Monday, April 28, 2008

Best Of Both Worlds

We discovered this fantabulous little eatery on Sunday night. We were at a lost at where to eat as we were celebrating hubby's birthday with my in-laws. It was actually recommended by a friend, and since we were at One Utama, we decided to give it a try.

What's it called?
Pasta Zanmai

What's served?
As the name suggest; a fusion of Japanese and Italian. Quite an unusual combination and I was put off at first (skeptical of most fusion wannabes), but since it's highly recommended (by someone who loves food), we thought, ok, why not!

I would not really consider this a "fusion-fusion" per se but rather it's actually creative Japanese culinary using Italian pasta and pizza base. Most of the condiments, flavorings, sauces are essentially Japanese. The only not-so Japanese elements are the 'creamy' base and the 'grated cheese'. Most other items still have a very Asian look and taste.

The philosophy of the restaurant; I think!

Where is it?
G210B, Ground Floor Promenade, One Utama (old wing), same row as Carl's Junior, Mark's Assam Laksa, TGIF, Dave's Deli and the Chinese restaurant (the one where loads of people have weddings at). If you know where is Burger King and Coffee Bean at the old wing, you can find this place effortlessly. Contact: 03 - 7728 1210

What we like?

  • The teriyaki chicken pizza, RM20 (rather messy and leaky but super yummy, one pizza is okay for one person, and works as a starter for 3 to 6)
  • Creamy mushroom and clam pasta, RM28 (huge portion caution! small eaters should share)
  • Creamy chicken and mushroom pasta, RM22 (huge portion caution! small eaters should share)
  • Crabmeat and avocado salad, RM18 (my mom-in-law liked this)
  • The Iced fruit tea (available by glass and jug)
  • The freshly grated cheese upon request
  • The green tea ice cream, RM6 (we requested for azuki (red) beans on top, which is not part of the deal)
  • Service was pretty good and attentive; the Filipino guy who served us was quite friendly and spoke well.

Many ways to green tea ....

Chicken Teriyaki Pizza ... check out the 'live' egg!

My Clam Pasta in Creamy Mushroom Sauce Set + M iso Soup + Salad

Avocado & Crabmeat Salad

What can we do without?

  • The soupy chicken pasta; the clear soup base was bland and had a heavy fried garlic taste (too strong for my liking)
  • The edaname (soy beans); it was not salty enough and it tasted, well, like edaname that you get everywhere else, so it's no big deal unless you're a big fan.

What else?
These are some mouth-watering stuff we will surely try the next round:

  • Rice in omelet with curry sauce (looks like nasi pattaya!)
  • Beef & Onion Soup Pasta
  • Unagi Pasta
  • Potato Gratin Dishes
  • Fried Pastas
  • Wide range of pretty looking desserts and beverages

This Beef & Onion Soup pasta also caught my eye .... *drool*

Tempting ... truly tempting ... *slurp*

One of the many Potato Gratin dishes.

Wish list?

  • It would be so delightful if we could choose the type of pasta; e.g. Fettuccine, Angel Hair, Linguine, etc.
  • They should expand the restaurant as the crowd was quite heavy and there were people queuing outside by 8pm. I also got the impression that they seem rather short-staffed towards the end part of our dinner. The place is quite small as the front half of the lot is a mini-grocer of Japanese produce and confectionery.
  • Don't be out of stuff! They were out of the crepe with green tea ice cream and azuki beans (much to mother-in-law's dismay)

The price?
Value for money and great for groups since the portions are huge. An average pasta cost around RM18 to RM25, add around RM3 for the set which comes with a small side salad (with crabmeat and a yummy dressing) and your good old miso soup.

The Shortcake verdict?
Shortcake will definitely be back. Pasta Zanmai has successfully merged 2 well-loved cuisines together and the result is a wholesome and tantalizing menu amidst a nice cosy setting. The mind boggling variety ensures there's something for everyone, the downside is that you will spend a lot of time flipping back and forth the menu trying to make up your mind. The names are long and tongue-twisting so make sure your waiter repeats your order. What they actually need is an alpha-numeric code system for each item, that might fool-proof the process!

This place solves the food-conflict problem; food-conflicts happen when your family members or your groupie can't decide what to eat; somebody wants rice, somebody wants salad, somebody wants teriyaki, somebody wants soup, somebody wants pasta … hey, no need to fight ok; this place solves most kinds of food-conflicts !

They have webpage too:

Refreshing! The iced fruit tea in a jug, RM16, serves 2 generously.

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