Today, our journey has taken us away from the busy streets of Changkat and away from a buzzing luxury development of Pavilion, to an area that has a unique distinct feel to it, Ampang. In its own little corner of Ampang, accessible within a 15-minute drive from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC Shopping mall, is located a hidden gem of a restaurant, Sapore.
Founded by Chef Fabio Ruggiero, who has previously worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, Sapore serves a mix of authentic Spanish, Italian and Mediterranean fare(Menu), as well as an extensive wine and cocktails selection. You will start your meal here with classic Pugliese focaccia and flat bread served in a surprisingly cute wooden basket.
Focaccia was warm when it arrived at the table and the flat bread had a nicely burned surface which gave it a crispy feel when taking a bite. As you would expect with any Italian restaurant, it is served with olive oil and balsamic dressing.
We have a wide selection of food to go over, so without any further delay lets jump right in!
We started the evening with Tuna Carpaccio. Their yellowfin tuna loin marinated with ponzu sauce, crispy garlic and warm basil oil. When you take the first bite, you realize the tuna melting on your tongue, leaving you with a subtle hint of garlic. We really enjoyed this dish and it was big enough to be shared as an appetizer.
Other tapas we tried was Mushrooms Potato Croquettes. A famous Spanish Tapas, ideal before you start your lunch or dinner. Made with mushroom and potato mixed with truffle oil and parmesan cheese. They were crispy on the outside and deliciously smooth on the inside. It went well with a side of garlic mayonnaise for a dipping sauce.
One of our highlights for the evening was their famous Beef Tripe. Beef tripe is beef stomach that they cook in tomato sauce for two hours and for a finishing touch they add a generous layer of Manchego Spanish cheese on top. You might want to order another basket of Focaccia as it goes really well with the rich tomato flavour of the dish. It is one of those dishes that will make you want to lick your plate clean!
Sapore has over a dozen other tapas dishes that we really wanted to try as well but it was time to move onto their main courses. We kicked things off with Capellini with Slipper Lobster. If you enjoy eating lobster once in a while, then this dish is really for you! Capellini pasta, or as people like to also refer to it as angel hair pasta is a very thin type of spaghetti. Slipper lobster is sautéed with a fresh tomato sauce and you could see they like to use fresh ripe tomatoes for their recipe which gives it a rich delectable flavour.
We often had a braised lamb for dinner growing up, that’s why we found Sapore’s Pappardelle with Braised Lamb really special to heart. Braised in red wine and lamb juice gave it a very rich aroma. The hearty nature of lamb is well suited to the broad homemade pappardelle pasta. A finishing touch of parmesan cheese on top was a mellow addition.
Sapore is all about Jamon Iberico, Tapas and wine. The Pork Neck dish certainly lived up to those expectations. They use Iberico black pork neck, which is one of the tender parts of the Iberico pig. It is marinated with rosemary, salt and pepper lending body and scrumptious flavour. Afterwards it is grilled and served with mashed potatoes and mustard sauce.
Last, but certainly not least in this case, we had a Cod Fish. Sapore uses Atlantic cod, marinated with thyme, salt and black pepper, and served with lentils, beans and balsamic glaze sauce. The fish was cooked to perfection and you could still feel the texture of individual lentil grains. It is a light and very refreshing dish and perfect all year round in Malaysia!
To finish things off we were served two of the most famous Italian Desserts; Cannoli with Ricotta Cheese and Chocolate and Tiramisu with Coffee and Kahlua. Cannoli is homemade in Sapore, crispy on the outside and very smooth and creamy on the inside. Tiramisu had a creamy, lightly sweetened mascarpone cream, which worked perfect with the pungent flavour of coffee and Kahlua.
If you are looking to escape the busy atmosphere of Bangsar, Pavilion or Changkat, Sapore is a great place to start. Located in a calm and relaxed neighborhood of Ampang, you will be engulfed in a different aspect of Kuala Lumpur. With over a dozen restaurants and bars within walking distance you will not be struggling for choices to enjoy a Friday or Saturday evening either. And if Iberico pork is what you are looking for, then you certainly can’t give Sapore a miss! A MUST visit restaurant if you are ever looking for something with a unique, distinct feel to it.
18, Persiaran Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 3pm; 6pm – 11:30pm
Sat, Sun: 11am – 11:30pm