A month ago during my short weekend getaway at Holiday Inn Melaka, I got more than I bargained for in the historical city. Who would have known that in the city of the Nyonyas and the Babas lays a hidden award-winning Italian fine dining restaurant called Sirocco in Holiday Inn Melaka? J
That night, my family and I dined at some of the best Italian dishes at Sirocco. The whole place had a lovely golden aura from its décor and lightings. Fairly romantic and dressed with soft neutral colors with pretty lampshades exuding a light yellow glow. The restaurant showed off a live cooking station with a wood stone oven for the infamous pizzas. Specialties are listed with some creativity on the chalkboard while pretty tea lights adorned each table for another lovely touch!
With a lovely Italian restaurant, one must have some wines. A lovely glass panel room filled with a decent selection of wines should be sufficient to make wine connoisseurs glee with delight!
The menu, a simple but attractive one page board glowed in orange, featuring several categories from appetizer, soup, pizza, pasta, main course and dessert.
Italians love their breads so we had a comforting starter of some house made bread of Sundried Tomato Bread and a toasty Bruschetta with tomato sauce. A bread lover myself, I wanted another round of this as the sundried tomato bread was zesty and so flavorful from the intense sundried tomato. Yummy!!
Orders were locked and I watch as our pizza was tossed and crowned with seafood before going into the wood stove oven.
We started off with hearty Italian soups like Minestrone Soup with Pesto and Creamy Mushroom Soup with Herb Crouton. Minestrone soup is marvelous as it was richly laced with robust tomato flavors and bits of vegetables and pasta. I love the soup for its sweet and sour richness and the flavors it exuded when the toasted bread soaked up its broth. Creamy Mushroom soup fared decent for its earthy mushroom flavors but fell short compared to the first soup.
We sampled appetizer of Scallop with Ratatouille, a display of juicy scallops seared and sat on top of the infamous ratatouille. Made from stewing capsicum, shitake mushroom, oyster mushroom, button mushroom, zucchini & carrot, the ratatouille is so flavorful. A myriad of textures and flavors of the vegetables really shined in the dish while I considered the seared scallops an extra perk.
Another appetizer of Red Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Balsamic Vinegar showcased a ring of cubed red tuna and creamy avocados. Lightly seasoned and drizzled with syrupy balsamic vinegar for the extra sweetness. Nothing to shout but no complaints as the ingredients were fresh and well put together.
My favorite starter would have to be the Tossed Fresh Prawns served in Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Butter and Grilled Lemon! When the dish arrived, it was still sizzling and the aroma was superbly intoxicating. The smell of pungent garlic with citrus coupled with the sight of the prawns swimming in the olive oil was so inviting. The prawns were succulent, juicy and bouncy… cooked till just right! My only grip is I wish there were more prawns… J
Our pizzas arrived in the form of Pizza Marinara and Ham Pizza. The pizza base was rustic with scorches of crispy edges and thin textured. Pizza Marinara features a sea of mussels, prawns, squid and scallop with a tomato sauce and hints of chili flakes. Ham Pizza was filled with loads of ham strips and cheese. I thought both pizzas were equally good as it has the essential rustic base and vibrant tomato sauce.
Our main course arrived and the first one was Grilled Chicken Breast with Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce. One high note was the grilled chicken breast was really moist and well seasoned. My little one enjoyed the spaghetti in tomato sauce a lot. Nice balance of tangy tomato flavors with a hint of sweetness.
Spaghetti with Seafood, Prawns, Squid, Dory and Scallop with Mushroom in sautéed garlic also proved to be another winner with everyone. Al dente linguine cooked with a lovely garlicky marinara sauce with seafood proved that classic recipes are awesome when cooked to perfection!
Not a veal fan, I had doubts about Veal Scaloppini sautéed with Lemon Butter Sauce. Surprisingly, it’s really delicious as I like the lemon butter sauce! Others thought it was too sour but then again, taste is really personal. Since I like sour flavors, I thought the sourness added a refreshing flavor to the thin pieces of pan-seared veal. Veal was tender and juicy with a nice herb aroma.
The pièce de résistance came in the form of Pan Roasted Beef Fillet and Lobster Tail with Grilled Tomato, Sweet Potato, and Pink Peppercorn Reduction. A surf and turf, combining the best of both worlds, fillet of beef tenderloin with the king of crustacean, a lobster tail! Cooked to pink perfection, the fillet was juicy and tender while the lobster had a good smoky and sweet flavor. Love the mild but flavorful pink peppercorn reduction sauce as it complimented both meat and lobster really well.
As every meal had to come to an end, we finished off with two desserts. First one is Classic Italian Ice Cream with layer of Biscuits, called Cassata in Italian. Pretty at sight, the layers of various ice cream flavors have a layer of pressed cookie based. The dessert looks better than it taste though.
Now, the Warm Chocolate Tortino served with Vanilla Ice Cream was highly recommended to us and it was indeed marvelous! Here, the taste outdoes the look as the dark crusty cake unfolds deep rich lava of chocolate ecstasy. In my books, a hot chocolate contrasting against cold ice cream is deemed a perfect match in heaven!! My bittersweet moment… J
Why go to Sirocco? Simply because it presents a fine balance of hearty Italian dishes set in a beautiful environment with excellent service! Quality is a high note here while most dishes are sumptuously prepared. Sirocco is perfect for a romantic tête-á-tête with your love ones or a business dinner. Appetizers, pizzas and pasta price range between RM18 – RM33 while main courses are between RM32 to RM66. If you are looking for Italian in the heart of the historical city, check out Sirocco at Holiday Inn Melaka for a taste of fine Italian fare at its best!
Holiday Inn Melaka
Jalan Syed Ab. Aziz
Toll Free: 1 800 801 881
Tel: +606 285 9000
Fax: +606 285 9111
*Read about my first two post on Holiday Inn Melaka here and here.