In the past, Western-themed restaurants in Kuala Lumpur city centre were relatively few and far between. Nowadays every KL neighbourhood seems to feature more than a few of these eateries.
Italian fare is probably the most popular, as well as one of the most easily recognizable cuisine choices in the world. No matter where you go, whether it’s in historical Rome or the menu selections of Applebee’s, pasta-and-pizza combinations are all the rage.
Still, coming across Tatto – a trattoria in the KL city centre – is a pleasant surprise; this gourmet Italian eatery delivers true Italian fare with all the trimmings.
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The air-conditioned interior is a red-black-and-white affair with dark wooden tables and chairs with black tablecloths and napkins sharply contrasting with porcelain-white plates. The walls are adorned with art nouveau pieces from local artists and the ceiling is festooned with alcove lighting to give it a formal Italiano dining feel. Generous-sized windows let in plenty of natural light, resulting in a bright and airy dining space.
The bar flanks one end, wine bottles line the walls and the dining section is sectioned off with shelves of ceiling-to-floor vino selections dividing them into cosy nooks.
Outside, the view of the white pebble-strewn garden grounds, with bamboo-lined walls, is Balinese-inspired – lending a distinctly romantic feel to the dining experience at the 80-pax Tatto.
Soft jazz plays as the bright sunlight streams in, bathing the restaurant in a warm glow – patrons are involved in intimate conversations while waiters stay close at hand.
However, in spite of the setting, things are not overly stuffy and formal – owners, Thabetha, Tom and Yenti are always at hand to share a glass of wine and stories with you. The smiling Yenti makes sure that you feel right at home.
Boasting an admirable wine collection, Tatto features labels from several nationalities on its 100-plus list with the majority of them hailing from Italy.
The selection comes in an impressive five-page wine list; you’re bound to find a bottle to suit your tastes or you can choose to enlist Yenti’s help – she’s a true wine connoisseur.
The food is timed perfectly as you’re given time to savour each course, as well as to enjoy a sip of wine, before the next dish arrives. The fare is truly excellent; for starters try the house specialty of eggplant parmigiana – layered eggplant smothered with mozzarella cheese.
Il primo piatto – the first course – is a homemade maltagliati accompanied by Angus tenderloin and beans cooked with pesto sauce and truffle oil. It is simply superb – the pasta is perfectly al dente and the beef succulent and soft.
The next dish is a grilled sole fillet with mix vegetables alla griglia and lemon butter sauce. The fish melts in your mouth and simply bursts with flavour – an out-of-this-world experience; the lemon butter sauce provides a piquant flavour to the fresh fish – making it a true work of art.
The kitchen staff – a hotchpotch of locals – have years of experience in the Italian food industry; all dishes are prepared from scratch so the freshness is evident. The pizzas here are huge inventive concoctions – toppings are plentiful and each creation simply oozes cheese.
Yet by far the best dish on the menu is the warm chocolate cake on the dessert menu boasting a creamy generous centre. This dessert is not too sweet yet is infinitely mouth-watering. The warm gooey molten mixture will definitely bring you back for more.
Tatto is a warm and friendly place; you can tell it’s a venture between friends as you can see staff members chatting comfortably with one another. Waiters are always just round the corner to re-fill your drinks as well as to clear the table between each course. In a nutshell, the service at Tatto is befitting the cuisine and fits its motto – modern Italian cuisine with a Malaysian touch.
Located just off Jalan Tun Razak, this sleek and cavernous ristorante is tucked within Hampshire Place Office along Jalan Mayang Sari. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets, there are plenty of parking spaces available here, and the location is devoid of close by blaring traffic.
The entrance to the eatery is shaded by towering trees and the pebblestone pathway is stark-white contrasting with the restaurant’s logo – Tatto – emblazoned across the whitewashed walls in severe black.
- Opening Hours: Monday - Friday & Sunday 12:00 - 15:00 & 18:30 - 00:00, Saturday 18:30 - 00:00
- Address: A-G-1, Hampshire Place Office, No 1, Jalan Mayang Sari, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2166 5212
- Cuisine: Italian