Gooddam, The Hub SS2

December 9, 2018

By EDKL Writer A.A.

A modern Italian restaurant whose influences stretch from the pastas of Piedmont to the pastries of Abruzzo, the salami of Veneto to the stews of Tuscany, entirely from a Malaysian perspective: Gooddam has the potential to be great, propelled primarily by the talents of Daniel Yap (he steers the kitchen) and Miki Lie (she keeps the restaurant running efficiently).

Scarcely in his mid-twenties, Daniel's deft touch with Italian cooking cuts deeper than expected, following a formal culinary learning stint near Parma and a subsequent stage at a respected establishment on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

The menu at Gooddam ('Dam' combines the first letters of Daniel and Miki's names) is a welcome relief for Malaysian customers seeking more ambition and adventure in an Italian restaurant: Start with Gooddam's own pizzelle, with lusciously bruleed liver mousse blanketing the crunchy, house-baked waffle cookie (RM18), hand-pressed slices of sopressa, classically coupled with melon (RM18), and Daniel's buoyant take on bagna cauda, spooning the warm, smooth anchovy sauce - prepared here with hints of banana for sweetness - over a plate of freshly grilled local cabbage shoots (RM30).

Daniel and Miki might be familiar to F&B fans in KL, since they previously spearheaded the Pop Up Dining KL mobile restaurant enterprise. That initiative has proven invaluable in helping them create a complete, enjoyable experience for patrons.

Feel-good fare takes to the forefront for the main courses, from Gooddam's own-made, yolk-reliant tajarin pasta tossed with bits of crispy guanciale and toasted hazelnuts, a homey recipe that Nonna would approve of (RM42), to risotto with Pecorino cheese, deep-fried fennel, baby fennel and fennel leaves, with a Southeast Asian twist, soulfully crafted with Bario rice, black rice and glutinous rice (RM38).

Porcine pleasures also rule, executed to an expert precision - the ribollita bean-and-vegetable stew is cooked with cured pork fat for a flavoursome richness (RM30), while the pork shoulder is rounded out by a meticulously curated ensemble, glazed with gula Melaka, crowned with fried fermented napa cabbage, partnered with in-season chestnut puree, a milky mortadella sauce, and parsley stems that ensure no edible part of the vegetable goes wasted (RM65).

Desserts are a delight, a harmonious, homegrown pairing of admirable produce with accomplished technique - the chocolate ice cream is constructed with Pahang-cultivated single-estate cacao by Chocolate Concierge, layered with chocolate-braised pear, sprinkled with the magic dust of buah keluak powder (RM34), the sweet corn semifreddo is a textural triumph with mascarpone cream and honey crumble (RM30), and the salted coconut panna cotta makes for a memorable conclusion, compellingly nuanced with santan-strong snow, roselle jam and pandan oil (RM30). The interplay of ingredients is impeccable.

Italian aperitifs, wine and digestifs are available to accompany your dinner from the first to the finale: An Aperol Spritz (RM32), Campari (RM32) and Limoncello (RM32), followed by a Romagna Chardonnay (RM28) and Tuscan Chianti (RM30), closed out by grappa (RM20) and Vin Santo (RM25).

Lot B-G-07, The Hub SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Currently open for dinner, 630pm-10pm (closed Tuesdays). Tel: 010-7669708

This feature first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com

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