Eating in Kuala Lumpur 205 - Strato Italian Restaurant
How do you follow a great success like Frangipani - a restaurant which redefined fine-dining in Kuala Lumpur? If you are Chef Chris Bauer and restauranteur Eddie Chew - you open Troika Sky Dining. Perched on the 23rd floor of ultra-luxury apartment building The Troika, Troika Sky Dining is a multi-venue dining concept with a French restaurant, a wine bar, an Italian trattoria and now also a South American Tapas bar.
We went to Strato - the semi-casual Italian restaurant which is on the mezzanine floor above the French restaurant and wine bar. Like the rest of the venue - the decor is minimalist and stripped down to the bare essentials. The orange tiles on the tabletops added some warmth to the setting.
The menu is quite extensive and includes a large selection of antipasti, pasta, pizza and mains. It can be difficult to make up your mind on a first visit. We finally settled on 2 antipasti, 2 pasta and a main. The warm artichoke salad with duck bacon, sweet peas and crisp fried bread crumbs was really great - the duck bacon could easily pass for a good pancetta an, on the whole, there was a nice balance of flavours.
The mussels and clams with white wine sauce, garlic bread crumb and fried country bread was another great starter. The sauce was simple and had just enough saltiness to complement the mussels and clams.
The first of the pasta arrived - it was the Orecchiette with vongole, duck bacon, red chili, parsley and toasted bread crumb. They seem to like their bread crumbs here - but we didn't mind as it added an interesting texture to the dish. On second thought we should have ordered a different pasta as this was quite similar in taste to the mussel and clams.
The beef short rib al Barolo with borlotti beans, onions and horseradish gremolata was a great main course. The beef was fork-tender - and the sauce was very rich and robust in flavour.
The black and white fettuccine with salmon, salmon roe, Momotaro tomatoes and mascarpone cream looked interesting with the contrast of black and white pasta. On first taste, there was a strong fishiness from the salmon roe - but after a few bites, the flavours blend together really. This one is not for those who don't like fishy tastes though.
Strato is a very good Italian restaurant - probably one of the best in Kuala Lumpur. The prices are also some of the highest in the city - but I suppose you are paying for the ambiance and the quality of the food. Definitely worth repeated visits to try the other items on the menu.