Fatto A Mano @ Telawi, Bangsar

January 18, 2015

Fatto A Mano - Italian for 'made by hand' - revs up KL's recent renaissance of new Italian restaurants, serving a well-crafted selection of pizzas, pastas, bread, cheese, cured meat & more, brought to Bangsar by the people behind Yeast Bistronomy.

Fatto A Mano commands convincing credentials - two of its founders, including Frenchman Christophe Chatron-Michaud, have some Italian blood running through their veins. Its menu was constructed with the help of Mediterranean cuisine maestro Riccardo Ferrarotti. And its Malaysian chef sharpened his skills at the now-closed il Lido, formerly our favourite Italian venue.

Fatto A Mano is more of a casual hangout, a canny choice to cater to customers who prefer to pay no more than cafe prices for their weekend excursions. The best bet: The fresh bread, ranking among Bangsar's most satisfying - come in the morning & enjoy warm, fluffy-flaky cornettos (RM4; the Italian cousin of croissants) & creamy-sweet Nutella rotolino (RM7) ...

 ... plus beautiful bombolino, soft & fragrant Italian doughnuts flowing with vanilla custard (RM7.50 for three pieces). If you like the pastries at Yeast, you'll likely love Fatto A Mano's too. Yeast fun fact: A new branch of the popular Telawi boulangerie is slated to launch at Mid Valley's boulevard, replacing Seed Cafe, in May.

 Fatto A Mano is sandwiched between Yeast & Antipodean, both of which are a magnet for Sunday brunch queues. Fatto A Mano could prove a fierce challenger for the latter's pork-loving crowds, thanks to egg-&-pork morning specialities like 'contadino' (RM22++), a casserole of two eggs with pancetta, potatoes, spinach & onions, & baked eggs with crispy bacon, arugula & tomato sauce (RM18++) ...

 ... & frittata topped with Italian sausage & ricotta cheese (RM16), plus scrambled eggs with sopressata salami, parsley pesto & parmesan cheese (RM18). What makes these recipes specifically distinctive is the use of Italian cold cuts & cured meat - each will prove appealing to KL's legion of brunch-seekers. Note though that all of the above are only available 8am-11am.

 We're fans of Fatto A Mano's pan-fried Milanese panettone (RM14; also only for breakfast), a fine substitute for French toast, a fun cross between cake & bread loaves, sweet with raisins, stirringly straddling the balance between being luscious & light.

Moving on to multi-course meals, starters here include bruschetta (RM12 for breakfast - toasted ciabatta topped with sauteed mushrooms & ricotta cheese) & Sicilian-style arancini (RM15++; robustly savoury risotto fritters laced with beef & mozzarella).

Pastas (11am-11pm) comprise the likes of mac & cheese with bolognese sauce (RM22++) & orecchiette with pancetta & pumpkin sauce (RM22 for the smaller portion in photo; RM44 for large). Fatto A Mano targets the mass market, setting modest gastronomic ambitions with its pastas & pizzas. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes the outlet seem less of a labour of love - which is what Yeast was - than a commercial calculation. Yeast raised the bar, but Fatto A Mano seems content to coast.

Still, this outlet will prove critic-proof; no matter what anyone says, it'll attract its crowds, & its owners know that. Every bite of this prosciutto pizza (RM24++) signals that this is a restaurant that knows its food & knows how to serve with polish & professionalism. It's easy to have an enjoyable experience here. We can't help feeling though that as a whole, it sacrifices soul for sheen, nuance for punch - but fortunately, as many restaurateurs realise, you don't need soul to financially succeed.

 Caffe Vergnano lattes & flat whites won't appease customers accustomed to third-wave renditions; but if you're into wine, it's nice to note that the nearly all-Italian selection here comes in glasses, carafes & bottles at decent prices starting at RM19++, RM55++ & RM105++ respectively, & is happily served hours before noontime.

Fatto A Mano
Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Open Tues-Sun, 8am-11pm

This restaurant is available for bookings under TABLEAPP, which enables customers to make instant reservations at Malaysia's top restaurants, while saving time and money in the process. Reserve your table at this restaurant by clicking here.

2017 Update: Fatto A Mano is now one of 12 restaurants in Bangsar participating in the ‘Dine, Earn & Redeem with your mobile number' initiative by AirAsia BIG, AirAsia's loyalty programme. Earn and/or redeem your AirAsia BIG Points here! For more details, see: https://goo.gl/EVsBGH

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
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