Romanza @ Ampang

February 15, 2012

It's always cause for celebration when a fresh-faced outlet takes off at Terrace at Hock Choon; Romanza Le Restaurante marked its maiden flight on Valentine's Day, propelled by fantastic fusion fantasies in which Europe & Asia land on a singular runway of recipes.

Romance was in the air as Romanza unveiled its lovely setting to endearing effect, with a band charming customers with renditions of Eric Clapton's "Beautiful Tonight" & Elton John's "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" _ though it was bizarre that they also sang Adele's "Someone Like You."

Cold winter melon & coconut soup with ginger sorbet & pine nuts, strange but exhilarating. The foundation of the menu is French Mediterranean, flirting with influences from Japan, Indonesia & more, balanced by South African chef Steven Kruger with high-wire culinary bravura.

Tempura of tiger prawns, mango & sesame salsa with Pommes Maxim, pickled red cabbage, curly lettuce & rose caviar in a vanilla-&-black pepper vinaigrette. Painstakingly put together, but perhaps overly fussy, with so many components competing for attention.

Roasted chicken thigh roulade, glazed with Indonesian sweet soy sauce & served with crisp leeks & risotto laced with spring onions & shiitake mushrooms. The risotto might be a bit too mushy, but this remains flavorsome enough to keep us tantalized.

Slurp & swallow: freshly shucked oyster with plum chutney, fish roe & apple kiwi salsa.

The happily-ever-after: rose-&-yogurt-swirled sorbet with lime jelly & crystallized rose petals.

Cocktails are available; berry margaritas contain all the Vitamin C you'll need this week.

Seeing red, with wine that runs crimson. 'Tis the season to be tipsy ...

Romanza Le Restaurante,
Terrace at Hock Choon, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-4252-6059