Villa Danielli @ Sheraton Imperial KL
Villa Danielli @ Sheraton Imperial
*Photos courtesy of Han (Red Weekends)
Park your car, take the lift up to the 5th floor of Sheraton Imperial, and follow signs to the poolside. There, you will find a charming restaurant, reminiscent of a homely Italian Villa. There, you’ll find Villa Danielli.
The deco is warm and comforting, with dark wooden furnishings, hand painted murals and eccentric lights that provide a warm glow.
Wafts of freshly baked bread and garlic and herbs trickled out from the open kitchen at the other end.
We gathered around a table at the bar area, and enjoyed a pre-dinner glass of Prosecco with Cindy Yoong, Director of Marketing & Communications.
A classic Margherita pizza, fresh out of the wood fired oven.
The base was light and crisp, and the tomato cheese combination very tasty. We polished of the generous sized pizza with ease. It was then that Terry shared with us a story about a man and an eel that shall not be repeated by me!
I can tell you that momentarily, our appetites wavered.
Thank goodness Chef Rajesh arrived to divert our focus.
Terry: “So, there was this eel right?”
Chef Rajesh: “Hi, I’m Chef Rajesh…”
Terry:”Hi! So anyway, the eel was like, this big…”
He managed to distract Terry from the eel story with his Chef hat!
Chef Rajesh Kanna, 37, is a homegrown Malaysian, one of the few Malaysians to be made Executive Chef of an international brand, in the country. He assumed the role recently in January, but it didn’t just fall in his lap.
Starting off as a team captain in the service line, under the Starwood group, he quickly switched over to the kitchen and began his journey. From 11 years in Westin Singapore, to 3 years in Westin KL, he has now comfortably settled into Sheraton Imperial for the last 2 years and 3 months. He has a wealth of experience in Western cuisine, has spent time in Italy, and has had even more hands on experience from his time at Prego (Westin).
We also found out that it was his day off, and he had come in especially for our meal. That’s true dedication! We made our way over to the beautifully set table, with a pleasant view of the restaurant.
Terry & I were fascinated by the lights.
As soon as we caught the aroma of the pizza bread on the table, all talk of eel was forgotten. Crispy slices, one style baked with butter & garlic, and the other with mascarpone and truffle.
Both were wonderfully fragrant and incredibly difficult to resist.
“Don’t fill up too much on the bread,” warned Cindy as she watched us attacked the loaf of Villa Daniella bread, served with salsa and soft garlic. “There’s plenty more to come.”
And she wasn’t joking. Our first course was a lovely cold starter of sliced raw beef with wild arugula and mustard dressing, or Carpaccio di Manzo con Arugula e Salsa al Senape.
Chef Rajesh threw in a special mushroom starter which was scrumptious. Fresh, raw button mushroom, sliced and marinated with parmesan, red wine vinegar and basil. Very earthy flavours, complemented by a glass of Bolla Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT Veneto,Pinot Grigio,2008.
Our next course was a mushroom soup with ricotta cheese, also named Zuppa di Funghi servita con Ricotta. Rich and woody, the soup was blended almost smooth, and still had delicate bits of mushroom for a little texture. This was paired with the Ruffino Orvieto Classico DOCG Umbria, Blend 2008, which was also the wine for the next course. This was a pasta dish called Fettucine Nere aglio olio e Frutti di Mare.
Cindy explained to us that our portions were tasting sizes, and the actual portion would be about 3 times the size. The squid ink fettuccine was cooked al dente, and aglio olio seafood of clam and scallop. I must say, the aglio olio sauce which is usually made from garlic lightly sauteed in olive oil, with hot chilli flakes could have been a little more robust.
A favourite amongst all of us was the next dish, the Gamberoni alla Griglia.
A large, succulent grilled king prawn, doused in a light prawn bisque and flecked with arugula.
The Bolla Valpolicella Classico DOC, Veneto Corvina 2008, really brought out the flavour of the sea.
I can honestly say that we weren’t the quietest table in the restaurant, but then that’s the kind of atmosphere that Villa Daniella has. Lively, and fun, like a typical Italian family exchanging banter across the table. Terry admitted that the first time he ate at a restaurant and received a pallate cleanser of sorbet like the one we were being served, he thought they waiter had made a mistake with his order and brought him dessert too early!
Now this Raspberry Sorbet came with a twist. A small, elongated vial appeared to be perched on top of each pink scoop. Chef Rajesh reappeared, and proceeded to make his way round the table to squeeze each vial, filled with white rum, onto our sorbets.
Cool, refreshing and it definitely did the job of reigniting those tongues for our main course. With sparing space for our main course left, the Ossobuco d’agnello Brasato con Gremolada was a feat to conquer.
Tender Braised lamb ossobucco with gremolada served with mashed potato. Chef Rajesh explained that the lamb was marinated and braised for 3-4 hours, so the meat was very tender and just wilted off the bone. This was paired with the full bodied Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico DOCG,Tuscany Sangiovese 2007.
Our dessert was a hit. The Tiramisu al Caffe Ristretto e Kahlua (Espresso and Kahlua flavoured cream cheese, with savoiardi biscotti) was a fashioned in a mould and presented beautifully on a white plate.
Fatboybakes, FratMustard, Han & Terry all had a minor case of sweet tooth, and it was a perfect way to round off the meal. We didn’t even have to order coffee, as the flavour was very prominent from the Tiramisu.
Villa Danielli. Ahh… Familia…
It’s a place where you feel truly Italian.
Starting Monday 10th May – Friday 14th May, tune in from Eleven2Three to win RM 150 vouchers to Villa Danielli at Sheraton Imperial.
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SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Sheraton Imperial: Cindy Yoong, Executive Chef Rajesh & the Team at Villa Danielli.
Guest Bloggers: Frat Mustard & Fatboybakes.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur 50250 Malaysia
TEL: 03 2717 9900, 03-2717 9922