Favola @ Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Pure Decadance: Favola @ Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Before I even start talking about the food at Favola, I must say this: the bread is FABULOUS. You sit down, you get bread, you eat it and yes, it is fabulous.
Parmesan Foccacia… breadsticks… chili cheese… bell pepper mayo… balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Can you just taste it?
Favola at Le Meridien is the latest Italian restaurant to hit Kuala Lumpur. I must say, it is hitting KL hard. Replacing thr opulent Middle Eastern restaurant, Al Nafourah, you should be prepared for lunches that involve an antipasti buffet from the Crudo Bar. You should be prepared for dinners that will leave you licking your lips, and thinking you are, in fact, in a mystical Italian quarter.
The name Favola is means Fable in Italian. It’s a story… a made up, fairytale that is somewhat unreal.
You do get a sense of that ‘wonderment’ and you walk through the arched corridor, with tales of old written in gold. Masks adorn the walls, and a giant mural dominates your view.
Beautiful, tasteful, and incredibly Italian.
They’ve got the atmosphere down to a tee. What about the food?
Executive Chef Antoine Rodriguez says that “Food is what brings people together and we strive to ensure the best is served.”
Born in Bordeaux, France, Chef Antoine has over 30 years experience in a number of countries around the world. His last 5 years here in KL have taught him that diners get bored very quickly, and constant change and improvement is needed to keep patrons happy. He admits he is very lucky to have the assistance of award-winning Junior Sous Chef, Sazli Nazim B. Ismail.
Together, they strive for quality and excellent taste. Favola opened its doors on the 1st of December 2009, and barely a month later it launches its new menu that I must sum up in three words:
PURE ITALIAN BLISS. Dilly (Red Breakfast), Terry (Red FM Drive) and I didn’t know where to start.
CALDO Y FREDO
NEW – Tonno Caponata
Herb Crusted seared tuna on cold caponata
This was the first starter we tasted, and I must say it was a good, fresh start to the meal.
Roasted Sea Scallops
Cauliflower and truffle cooked like a risotto and served with sea scallops
Ahh … the carbs without the carbs… if no one had told us it was cauliflower, we would never have guessed. The texture is very similar to that of Arborio rice, but slightly lighter and of course, with that hint of cauliflower scent. Teamed with the delicate dripping of truffle oil, the fragrance really engulfs your entire mouth and makes you want to keep on eating. Scallops? What can I say… seared to perfection.
NEW – Vongole al Casino
Baked Clams with beef bacon, oregano, paprika and parmesan-garlic crumb
Chef Antoine explained to us that the menu had to have a ‘revamp’. Items that were not so popular were removed, and replaced with more seafood based dishes. Favola was taking a turn towards the romantic Venetian, and this dish encompassed everything from that region. Savoury, crunchy, tasty and incredibly Moorish, the clams were juicy and succulent, it was almost impossible to believe they came from our very own shores. I guess that’s what makes it so affordable..
Pan-fried sea scallops on a creamy risotto with leek, lemon zest, chili and basil
Mmm… this was the real deal. Italian rice with bite. A little spice, a little zest, and lots of scallop.
NEW – Pizza Fiorentina
Spinach, garlic, Portabello, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato and egg
Personally, I think Favola’s Pizza’s are the best in town. I’ve previously tried a meat version, but this classic Italian Pizza can do no wrong. Vegetarians will love it, meat eaters will love it (even though there is no meat). You can do what I did and start from the centre (the egg/yolk) and work your way out. A crispy, thin and light crust, with a smearing of tomato sauce and a smogasboard of lip-smacking toppings.
NEW – Scampi Crostini
Toasted foccacia bread brushed with olive oil and garlic, topped with marinara sauce, seared prawns, grilled onions and roasted bell peppers. Topped with pesto and returned to the grill before serving
Eat it hot out of the oven. Warm, fresh bread with luscious grilled prawns.
NEW – Lobster Agnolotti
The creamy Roma tomato sauce is enough to get you to throw your diet out the window. Delicious pockets filled with a sweet lobster stuffing.
NEW – Potato Gnocchi and Crab Dumpling
A popular dish amongst patrons, the gnocchi was skillfully made, light and airy. Fresh crabs with roasted red pepper bell coulis and Italian parsley foam.
Conghiglioni Marinara al Cartoccio
One of my favourite’s , this was a piping hot baked parcel with scallop, clams, fishs, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and tangy tomato sauce, finished off with a layer of melted cheese.
Veal Osso Bucco
A sizeable portion of veal coated in a thick, rich veal jus. This was a hit with Terry (Red FM Drive) who’s never-ending appetite was greatly challenged at this meal. He managed to make space though, as you can’t resist the meaty smell, and flesh that falls off the bone. An added bonus – moist, buttery marrow hidden in the bone…
NEW – Venetian BBQ Seafood Platter
I am so happy the Venetians are here in KL. A must try. Shoe Lobster, prawns, sea scallop, squid, cod fish, clams and mussels coated with olive oil, parsley and chili breadcrumbs served with half Sabah lobster.
Dilly (Red Breakfast) and I were silent for quite a few minutes as we attacked the lobsters and polished off the clams one by one. These shells we’re holding up? Licked clean…
Illy Coffee Inspired Tiramisu
One of Chef Antoine’s signature desserts – wonderfully sloppy, with chocolate shavings, it digresses slightly from the traditional tiramisu but is wonderfully light and satisfying.
A beautiful blend of almond custard cream, minestrone of fruits, with a delicate sugar veil and orange wafer.
NEW – Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cake
Thick, creamy and tangy, the cheese cake was topped off with a textural raspberry sauce.
*This recipe was given to Chef Antoine by his Italian friend. He made him swear on a stack of ice-cream that he would never reveal this recipe.
If I had this recipe, I would keep it to myself too!
NEW – Budino di Cioccolata
A warm Chocolate Pudding with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce that definitely satisfies the sweet tooth.
Need I say more? We ended the evening feeling like true Venetians, who had just enjoyed a luxurious meal.
Favola at Le Meridien is pure Renaissance decadence.
All this week, tune in from Eleven2Three to win yourself a voucher worth RM 150 to Favola @ Le Meridien. The Big Red Food Review, with me Aly. Only on Red FM, Today’s Best Music.
*Favola is located at level 8, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur and is open for lunch and dinner daily (except Saturday lunch) and seats 95 persons including 2 private dining rooms. Discover the passion of Italian dining at Favola where bold simple flavours of regional cuisines and great stories are shared.
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur Sentral Kuala Lumpur 50470 Malaysia
Phone: (60)(3) 2263 788
WINE DISCOVERY, LE MERIDIEN KUALA LUMPUR
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur introduces its very first wine tasting session with certified Wine Sommelier, Michael Lee.
Day/Date: Friday 5th February 2010
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Crudo Bar, Favola Italian Restaurant, Level 8
Day/Date: Friday 26th February 2010
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: PRIME Restaurant, Level 5
Price RM 68++ per person
RSVP: Dining Reservations at 03 2263 7434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org