the most Italian way. The first thing you see when you enter Luce is the pizza chef doing his usual routine at the pizza oven, surrounded by all the ingredients ready to be transformed into one of the 60+ types of proper Italian pizzas available on the menu.
Upstairs, a beautiful lighted bar welcomes you into a cosy, classy, intimate dinning room, just perfect for a nice weekend time with family or friends. By the way, we recommend you to choose the table by the window, you’ll know why.
We started with Bruschetta Grassa which had an interesting touch of “Lardo di colonnata” imported from Italy (Lard) added to the usual ingredients complemented with balsamic oil. The vegetarian pizza was full of flavours, the zucchini, capsicum and roasted eggplant made it one of a kind for sure, also because the flour is specially imported from Italy to have that home made local taste and quality that is not easy to find everywhere.
Roberto, the owner tells us a few things in between the dishes about his place: non-halal type, Luce has the most classic rustic Italian osteria dishes, their pizza menu is very diverse and for sure you can spend months trying dishes in this place and still having more to go.
The pork dishes are made also in a very Italian rustic way, like the Porchetta, Saltimboca Romana and Amatriciana. Do you want pork pizza? You can have it in multiple versions. Speaking of pizza, Luce is trying hard to maintain the Italian standard of pizza cuisine and it has a great selection of pizzas that are exactly how the owner and the chef used to eat them in their small hometown Ferrara. This means no pineapple pizza and any of this sort, which are not original Italian and not part of their traditional cuisine.
The chef prefers to experiment and create new pizzas by using pumpkin cream or artichoke cream instead of the regular tomato sauce base and that’s what they call ‘white pizzas’. Padana for example, rosemary with roasted potatoes and pumpkin cream base with pork sausage? One of the smoothest pizzas we ever tasted, if we can use this term to describe it..just great.
The selection of cold cuts and cheese was of course one of our favourites, salami, backed ham, speck, Parmesan, all imported meats, Italian fresh quality ham served with fresh bread, great way to start a meal with the super traditional fried focaccia.
After that we tried the pork carbonara with egg yolk and black pepper and the potatoes Gnocchi with tomato sauce, basil and buffalo mozzarella cheese. A great start of the dinner to prepare our taste-buds for the things to come, very rich in flavours and very traditional base.
The main dishes were of the highest calibre. The roasted suckling pig stuffed with artichoke and pork sausage and roasted potatoes on the side, and the Saltimbocca alla Romana, pork fillet with white wine butter sauce, 22 months aged Parma Ham with creamy mashed potatoes. The meat was great, it makes you understand and enjoy the classic dishes of the Italian food culture, with the base of different meats and potatoes but complemented always by very good sauces and local spicy favours which enhance the meals core.
Italians love the pork, the bread, the potatoes, all cooked in so many ways possible and if you are looking for a traditional Italian experience, this is a place to try for sure.
Panna Cotta and dark chocolate cake are regional deserts from the chefs hometown, so we had a chance to taste proper traditional sweet Italian dishes. We finished with some home made limoncello, we had a full evening in a very classic and traditional Italian way. Speaking of traditional drinks, you can find a great selection of Italian wines and also a few imported beers to make your dinner experience complete.
“A good restaurant is not about money and getting the numbers right, its about passion and having a mentality of building real things, not just for the profit” says Roberto. That says it all about Luce, go try the food and enjoy a real Italian atmosphere.
Beautiful elegant design, music with great selection of tunes with Italian vibes that bring you out of KL and into the middle of a small town in Italy.
Appearance of the Establishment: 10/10
Just as you would expect a small Italian restaurant to look like, simple but with a lot of taste.
The waiters are somehow a bit too fast with bringing the orders, but very eager also to explain to you all the dishes and answer your questions.
The food is proper Italian cuisine, you will get exactly what you would expect for: fresh, quality, diversity and tradition, all in one. The only downside is that it can be a bit heavy, that’s why make sure not to over order and get carried away, its very easy.
Considering you are getting real 100% Italian cuisine cooked by a professional Italian chef, the price is very decent for the quality you get.