Italian restaurants are scarce in Penang. Forget Pizza Hut or Domino’s food chains as they should not be considered as real Italian restaurants although they serve pizzas. Also, not everyone can afford to fly to Europe to have a taste of real Italian food. Now, Mr. Lim the owner of Restaurant Bravo Italiana has brought his years of working experience from Italy back to his home country and much to everyone’s delight, to our little Penang island.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will get a slight feel of like entering a small European souvenir shop. The interior decoration theme is all Italian. The masks and photos are brought from Italy. Thanks to Penang Tua Pui for organizing this food-tasting invitation and also the owner of Bravo Italiana Mr. Lim who gave us the chance to feedback on the new menu to be launched.
The first dish that we had was soup of the day - Mixed Bean Soup (RM6). The soup is cooked with baked beans, chick peas and also pasta. The soup was full of beans and the portion was very generous. The soup of the day is by rotation and the preparation depends on the ingredients, for more information please call to the restaurant to find out.
The starter soup was then followed by another starter called Bruschetta (RM8.80). On top of the toast is covered with thick layer of cheese and juicy tomato cubes which was very appetising.
Spaghetti Carbonara (RM24), pasta spaghetti sauteed with mushroom, beef salami, egg yolk, parmesan cheese, white wine and cream. The taste of the pasta was excellent and but again the portion was very big. For those who plan to have lunch, please prepare your stomach for more spaces.
Baked Oyster Vesuvio (RM28 for ½ dozen) is a filling dish with baked oyster topped with fresh marinated tomatoes, sweet pepper and melted cheese.
Scallops Glatine (RM28 for ½ dozen) is another baked shell-seafood. Each scallop is topped with mushroom, cream and Mozarella cheese. The display is very exclusive and indulging. The taste is rich and creamy with the scent of freshly baked Mozarella cheese. In my opinion, I prefer scallop than oyster as the baked scallop tasted fresher.
Italiano’s combination (RM39.80), Mozzarella Australian steak & seafood with fresh Italian herbs and extra virgin olive oil. The prawn was fresh and big in portion ad the fish was nice as well. However, there is still room for improvement for the steak. The meat was too well done and it has lost the tenderness and juiciness. Perhaps I am too choosy when it comes to steak.
Salmon Simone (RM28.00), marinated fresh salmon fillet with orange basil sauce. Salmon has always been my favorite when it comes to fish. I love the freshness of the salmon and although the sauce was a bit sweet it actually blended well with the salmon.
Lamb Shank alla Milanese (RM32.00), braised NZ lamb shank with fresh Italian herbs, garlic, tomato, mushroom and red wine. Due to the lamb is cooked with red wine for long hours, the texture of the lamb has become soft and juicy. In fact there is no smell of “goat”. For those who loves lamb but afraid of the smell, this is a must-try.
Pizza Rustica (RM33.00), The pizza is covered with Anchovies, capers and classic pomodoro sauce. However, our response on this dish is not that good therefore the owner has planned to take it off from the menu.
Pollo alla Cacciatora (RM22.00), whole leg chicken with basic ingredients – extra virgin olive oil, green pepper and wine. Another dish that is not really appreciated by most of us. It might be out from the menu too.
Caffé Romano (RM14.00), this drink has a great combination of vodka and coffee as the base and vanilla ice cream and orange juice topped the drink. You will need to stir the drink to have an even combination. It is a drink that will wake you up and knock you down at the same time.
Tequila Key Lime Pie (RM8.90), the taste of the lime is really refreshing while the tequila on top of the cream makes the taste stronger. Is a good dessert to be ordered if you feel there is room for more food in your stomach.
Tiramisu (RM12.80), for some people they love to taste the cream more compared to the ladyfingers. As for me, I love the bite of the ladyfingers which have been soaked with coffee liquor. Overall, the tiramisu is just nice for me.
Chocolate mousse (RM8.90), the soft and creamy chocolate mousse is one of the signature dishes in this restaurant. The taste is not too rich on the chocolate and the mousses just melts in your mouth.
Strawberry panna cotta (RM8.90). Last but not least, one of the most satisfying dessert I have ever had. Normally, when it comes to panna cotta “pudding” I will feel a bit resistant as it always gives me the feeling of too rich and heavy. However, my perception totally changed when I had the first scoop. This was then followed by one after another that I just couldn’t stop myself. No wonder the owner told us that dessert is always the final weapon of the whole course meal as when the customer tasted good dessert they will be fast to forget the bad things that they initially found on the main course.
Overall, the taste of the food is irresistably good and is large in portion. We have suggested to the owner to reduce the portion of the course to suit Asian appetites else the leftovers will be a waste.
Most of the nice pictures on this post are prepared by Albert Yap from CamoStudio the expert in photography, videography and editing.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
Operation hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm; 6:00pm – 10:00pm (Close on Sunday)
Contact: 016-486 6399 (Limmie) / 012-590 4239 (PS Ng)
Address: 01-01-11, Complex I-Avenue, Medan Kampung Relau 1, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.
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