Last week we had the pleasure of trying out another fantastic casual and modern Italian restaurant, Mangiiare. Tucked away in a corner along Lorong Kurau, Mangiiare was a welcoming sight. This intimate restaurant, with just a few tables downstairs and a bar with a private dining area upstairs, it is a perfect place to relax and unwind.
For those of you who don’t know much about Lorong Kurau, off Jalan Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, it has gradually become a popular hangout, thanks to the variety of modern F&B establishments that occupy the row of old, two-storey houses. This single row contains now over a dozen restaurants and shops that are hidden away in a quiet residential area, known as Taman Weng Lock. You will come across an incredibly laidback atmosphere here compared to the rest of Bangsar.
Before we even ordered anything off the menu, their friendly staff immediately served to us herby focaccia cubes, which came with a little bowl of olive oil and balsamic on the side. They were lightly toasted and had a soft airy nature on the inside.
Our first dish of the day was Chicken Liver Salad. They have found a perfect way to cook chicken liver without overpowering the rest of the flavours. This lightly breaded chicken liver, braised with balsamic brown sauce and served with oven dried tomatoes, garlic confit and tomato jam was an excellent entrée for the evening to come. All the flavours worked really well together and we found ourselves fighting over the third piece!
To follow with our dining experience, they served their signature dish, Spicy Seafood Soup. Mangiiare were really generous with tiger prawns, sauteed black mussels, squid and sea perch in tomato and lime broth. The seafood was fresh and cooked just right, and the broth was enriched by seafood stock and had a slightly spicy kick to it. A thick slice of garlic bread made an excellent sponge to completely clean the bowl up.
Video of The Evening’s Food
Next to come was my personal favourite dish of the evening, Stuffed Caramelle Pasta. Tomato cream base stuffed pasta with salmon and spinach, served with tomato confit and shaved parmesan. There is a good chance you’ve never heard of caramelle. It’s a stuffed pasta, and if you think the name sounds like it could be a candy bar, that’s no accident, it is! Think of it as ravioli’s younger, more playful cousin, and thanks to its versatility, it has suddenly become a favourite shape for some of the most cutting-edge Italian Chefs. We found the pasta was a touch undercooked, which is exactly how this dish should be served and they were certainly not shy on the filling.
Next dish to come was one of the more iconic and famous Venetian dishes, Squid Ink Risotto. Served with a baby squid and topped with harissa sauce and parmesan crackers, it held its own with other squid ink risottos I have tried in my time. The risotto was served ‘all’onda’, it had some resistance and separate grains, while maintaining a traditional texture and spreading on a plate like a smooth, gentle wave.
We were already struggling to eat any more, when all of a sudden the waiter appeared at our table with an Australian Beef Ribeye (Marbling 5). For those of you that don’t know what Marbling 5 means it is a Beef Marbling Score and it is the easiest way to compare across the different major grading standards. Grading starts from 0 all the way up to 12 (Wagyu Beef). Do note that anything above BMS 9 will be rare and extremely expensive. Australian Beef can only go up as high as 9.
Mangiiare’s grilled ribeye was laid on a bed of mashed potatoes. Served with rocket leaves, pine nuts and shaved parmesan. They have also dressed it with rich gorgonzola cheese sauce. The steak was cooked perfectly, medium-rare, just the way I personally like it. We have also found the dressing was a very nice creamy addition to the dish! Certainly, will be going back there for my steak!
No neighborhood Italian restaurant is complete without Pizza! We went with Frutti Di Mare, a seafood pizza. Once again, they weren’t shy on seafood with an abundance of prawns, squid, fish and mussels, all topped up with a mozzarella cheese and oregano. It had a thin crust, crispy on the outside which spoke about the quality of their baking.
At this point in the evening, we were incredibly full, but we felt that it wouldn’t give Mangiiare justice if we didn’t at least try their desserts. First, we decided to try their Homemade Cannoli. The taste was just as satisfying as one bought from an Italian bakery. The aromatic, crispy fried shells stuffed with creamy, sweetened ricotta cannoli filling and mixed chocolate chip will make even the most ordinary day special.
To finish the evening off we decided to try another one of their signature dishes, Mangiiare Tiramisu. Tiramisu is a timeless no-bake Italian dessert. Unlike traditional tiramisu you tried, Mangiiare’s Tiramisu had layered espresso sponge fingers with mascarpone cream in a crispy Tuile cup, dusted with cocoa powder. With your first spoon you could immediately see that they use the freshest ingredients available. It was incredibly smooth and melted in the mouth!
Same as most of the restaurant based on Lorong Kurau, Mangiiare has certainly outdone themselves! The first time you walk into a place you are already expecting great things to come. With only few tables inside, their service staff and chefs can allocate you all of the attention you deserve. It clearly shows in the quality of food they serve.
Mangiiare Dine & Bar
21, Lorong Kurau
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2856 0427