Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Il Lido @ Jalan Mayang, Kuala Lumpur

Housed in a anonymous bungalow with a very fresh looking coat of white paint, one would not know where this is unless you have perfect clear instructions from the Queen herself (i seem to be asking for noble help quite frequently nowadays). Some say they could see the clear logo shining brightly to tell you that is where "Il Lido" sits but all i could see was that the bungalow itself is called "the Mayang Club". If you find the corner bungalow just before the traffic light (coming from KLCC) on your right, you have hit the spot.

Drive right through and the mysteriously good service continues, from the friendly guards who directs you where you should park the car to opening the door for you. The pleasant surprise continues when you bump into the maître d’ at the lift and you are greeted and led upstairs by him.

Il Lido creates a nice balance of ambience; sleek, posh, comfortable (not the chairs unfortunately, didn't have a sufficient arm rest) with dim lighting. With a spotlight at each table though, the lighting is sufficient for photographs.

Service is good especially with a ratio of probably 2 staff to per table, well that night was a pretty empty weekday night. Matter of fact, service was probably too attentive and we encountered a staff that probably tried too hard to settle us down.

Too hard? Is that even possible? To mince no more words, our waiter was very convinced to sell us pre-drinks; from repeating Bellini's, Champagne, Prosecco, Moscato and trying somewhat his very best and virtually stop short of insisting. Throughout our dinner when we were having conversations, three different personnel came to ask how was our dinner when we were in the middle of our conversations, from the maître d’, wine sommelier and presumably one of the management staff.

That aside, i couldn't wait to dig into the food.

Complimentary focaccia with a slice of onion in the middle for extra flavour. However, too oily to even dip into the olive oil and vinegar.

Our amuse bouche that night was a cheese panna cotta in melon soup which as nice as it sounds and looks, didn't work for us. The sweet cold soup did nothing to bring out the bland panna cotta. If this was to tempt us into our mains, it didn't do the job.

The appetisers on the menu is somewhat generic Italian and nothing really popped up at you. Yes, i would have liked foie gras but the wallet wasn't really gaining any weight like i have been for the last few years.

So we went straight to pasta, a wide range from hand made to gourmet pasta, didn't really notice the difference between the prices though, everything was around RM40-60.

Pappardelle with goose liver, duck confit & truffle sauce (RM59). Now that i am looking back at the name of the dish, i was sadly disappointed with the glaringly omission of the foie gras. I half expected them to say that it was in the sauce but i suppose i should have asked but the dish was surprisingly good without it and i didn't want them to take it back to the kitchen.

Rich and hearty, the well cooked pasta, juicy duck meat and generous slices of truffles did the job for me.

I think this is the tagliatelle but i maybe wrong, cooked with lobster in a spicy herb olive oil sauce (RM59). I had a strand, well cooked again but didn't quite like the heat.

Veal agnolotti with porcini mushrooms. Similar to the ravioli, this was another very hearty and rich pasta. The filling is a veal mousse which can be putting off depending on personal preference. It is almost like eating pate, its either a love it or hate it experience.

Instead of having appetisers, we shared the talked about Sardinian suckling pig (RM85).

I think the pork does deserve a special mention. Yes its fatty, with a crisp layer of skin and fats in between the skin and meat but the meat is tender and juicy, separating with a nudge from the fork. The shallots braised or roasted with honey complimented the meat well.

Here again, the waiter needs to polish up on his way of recommending without looking too "hard sell". We again felt that he was trying very hard to get us to order a salad together with the pork which is a good choice actually but it reminded me of direct selling marketing.

We did oblige with the spinach and endive salad with golden fried egg topped with some sweet red onions. Have it alone would have been a tad plain but the raw crunchy vegetables was a perfect antidote for the rich meat we had. Although at RM29, a tad too expensive?

All that, accompanied with a glass of Chardonnay (RM22), which i must say for a house wine, was incredibly good, no surprises with the acidity and sweetness and well chilled when it arrived.

Desserts; the meal was just a week before the race and my stomach couldn't afford the extra calories, although i did steal a bite or two.

The molten chocolate cake is almost like any you can get out there. The ice-cream wasn't creamy enough and i don't see how the price of RM30 is justified, especially i have seen how easy it can be to make these molten cakes!

The ricotta cheesecake is mild and fluffy and presented in a thin pastry topped with pistachios. This was a better choice but it again didn't have the wow factor to it.

Ended the night with petit fours; dark chocolate, white chocolate and an amaretti biscuit. Petit indeed but a nice way to finish off the meal along with my coffee.

Il Lido has my vote if you want a sophisticated looking place for a romantic date. I like how the lights are dimmed at the right areas and almost mysterious like. However, the waiters could do with more practice and shouldn't appear to be too aggressive in recommending. Foodwise, there are some good things and some ok things, with prices not exactly the most affordable, i might just be able to afford one more round before i fly down under. Dinner was close to RM150 per pax, along with RM18 bottles of water.

Address and contact details:

Lot 183 Jalan Mayang (located directly opposite the Australian Embassy)
Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2161 2291

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Nothing really wowed me compared to the final bill except of the glimpses of hope. I sincerely do hope the stars will go up when (if i do) i visit them in the near future. By the way, the lounge bar is opened as you read this!


Ivy Isabelle said...

lol... Dine so near my office also didn't invite me. Hmmpp...

J said...

ah. RM 18 bottles of water - lovely. =_=
*hates expensive bottled water because it's just water, after all*

(Ooooh, the pork looks really good!)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ivy: haha nxt time i panggil u..

j: its sickening, bcos wat if i just want normal drinking water rite?

v!vi@n said...

wow...those foods are all nicely decorate and they are so delicate and nice..but its exp too..LOL...

nanged and clicked your ads..do hit me bek^^

qwazymonkey said...

bu-bu-but they all look so pretty though. don't they deserve one extra point just for that? :P

CUMI & CIKI said...

a good choice actually but it reminded me of direct selling marketing ..! - talk about brutally honest. but yeah, i take my hat off to you for writing such an honest review:) But otherwise, the post really described the place and food to perfection. You have some splendid shots too.. makes my photography look so lame. should i post?! Chis. should la hor.. since it was the bday dinner.. haha

great job joe!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: well sometimes u got to b honest esp to places that you actually want to return back to, otherwise they can sod off for all i care haha..oh puhles with the pictures..post it quick!

qm: i dont know..how ar?..

vivian: thanks!

minchow said...

Nicely said! And we fed back to the nice Marketing lady we met during our visit on the pushy service. You been back for the rooftop bar yet?

Sean said...

yikes, it's definitely wrong to make the customer feel pressured to order stuff that he doesn't want (luckily i didn't encounter that waiter!).
but gosh, our ratings for this place are quite different ... i'd give it 4.5 stars. maybe i'm too easily pleased :D

vialentino said...

wow...very delicious food there....nice pics btw!

vialentino said...

wow...very delicious food there....nice pics btw!

Pureglutton said...

Hmm...so it's hits and misses there! I totally agree with J's sentiments about water!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

pureglutton: yeah 18rm water..have to ration..

vialentino: thanks!

sean: had i got a diff waiter and my foie gras, it would have prob b a diff score.

min: nope, but the concept does look interesting. alternatively i actually have a fren who stays in a top flr condo ard klcc, and i can BYO haha.

Paranoid Android said...

Beautiful review and honest too. I think the Marketing Manger herself felt a bit awkward when the staff tried to peddle drinks to us in front of her. I thought she squirmed a bit. LOL.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

pa: hahah so i m not alone!

eatbitemunch said...

And here I was looking forward to trying this place :)

I went there two weeks ago but they were oddly closed on a Saturday.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eatbitemunch: bring a bigger wallet, mayb i was too budget conscious.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Things must have changed since my last visit since I got my normal (tap) water instead of bottled water, and they didn't even blink an eye when I requested for it. :-) Was planning to check out the bar last week, but was told that they hadn't opened yet. Oh well.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ll: nxt time i am going to ask for tap water lor..the bar's not opened? oh well, the nite view does look gorgeous. thanks for the directions though!

Baby Sumo said...

I was at il Lido yesterday too, and was very annoyed that the waiter deliberately brought us still water although we clearly asked for "cold water".

Apparently, the bar is opening tonight..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

baby sumo: oh well.. yeah sometimes its like dis, they expect customers to want to drink bottled water, simply that is the clientele they seek for.

Anonymous said...

Seems like everyone gone tricked with the stilled water. What made it worse is they did not even open it in front of us. For all we know it was tap water.

1 out of 5 star from the Expat Lifestyle Food Critic. I give it the 1 star because of its japanese styled pachinko lounge with a illegal gambling below I could not help but feel the cops were going to raid the building at any time.

The food well, they say you get what you paid for. In this case it is not true you will walk away still feeling hungry with a sore point on your Visa statement.

Matiboy said...

No tap water when you know you're going to end up with a RM200 bill per person is just ridiculous.
Setting is really good, food is very average and service is crap. And pressuring too, as mentioned in several comments.
Just as "Anonymous" said, I ended up still hungry when I left.
Huge disappointment. Another case of a beautiful box with nothing inside. Overpriced too.
Only good side was the fresh pasta.