Monday, April 7, 2008

Pasta Zanmai

I was out with a friend at 1 Utama last weekend, wanting to do some shopping. Needless to say, as with most of my shopping experiences, I didn't get my shirt but strolled through a myriad of exhibitions and deviated off-course.

But sometimes it's good to explore, as we discovered this gem of a restaurant. Discreetly tucked behind a small Japanese snack store, it's next to Carl's Jr. It was a Sunday night and the place was packed. We had to put our names down on the waiting list, but it wasn't too long a wait.

Once we got cosy we had a huge challenge. Almost everything on the menu looked so good! It was quite difficult to narrow it down, but we decided to share on a few dishes. We didn't order much as we weren't sure how big the portions were. Plus we wanted to leave space for dessert, hehe.

We started off with the miso soup. It had lots of vegetables and mushrooms, so it wasn't your normal tofu-seaweed staple. The soup had good flavour and it went down very well. It was clear and light on the palate.

Next we had this creamy japanese pasta with prawns and squid. The waiter grates parmesan cheese on top of the pasta upon your request and he'll keep going until you stop :) I smile because I love parmesan, hehe. This dish was delicious, though the cream was a bit sweet and it might not appeal to everyone. I found it special because there's actually three different flavours in that plate. I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into the prawn. You know how most seafood in a seafood pasta are just cooked together with the sauce, and they all have the same taste, i.e. the sauce? Well at Pasta Zanmai, the prawns and squid have their own flavours! I think the chefs marinated and cooked the ingredients beforehand and put it into the pasta before serving. This is brilliant as it keeps the dish interesting with every bite. Very nice :)


The second entree for the night was the teriyaki chicken and hot spring egg pizza. This is different from western pizzas as it had no cheese. It's a flatbread topped with teriyaki chicken, mayo, shredded seaweed, spring onions and a wobbly half-cooked egg in the middle. It looked really appetizing.

The trick to eating this (I think), is to break the egg and let it spill over the pizza. This will make it like a sauce for you. In our case, I just used the chopstick and swivelled it all over. It looked even better than before! The teriyaki chicken was succulent and sweet, balanced by the combination of the rest of the toppings. The spring onions gave a fresh taste to the pizza too. Of course, the best moments were scooping/wiping up the egg with the bread! Delicious :)


By this time we were kind of full, but the dessert menu looked so tantalizing we had to give it a try. We decided on something called Macha Cha on the menu, but Macha Macha on the receipt. Weird. But definitely nothing to do with your Indian brother though. It's this tower of green tea jelly in milk, topped with cornflakes, green tea ice cream, red bean paste and whipped cream. I was a bit skeptical about the cornflakes at first (har, so cheap ah?), but it turned out surprisingly well. You get very different textures and tastes as you work your way down the glass.
We also had hot chocolate, which was again different from what you get at other establishments. It was slightly bitter and not loaded with milk/cream. So you have a lighter drink that is still flavourful, and it leaves a dry finish on your tongue. Not bad huh?



So in summary - I Like. Very Much :) What they serve is really different and refreshing from the plethora of western, Italian, and oriental joints out there that offer mostly similar fare. The quality of the food is good, the service is quite nice, and price is reasonable. This is east-meets-west done really well. Fusion is fun. I have a feeling I will be back there again very soon!


pENguiN~ said...

COOL! Looks so nice! Will try it also next time when I go KL... :D

Yengs said...

Ya ya nice...ask me along also when you go yea :)

onyi said...

yeng yee *<3
hi there, this is onyi.
do u still rmb me?
the summer camp ,hongkong girls.
i will study in uk in the coming year.2008.
in Brighton.
miss u so much.
how's yr life? enjoy?
have to study .ttul

Yengs said...

hi onyi!! wow i'm surprised you found my blog hehe!

of course i remember you, i still have the souvenirs you guys made for me :)

brighton is a nice place to be, and i miss uk sometimes.

are you in facebook? keep in touch!