Magnifq Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar
It’s been almost a decade since I last stepped into Uncle Chilli’s at Hilton Petaling Jaya. I used to hang out there after work in my earlier work and have always loved the food and ambience at Uncle Chilli’s. Glad to be able to return for a visit after so many years, I was pretty excited. Uncle Chilli’s famous for their great hearty food, fabulous cocktails and fun ambience.
Its pasta month at Uncle Chilli’s Magnifq Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar! Diners can enjoy the pasta promotion that is available from 15 April to 15 May, 2015 for dinner at Uncle Chilli’s Bar & Restaurant. Chef Massimo, an Italian native, is set to showcase his homemade pasta dish from his own Italian heritage with high quality seasonal ingredients all made from scratch. He was born in Palmanova, Italy in 1978 and has always been a passionate cook. With more than 16 years’ experience in the culinary scene and have worked across Europe and in Asia Pacific, his creativity and innovation with Italian cuisine is limitless.
Uncle Chilli’s ambience has changed a lot since I was last there. Its more groovy and funky at the bar area while the sectioned off dining area is more simple and stylish. There is also a lovely private room filled with lots of art décor on shelved wall. True to its name, the ambience is filled with lots of bold red and black to echo the bright and bold name of the restaurant.
There’s always nothing better than to kick off the evening with cocktails and mocktails. Ours of Pina Colada, Mojito, Bloody Mary… virgin or not… was just pretty much the ‘It’ drink to unwind while we wait for our food to arrive!
I like to say I am cheese girl in some ways. I love my cheese, even the strong ones as well as the mild ones. So I am pretty pleased with the Cheese Platter (RM58). It has a great selection of Italian cheese such as Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Pecorino, Montasio, Provolone and Asiago served with dried fruits, nuts, toasted bread and aged balsamic vinegar. My favorite of the lot has to be the Montasio and the Asiago. There were also quite a few cheese fans there that evening and we polished both platters happily to clean platters.
More cheese and this round, a top favorite of mine is paired with the most simplest ingredients from the garden. Caprese Buffalo Mozzarella (RM32) is fresh mozzarella served with fresh tomatoes, rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil. Don’t undermine the power of simplicity. This one was gorgeously simple and very delicious in every bite. Quality ingredients really stand out. The buffalo mozzarella was utterly divine with its melt-in-the-mouth creaminess. The juicy ripe tomatoes, bitter rocket leaves and drizzle of balsamic vinegar worked wonders together with the buffalo mozzarella.
Cured Meat of Beef Bresaola & Beef Salami with Shaved Parmesan (RM48) is another ingredient that truly signifies how the Italians mastered their cured meats with great finesse. The salty cured meats with strong sharp parmesan are flavours and more flavours in a good way. The toast offsets the meat and cheese will and provided a nice crunch to it.
Italian Burrata with Rocket, Cherry Tomatoes & Beef Bresaola (RM42) was mine favorite of the appetizer lot. Burrata, a highly prized Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, is the ultimate cheese in my books. As I cut into the burrata, the solid mozzarella unveiled a luscious soft creamy center. It is very creamy and delicate in flavours so the cured salty beef pumped up and harmonized both ingredients beautifully. Gorgeous burrata!!
Tagliatelle with Asparagus, Porcini Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes & Provolone Cheese (RM47) was our first pasta and it was a clever one as this was the lightest flavour of the list. Chef Massimo showed off his skills in the dish by just balancing the right delicate flavours of the ingredients with the wide pasta. The porcini mushroom flavours stood out among the lot and rendered the pasta earthy and humble in flavours. Enjoying this pasta won’t leave you with a heavy note…
Spaghetti Vongole (RM42) with clams, garlic, chili, white wine and extra virgin olive oil (RM42) is where the few ingredients used are sufficient enough to give the dish its popular vote as a much beloved classic. Cooked al dente, the pasta had lovely notes of garlic, oceanic brininess, and light hits of heat. Simple and tasty is what summed up this dish!
We were told that the Ravioli Stuffed with Eggplant, Ricotta & Four Cheese Sauce (RM57) is made from scratch by Chef Massimo and is utterly rich and divine. True enough, the ravioli is another gorgeous pasta dish that I would order again. The pasta was thin and al dente, the filling was creamy and light and the four cheese sauce was the main thing that binded every element together. Using gorgonzola, montazio, parmesan and pecorino, the sauce is bold, sinful and oozed with much sexiness in flavours. It can be really rich and heavy but you won’t hear me complaining because I really loved this dish a lot.
Spaghetti Carbonara (RM42) with streaky bacon, parmesan cheese and egg yolk is a creamy and heavy pasta that should always be enjoyed hot. This one is very heavy on the cream and egg yolk. It is also pure comfort food with flavours like these. It’s got all the ticks to make the classic dish an all-time-favorite of many pasta lovers.
I always think if you don’t know what to order, always go back to basics and order the simplest pasta of Aglio Olio. The Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Tiger Prawn (RM48) here is a sure crowd pleaser with its tempting flavours of garlicky laced pasta with light sprinkling of chili and herbs supporting the crustacean’s sweetness in the dish.
Bucatini Amatriciana (RM42) is a bold plate of flavours. Bucatini, a hollow version of thicker spaghetti, is drenched in an unctuous tangy and tomatoey sauce made with beef bacon, balsamic, fresh tomatoes and completed with pecorino cheese. This one is another favorite of mine for its spicy, sour and savory flavours. Its rustic and hearty, a dish that really stands out with big bold flavours!
I purposely saved the Linguine Aragosta (RM22 per 100gm for Baby Lobster) for last. It is certainly the pièce de résistance of the pastamania. Go lux in your pasta with baby lobster cooked in a rich luscious and spicy tomato sauce served on linguine. The vibrant fruity tomato flavours are beautifully gorgeous with the king of crustacean. I also love the addition of the fresh cherry tomatoes for added freshness to the dish.
No Italian feast is complete without dessert! Tiramisu (RM22) is pretty much the most popular Italian desserts there is. Everyone has their own recipe and Chef Massimo has his too! Though its non-alcohol, it is still decadent with its fluffy and creamy mascarpone cheese and coffee soaked lady fingers.
The ‘Maqnifiq’ Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar promotion runs from 15 April – 15 May 2015 for Dinner at Uncle Chilli’s Bar & Restaurant.
For reservations, please call +60 3 7955 9122 extension 4063 or visit www.zestpj.com. For the latest F&B promotions and entertainment news at Hilton Petaling Jaya visit www.facebook.com/hiltonpetalingjaya
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No. 2, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 60 3 7955 9122 ext 4063