Chef Ricky Parlanti Joins Prego as New Italian Chef De Cuisine
Italian cuisine has to be one of the warmest and heartiest cuisine I know. It is also one of the more popular cuisine that we enjoy often. For some of the finest Italian cuisine in the city, head over to Prego Italian Cuisine at The Westin Kuala Lumpur.
The Westin Kuala Lumpur welcomes Chef Ricky Parlanti to Prego. No stranger to our culinary scene, Chef Ricky Parlanti is the ninth generation of chefs in the Parlanti family. With over 35 years of culinary experience and numerous prestigious culinary awards under his repertoire, Chef Parlanti has also traversed across the globe with stints in various five-star restaurants and leading hotels. Not limiting to only cooking, Chef Parlanti has also added consultancy to his list of talents. He was responsible for overall designing and opening of restaurants as well as revamping concepts and menus for various famous restaurants internationally.
Perhaps one of his most recognizable effort in our culinary scene was his own multi-award winning restaurant, The Mangotree Restaurant located in Bangsar in his early years here. Besides that, Chef Parlanti has also managed other popular eateries such as Dining in the Dark KL, The Steakhouse KL and The Whiskey Bar.
In fact, one of the very first few chefs I have met when I started my blog was Chef Parlanti. That dining experience was one of the most memorable ones I have had since we dined in the kitchen itself where we got to see how Chef Parlanti whipped up his dishes from scratch at the Palace of the Golden Horse.
When asked on what he would describe as his cooking style, the humble and jovial chef retorted with cheeky grin of “My Own Way”. Growing up in Tuscany, cooking was the heart and soul of his family. It was everything he remembers and cherish. Despite having cooked for some of the elites of the world, Chef Parlanti concurred endearingly that he loves cooking for his family. In fact, his daughter also takes after his passion and is also a chef working abroad currently.
With all that said, Chef Parlanti aims to bring authentic Italian flavours to diners at the modern and contemporary Prego. With a motto of “Food should speak for itself as nothing can beat the quality of a well-prepared dish”, diner can only expect the finest ingredients coupled with Chef Parlanti’s culinary skills in menu at Prego.
The gorgeous modern and contemporary ambiance of Prego boasts of an open kitchen where diners can catch some live kitchen actions from the chefs and culinary team.
Bread always makes an appearance in every Italian meal. There’s nothing more satisfying that fresh warm bread served with butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The house baked bread hits all the right notes of crusty shells with fluffy soft inside served with olive tapenade, extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar and tomato jam. The other bread was a crispy thin flatbread smothered in aromatic herb oil that was so irresistibly yummy.
Burrata con Verdure Grigliate e Pesto alla Genovese
Lunch commenced with Burrata Cheese served with Grilled Spring Vegetables, Basil & Pine Nut Emulsion (RM65). Burrata or buffalo mozzarella is one of the greatest Italian cheese ever created in my opinion. There’s something so sublime in indulging in a ball of creamy oozing milk cheese that is utterly satiating. One can tell how fine this burrata was as soon as one cuts into it. That amazing oozing creaminess is gorgeous at sight as well as on the palate.
Chef Parlanti did divine justice to this fine ingredient by adding sweet and smoky grilled eggplant, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, spring onions, basil and pine nut pesto and finished with quality aged balsamic vinegar. The dish epitomize flavours as well as colours of Italian in very bite. Simply divine!!
Zuppa di Funghi, Aromatizzata al Tartufo
My bowl of Truffle Scented Cream of Field Mushrooms (RM42) was brighten up with a yellow ray of sunshine, a dollop of cream, crouton and sprig of chervil. Even before the soup was tasted, the air lingers with aromatic truffle note that teased and tempted my sense of smell with gravity-defying force of attraction. The soup was beautifully flavoured, rich with earthy mushrooms, particularly porcini mushrooms that stood out in boldness with truffle oil. So luscious, not a single drop of soup was left.
Adding a little tug of fun in welcoming Chef Parlanti, there was a pasta showdown with new Italian chef de cuisine, Chef Parlanti and the hotel Executive Chef Rudy Junaidie. We caught actions of the heat in the kitchen with the individual’s pasta cook off and couldn’t wait to try both pastas after the aromas of the pasta wafted through the air.
Chef Parlanti whipped up his signature authentic Carbonara e Castelmagno while Chef Junaidie whipped up a fusion twist in Gamberetto Aglio Olio e Peperocino. A cheery pose when both chefs were done with their cook off. Perhaps the ones that really revel in the friendly pasta showdown had to be us diners!
Carbonara e Castelmagno
Chef Parlanti’s Prego’s Special Carbonara (RM68) with beef bacon, egg yolk, cream and parmesan, finished in Castelmagno Cheese Wheel, was cheese haven on a plate. Its carbonara elevated with cheese to the max. The homage to cheese was truly what makes this carbonara pure indulgence. Thick, silky and utterly luscious, the al dente penne pasta was also finished with crispy beef bacon, shavings of parmesan, freshly cracked black pepper and fresh herbs. Pure comfort food at its best and also my preferred dish if I have to choose between the two pasta.
Gamberetto Aglio Olio e Peperocino
Chef Junaidie’s Asian Style Pasta, Prawns, Fresh Coriander, Garlic & Herb Crumbs also won many votes that day. Inspired by his wife’s favorite ingredients and flavours, he infuses strands of al dente pasta with lots of spicy chili garlicky goodness and lots of fresh herbs to heighten its aroma and flavours. Prawns were plump and juicy, adding more succulent oceanic notes to the dish.
Duetto di Branzino e Manzo “Prego”
Our final main course of the day was land and sea Duet of Wood Oven-Baked Salted Seabass & Grain-Fed Angus Beef. A beautiful piece of beef, cooked medium and served with rich beefy jus on a bed of wilted spinach is the perfect companion to the paper wrapped seabass perfumed with lemon, fennel and thyme, finished with dill sauce. Both are priced RM94 for seabass and RM286 for Angus beef for individual full portion.
While the steak was delicious, the fish was scrumptious with bright citrusy herb flavours that really accentuated the soft sweet fish beautifully.
It only makes sense to end our Italian soiree with Chef Parlanti’s Mascarpone Trifle, Espresso (RM26). Generous portion of light fluffy mascarpone cheese with bold hits of espresso, cocoa and fluffy lady finger biscuits is available in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic version. The dessert was a perfect ending to our Italian lunch that day.
We were told that Chef Parlanti loves to cater to the various palates of his diners. Should you catch him in Prego on a less busy day, he may just be able to design a Menu Sorpresa or surprise menu with your preference of customized dishes using your favorite ingredients.
Make your reservations by calling 03 2773 8338 today.
PREGO ITALIAN CUISINE
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Lunch: Monday to Saturday, 12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Brunch: Every Sunday, 11.30am to 2.30pm