Chowing Down, Italian Style

Just last month, I went along for a food tasting at Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar (courtesy of The Peak magazine). Located in Bangsar Village One, the restaurant comprises of a chic bar on the ground floor and the main dining area would be upstairs.

I have to be honest, before this I didn’t know what Garibaldi’s all about, but apparently, they’re pretty ‘big’ in Singapore. From what I’ve been told, they are famed for their fresh-flavored food and impeccable service. With that in mind, I mentally prepared myself for a nice afternoon of fine Italian dining.

The main dining area – its decor was classy and yet simple. I love their wine cellar and the simplistic swirls hanging from the ceiling. Couple that with huge ceiling-to-floor windows and I’m sold. I was told that dinner-time’s their busiest hour and I could just imagine dining with a view of the busy streets and lights of Bangsar in view. It sounded pretty chic and no doubt it would be.
I was in love the moment we sat down and were immediately served a basket of warm, homemade italian bread to go with olive oil & balsamico. Nothing beats the smell and taste of freshly baked bread. In a glass jar were also a bundle of lightly peppered grissini – italian breadsticks – for us to munch on. And so, moving on to the courses from the degustation menu of the day.

First up was our amuse bouche of italian cream cheese dabbed walnut with a lightly peppered crisp to go with. It was a milky-nutty and slightly salted combo which played really nicely on my palate.

Then came our antipasti of silky smooth beef carpaccio with shaved parmigiano and rucola salad. I was never a fan of carpaccio (because I always prefer cutting into my thick steak cuts with a knife) but this was so wholesome and fresh – maybe it was the combination – I had to just dig in and savour the taste of the beef and the freshness of the salad. The slight touch of saltiness came from the parmigiano. I love it.

Next up, our cappellacci – homemade spinach pasta filled with cod fish mousse in a broth of saffron & mussels. I couldn’t taste much of the cod fish, but the saffron & mussels were the main heroes of this dish. Paired with the spinach pasta, the taste was flavorful and earthy, and yet it has the strong mussel tanginess. I would call it a pretty intelligent pairing because this was the most delicious dish so far.

Then follows the homemade tagliolini with braised duck ragu, duck liver, sage and pumpkin. The duck and pumpkin combo transformed my expectation of an ordinary spaghetti dish into something more than I had expected. The executive chef, Giuliano Berta has definitely taken this to the next level.

I’m not a big fan of prawn dishes, but yet again, Garibaldi’s gamberi grilled king prawn with fried sage & a puree of cannellini beans had conquered my tastebuds. I have to also say I love the presentation and color combination of this dish. It makes me feel so guilty eating a work of art, but yet I could not resist the tempting aroma. The cannellini bean puree goes beautifully with the prawns. I think it really enhances the prawn’s flavor.

The veal scaloppini with porcini mushrooms & truffle sauce – I love veal and I was delighted at how soft and buttery this was. The mushrooms are of course a beautifully paired flavor to go with veal. One of the better veal dishes I had so, two thumbs up.

We come to a close when dessert was brought out. The chef had decided to be creative and he served us four different sorts of desserts. They consist of apple crumble, tiramisu, millefoglie, and custard cake. What I chose to have was the tiramisu, rich and creamy with a dark-chocolate stick and fresh sprinkling of raspberries, blackberries and a drizzle rich raspberry sauce. Note the cute little ribbons the chef added the the corner of the plate. One of the best tiramisu desserts I ever had – it was perfectly creamy and light and it has a great melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

I also had a taste of the cream & custard cake which was equally as superb.

To be honest, all the desserts were gorgeously done & very delicious. I was unfortunately too full to finish mine off.

We were then given a short tour of the space, where they gave us a look into the two-private dining rooms they have available for small, intimate group dinners. There was a darker, dimmer room which holds up to 8 guests, but  personally like the brighter private room with a window view (shown below).

We returned to our seats and were served tea & coffee while we let our tummies rest over some light conversation and banter. The general manager of Garibaldi, Roberto Ame stopped by for a chat with Chef Giuliano and a short Q&A session.

As soon as our last sip of coffee and tea had been cleared, we reluctantly stood up and headed off. The service was definitely as impeccable as I was told – the staff were very attentive and they always made sure our glasses are filled, our empty plates brought away and our needs tended to. I would say this is the perfect place for intimate gatherings with small groups of family & friends.

Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Lounge
Lot10 & G22, Bangsar Village I
Jalan Telawi 1,
59100 Bangsar, KL.

For Reservations: +603 – 2282 3457

Photo credits to : Samuel Y.

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