An Italian Feast @ Ristorante Italia Mia, Sunway City, IpohMay 10, 2010 | 10,649 views
Ristorante Italia Mia in Sunway City of Ipoh is one of the few decent fine dining establishments in Ipoh. You can’t find Italian restaurants in Ipoh that easy like say, in the Klang Valley or even Penang. Heck, I think even folks in JB (Johor Bahru) or Melaka have better luck at slurping on pastas, chomping on their slices of pizzas, and licking their fingers clean from the mascarpone cheese pumped into their tiramisu.
Envious? Yes. If you wanna know more about Italian food in Ipoh, you can read about my first Italia Mia experience back in 2008, funky versions of pastas at Spaghetti Sweet Tea Cafe, and of course, the latest addition to Ipoh’s F&B scene; Michelangelo’s Pizzeria that serves fantastic woodfire pizzas, but resembles more of an American style pizzeria than an Italian restaurant.
(*But of course, if you wanna take into account the Pizza Hut’s and the Shakey’s …. by all means, yeah. Ipoh’s LOADED with “Italian Food” outlets!)
Spaghetti Fresh Seafood (RM39.40/USD12.30) – With Sauteed Fresh Prawns, Calamari, Clams, Garlic, White Wine and Parsley
The menu remains unchanged, since the last time we dined here. But they have SPECIALS of the day, written in chalk on the blackboard on the outside of the restaurant. So do sneak a peek before you waltz in, in case you have grown weary of the same old selections; of about 12 types of Pasta, 9 types of Carne (Meat) dishes, and 4 types of Pesce (Fish) items. But seriously, we don’t need another menu with 100 or more items, each being a variant of another. Confusing to the customers, and the cooks as well …
Saltimbocca Alla Romana (RM39.35/USD12.30) – Fillet of Pork cooked with Marsala wine, topped with Ham & Sage
In case this is your first time to Italia Mia, then you probably would have expected a slightly more resplendent ambience, given the ‘fine dining‘ moniker attached to this restaurant by Ipohans. But we felt right at home while having our lunch here. With a simple layout and minimally-decorated interior; a light pink table cloth draping our tables, comfortable cushioned wooden chairs, a bar with their range of wines displayed, and various pictures on the blank, sparse wall as well as ornaments that blend into the background.
Clean and simple, you wouldn’t feel out of place even if you walk in wearing sandals and shorts. I know, because my brother just did that.
Zuppa Di Zucca (RM18.50/USD5.80) – Blended Pumpkin & Grilled Chicken Soup
Starters (antipasti) include salads, soups and bruschettas (mushroom and tomato variants), as well as a rather interesting chicken liver pate served with toasts. The Pumpkin and Grilled Chicken Soup tasted heavenly, combining the smooth, pulpish texture of the pumpkin, and the sweetish flavour of the squash; the addition of grilled chicken imparted a smokey, savoury nuance to the pleasant starter. We were also presented with small plates of black olives with herbs/chili to munch on. No bread with olive oil though, but a welcoming change for I do not favour stuffing myself BEFORE I even go through the menu!
Pollo Cacciatore (RM37.30/USD11.70) – Chicken Breast cooked in Cacciatore sauce, sweet peppers, mushrooms, capers, tomatoes and olives
The specials of the day include gnocchi (pronounced ngee-ork-kee, thanks to Madam Niki for pointing this out), roasted lamb rack and roasted leg of lamb. But I missed the board while frantically barging in. I would have given their gnocchi a try, as I have grown a certain fondness towards the Italian style ‘dumplings‘. Maybe next time then.
I had the Fusilli Carbonara, which was utterly delicious and sinfully rich. I almost could not finish up my own portion, all the while busying with piercing, poking, sampling and stealing from the others’ plates. The creamy Carbonara sauce cling onto the spindles of fusilli, which was cooked to the right texture by the way. And nothing beats smoked bacon to go with your carbonara, and liberal shavings of parmesan cheese.
Pollo Boscaiola (RM38.85/USD12.20) – Breast of Chicken topped with Mushroom, Ham, Cheese and Wine
Italia Mia is a NON-Halal restaurant. That explains the abundance of pork in their menu, and the liberal use of wine in their cooking. And trust me, you can really taste the difference, especially in the gravy for the various chicken and pork cuts.
Especially noteworthy was the Saltimbocca Alla Romana, incorporating the clever use of Marsala wine into cooking of tender fillets of pork, laced on top with slices of ham and sage sandwiched in between the layers. All their meats are served with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes, and boiled vegetables.
Pollo Monte Bianco (RM39.35/USD12.30) – Breast of Chicken with Mushroom, Wine and Cream
Out of the three types of chicken ordered by the others, I found the Cacciatore version to be the most memorable. Or probably I was already reeling from the decadence of my rich carbonara, the Cacciatore sauce tasted refreshingly tangy, with fresh tomatoes pureed and bites from capers, olives and mushrooms. A stark contrast to the many-folds richer/creamier Monte Bianco and Boscaiola versions.
Fusilli Carbonara (RM33.60/USD10.50) – Spiral pasta with Bacon, Whisked Egg, Cream sauce and Parmesan
Tiramisu (RM19.50/USD6.00) – A fluffy rendition of the evergreen Italian classic
Italia Mia does a wonderful rendition of Tiramisu, albeit at a slightly premium price of RM19.50 per slice. Not cloyingly rich, which was a plus after the rather heavy lunch, the Tiramisu was light, fluffy and yet retaining its creaminess with a pleasant bittersweet kick. This deserves a try if you have a sweet tooth for desserts. And no fret, it’s far from tooth-numbingly sweet.
Profiteroles (RM17.95/USD5.60) – Cream Puff with Vanilla Ice-Cream, and Rich Chocolate Sauce
And the Profiteroles (two pieces for RM17.95) served at Italia Mia (do enquire about the availability) were almost flawless. The famous choux pastry reminded me of Beard Papa’s fabulous cream puff (come to IPOH already!), albeit with a twist. Sandwiching a whole scoop of premium vanilla ice-cream, and drizzled liberally with chocolate sauce, the dessert was a befitting end to the meal.
Other delectable desserts include Creme Brulee, Apple Pie, and imported Australian Ice-Cream.
Address & Contact :
RISTORANTE ITALIA MIA
10, Persiaran SC1 2/1,
Sunway City Ipoh,
Telephone : 605-547 4007
Business Hours : 12pm – 3pm, 6pm-10pm daily.
Closed on Thursdays.
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to Italia Mia Restaurant
Directions : Exit the North-South Expressway (PLUS) at the new IPOH’s Tambun/Sunway City exit. Once you reach the traffic lights, turn left into Jalan Tambun and go pass Tambun town. Once you see the GIANT signboard from afar on your right, slow down and take a right turn at the traffic lights. You will enter Sunway City of Ipoh. Italia Mia is on your LEFT, with its bright blue signboard.
** After about 5 years in the business, Italia Mia’s owners (Tino – The Italian guy, and his wife, Niki – The designated cook) are thinking of calling it quits; preferring to enjoy life with their children overseas. If any of you iskeen to take over the business, do give them a call. To the others; take this opportunity to dine at Italia Mia at least once, before this great Italian diner goes off the radar. **