19 Sep, 2011
Posted by: Wen Ching In: Italian Food
Speak of Italian food around the Bangsar/Damansara area and choices are a-plenty. Speak of memorable Italian food around the Bangsar/Damansara area and you get La Risata.
Established back in 1999, La Risata in Medan Damansara has captured the hearts and stomachs of many. It was easy to find and its central location does well to attract diners from various parts of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
It has been able to do so by serving up quality Italian food in an environment like no other. Wooden furnishing and brick walls inside the restaurant lends it a certain rustic charm and provides patrons with an authentic atmosphere in which to enjoy their food.
Upon being seated, a bread basket was brought to the table along with a special olive pâté. Made from olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar amongst other things, this spread is unique to La Risata and was excellent with bread. Thus it was no surprise at all to learn that customers have requested to take home a container of the olive pâté even though it is not listed in the menu and the staff at La Risata were happy to fulfil such requests.
A popular entrée at La Risata is the Gnocchi Al Gamberi. For RM22, one would get a rather large plate of small potato dumplings and prawns sautéed in herb butter. The gnocchi was excellent as it was soft, not too chewy and avoided having a floury texture. Due to the large portion, the gnocchi is perfect for sharing and an excellent dish to whet one’s appetite for more of what La Risata has to offer.
Bigger groups, or simply those who enjoy variety, can go for the Antipasti Misti. Priced at RM42, this antipasti platter comprised of grilled mushrooms with garlic, deep fried calamari rings, beef carpaccio (thinly sliced beef with mushroom and parmesan shavings dressed with lemon and olive oil) and garlic crostini with chicken liver paté. Also excellent for sharing, the variety ensured that all tastes were catered for. Special mention goes out to the flavourful grilled mushrooms and the top-notch calamari rings which had a very light batter and fresh, soft squid.
La Risata is no stranger to pizzas. A variety of thin crust pizzas are available, all baked in a wood-fired oven which gives each pizza that extra edge over pizzas baked in conventional ovens. We sampled the Pizza Speck Con Gorgonzola, priced at RM35. This pizza consisted of smoked turkey ham, gorgonzola cheese, caramelised onions, mozzarella cheese and cream. The simplicity of this pizza was what made it great. The flavours from the individual ingredients complemented each other nicely and the sweetness of the caramelised onions gave the pizza a certain distinguished taste.
We also tried the Pizza D’Anatra which was priced at RM35. This pizza was topped with smoked duck, rocket, anchovies, caramelised onions and mozzarella cheese. It is recommended to roll up the individual pizza slices so as to ensure that each bite has the full taste of the toppings. The result is a pleasant blend of sweet from the onions, savoury from the duck and anchovies and peppery from the rocket. A unique combination with great execution!
Pictured above is the Pizza D’Agnello, priced at RM32. This tomato-based pizza was topped with lamb ragu, cherry tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella and mint leaves. The lamb ragu was strong and the mint gave the pizza a cool, refreshing feeling.
We sampled several pasta dishes as well, the first being the Spaghetti Con Arragosta which was priced at RM38. Served in a tomato-based sauce, this pasta dish was cooked with lobster, garlic, chilli and olive oil. We thought this spaghetti dish was very good. The chilli gave this dish that extra spice which served well to titillate our taste buds and left us wanting more.
Next was the Spaghetti Alla Risata, priced at RM35. This was a unique pasta dish and also a house speciality. The pasta along with some mixed seafood (prawns, mussels, squid and clams) was baked in foil along with a hearty tomato sauce. The result was a perfect infusion of flavours and a brilliant meal. Similar to the Spaghetti Con Arragosta above, chilli was used in this pasta dish as well which gave it a spicy tinge. It rounded up what was already a good, strong tomato sauce which had a nice garlic and seafood taste!
We now shift away from tomato-based pasta and bring you the Penne Con Gamberi e Pesto. Priced at RM34, this tube pasta dish was cooked with prawns in a basil pesto sauce. This dish was light on the taste buds and refreshing. The pesto was herby and was a fitting accompaniment to the penne.
For dessert, we tried the Panna Cotta which was priced at RM12. The panna cotta was a very smooth cream pudding topped with caramel sauce. It was rather sweet but still went down very easily. My favourite dessert, personally!
We also had the Torta Di Cioccolato, priced at RM16. This was a flourless dark chocolate cake with a melting chocolate centre, served with vanilla ice cream. The cake itself was not very sweet thanks to the dark chocolate and the texture was soft. The vanilla ice cream was creamy and simply delightful. Put both together and you have a winning combination for chocolate lovers!
Lastly, we tried the Zucutto, priced at RM18. This was a liqueur cake filled with chocolate and vanilla cream and almond, hazelnut and chocolate bits. The texture of the cake was that of a soft sponge cake. It was delicately sweet and had a mildly strong alcohol scent which we enjoyed but might not be to the fancy of others. The nutty flavour of the cake made this dessert the favourite of my better half.
La Risata has been a mainstay in the Italian food business in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with good reason. Many thanks go out to Mr Azaiiman Al’Jeffri and the people at La Risata Damansara for inviting us over to sample their fantastic offerings. We will definitely return again! Special mention also goes out towards Brought up 2 SharE, KampungboyCitygal and My story~ for being there with us to help us finish so much good food! Also a thank you goes out to My story~ for being so kind to contribute the last two photos above (Torta Di Cioccolato and Zucutto) as we had run into some technical difficulties with our own.
While we were at La Risata Damansara, the original branch opened in Ampang first. For more information on both the La Risata branches and for contact information, do visit their website.
128 Jalan Kasah
50490 Kuala Lumpur.