Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur: Italian Week with Chef Daniele Devillanova

September 24, 2019

This week, KL welcomes a chef who began hunting hare and pheasant at the age of 10, foraging for wild mushrooms and pressing olive oil with his family in Italy's southern region of Puglia - exclusively until 28 September, Chef Daniele Devillanova will be cooking up everything from truffled semolina gnocchi to risotto mascarpone to beef-stuffed agnolotti at Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur's Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill.

Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur's Italian Week lives up to its name - authentic Italian cuisine, prepared by one of the most respected Italian chefs working in Southeast Asia, paired with fine Italian wine. Chef Devillanova (currently the Chef de Cuisine of Waterfall Ristorante Italiano at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore) promises a parade of traditional dishes, including some from his home town of Castellana Grotte.

From now through this Saturday, a special Italian Week a la carte menu will be available, as well as five-course wine dinners on 24 and 26 September, plus two-course and three course set menus. On the first night of 23 September, guests gathered at Gobo Upstairs for a joyous gastronomic journey through the land of La Dolce Vita.

First on our table was the house-made semolina friselle, a type of crisp, ring-shaped bread that's been popular in Puglia since the 10th century, twice-baked and topped here with diced sweet tomatoes and buttery burrata D.O.P. for that time-honoured trifecta of tomatoes, cheese and bread that the Italians cherish (RM55 as a vegetarian-friendly starter, a la carte).

A Puglian culinary classic deserves to be paired with Puglian wines - from the vineyards of Vigneti del Salento, try the 'I Muri' Negroamaro (a medium-bodied, velvety red, for patrons who prefer a lighter, fruitier flair) or the 'I Muri' Primitivo (a more full-bodied red, with a smoky, toast-like finish).

Main course possibilities span pastas to proteins - Puglia makes its presence clear once again in the imported orecchiette ('little ear') pasta, a durum wheat delight, dappled in sauce that speaks of anchovies and a fresh tomato base with chilli and broccoli mash, plus the crowning glory of grilled mackerel that's moist and flaky (RM80).

If you favour fish, you'll also adore the coupling of salted cod with sweet prawns in light Italian butter, bringing together the briny with the earthy, made alluringly aromatic with saffron-scented polenta, with savoury sparks from Trikalinos bottarga shavings for a cured fish roe flourish that beautifully represents the Mediterranean coastline (RM135).

Chef Devillanova's dessert recommendations include the house-made cannolo siciliano, made fresh from flour to the final plating, stuffed not only with ricotta cheese but with orange zest, chocolate chips and coffee cream for rich, tangy notes, an offer we genuinely can't refuse (RM38).

Buoy your meal with an array of Italian beverages and aperitifs - from the Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut Gemin, a fine Prosecco with delicate hints of apple and lime, to the Aperol Spritz, a Prosecco cocktail with Italian bitters that'll immediately transport patrons to the bars of Veneto.

Many thanks to Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur for this peek into Italian week. For reservations, please call +603-2332-9818 or email¬†[email protected]

Italian Week at Gobo Upstairs
Level 6, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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