I met up with two of my friends at Bar Italia on 29 Jalan Berangan, off Changkat Bukit Ceylon on June 11 for our quarterly get together and found the whole place quite chic and a great example of the sort of refurbishment that can happen to an old shophouse. We ordered these dishes based on the owner’s recommendations.
Vegetarian Antipasto - RM32
Sliced Veal in Tuna Sauce - RM30
Pappardelle with Beef Ragout - RM34
Orrechitte with Beef Bacon - RM32
Baby Goat w Capsicum + Polenta - RM62
Salted Cod - RM 54
We received the Vegetarian Antipasto and Sliced Veal in Tuna Sauce as the starter. It looked quite good until we took our first bite. The veal was smothered in tuna sauce and it was akin to eating the very expensive filling of a tuna mayo sandwich. Oh my gawd, the Vegetarian Antipasto was a shocker. A dollop of rocket salad and a serving of grilled aubergine cunningly served with balsamic vinegar. A sucker punch at RM32!
Next up was the two pastas. The Pappardelle (Flat and Wide pasta) didn’t make much of an impression as the beef ragout was mildly herbed and lightly topped with parmesan. The Orrechitte (small clamshell pasta) with Beef Bacon bits was a bit harder to digest with cardboard consistency and bacon bits being a tad dry. Again, this is something I could have cooked up as bachelor chow as it certainly didn’t impress.
We thought it couldn’t get any worse until the mains came. Somehow for 62 smackers, I would have thought that the Baby Goat would be delectable and tender as a comparable rack of lamb. They did say it was like Baby Lamb. We didn’t expect however to get deep fried kambing.... so fried that we couldn’t even hack it. We felt that this was too much and sent it back to the kitchen. Paolo’s team had the nerve to send it back to us and told it to us in our face, “This is how it is done in Italia!”. As if it that wasn’t rude enough, our Italian speaking waitress unceremoniously began to hack the goat for us! I tried to swallow my pride but I couldn’t even swallow this insult, let alone that damned goat.
To add salt to the injury, we got served the Salted Cod with Polenta. Oh wow! They weren’t kidding about the salt. This Cod was at least twice as salty as the Chinese Salted Fish with porridge variety and it beggars belief that the Italians can eat this by itself. Needless to say, we all had to spit our cod portions into a tissue napkin. It was so bad, that an immediate round of gelati was necessary and that thankfully did the trick much to the relief of our badly abused palettes.
I’m not the type to be dramatic but sheer arrogance and bad food and service cannot go unnoticed.