Supreme Italian Food @ Bravo Italiana, i-Avenue

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):

Food Presentation

Quick Facts:

Family Friendly
Pork Free
Corkage Charge
Credit Card

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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36 thoughts on “Supreme Italian Food @ Bravo Italiana, i-Avenue”

  1. I am definitely going back for scallops and Strawberry panna cotta. I just love this 2 especially the desserts… I am a dessert queen ma. Hehe 😛

  2. oohhh.. i so luvv desserts..Lingzie told me abt the pannacotta.. n i spied words like “tequila”..cant resist getting very descriptive in ur food posts..

  3. happy to see that you all like it… remember to print the voucher we had on our website for the dine in to enjoy 20% discount while time is allowed (only one month)

    I just had my dinner there tonight, just love their tiramisu and scallop.

  4. aiyo, if only I’m not 2 hours away from Pg!!

    the restaurant scene in Pg is really booming eh?

    still rmbr back then, Bella Italia was one of the hottest Italian restaurant on the isle.

  5. hi there…wanna ask is the discount still available?? how to print out the voucher ??? hehe..wanna go there soon..hahaha

  6. Darren, the promotion ended on April 08, that was few months back then. I will keep updating on my post when there is any new promotion. Cheers.

  7. thank steven..if can pls check july got promotion bor?? wanna go on9 of april…hehe…there got wine bor???

  8. I’m missing Italian signature disches like like “Scampi Fritti”, “Osso Bucco”, “Veal escalope Milanese”, Italian cheeses, wines and Sambucca.
    I guess the biggest problem is sourcing the ingredients and then being able to offer them at a decent price?
    Ah, THE problem for globalisation of the epicurean foodlovers is always the same: you won’t find decent Penang food in Hong Kong or Europe… or in Singers. The same goes for great Italian food outside Italy. Even Italian food in Paris or Brussels can not be compared with what’s on offer in, for example Firenze or Milano.

    Fact, I’m afraid, due to the lack of most of the original ingredients availability plus the factor that is called “localizing”. Meaning adapting the food taste more or less to the local taste.

    Some of the disches although look quite ok.
    (I hope I’m not coming over as being too critical here, but as a foodie myself, I’m used to be quite picky anywhere in the world.)

  9. Hi..
    Carbonara doesn’t has cream and cream is seldom used in italian cuisine. Please refer to the wikipedia explanation. It might be a good cooking of carbonara, but not the original italian style but more on America style.. Hope you don’t mind…

    Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, pecorino romano, guanciale, and black pepper. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.[1]

    The recipes vary, though all agree that cheese (Parmesan, pecorino, or a combination), egg yolks (or whole eggs), cured fatty pork, and black pepper are basic. The pork is fried in fat (olive oil or lard); a mixture of eggs, cheese, and butter or olive oil is combined with the hot pasta, cooking the eggs; the pork is then added to the pasta.[1][2][3] Guanciale is the most traditional meat, but pancetta is also used. [4][5] In the US, it is often made with American bacon.

    Cream is not used in Italian recipes, but is used in the United States[6][7], France and the United Kingdom.[8] Other Anglo/Franco variations on carbonara may include peas, broccoli or other vegetables added for color.[7] Yet another American version includes mushrooms. Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions, and resemble fettuccine alfredo.

    In all versions of the recipe, the eggs are added to the sauce raw, and cook (coagulate) with the heat of the pasta itself.

  10. SY, thanks for the update. All the while the Carbonara that I had before here in Penang are with cream. Let me go that tell the bosses of Italian Restaurants that their recipe are wrong. Again, thanks for the update 🙂

  11. I agree on the Cabonara comment. My friend from Italy came over a few mths ago and cooked some mean cabonara. Definitely cream is not part of the original make-up.
    I wont say u hv to go tell the chef tht his recipe is wrong!
    Perhaps its jz American-nised ..

  12. Hi Guys.. for sure you will crazy with the carbonara with nice pancetta and parmesan. You may try Mario at Tg Bungah or Coconut house in KL..

  13. Pingback: » Penang Western Food List Penang Deli

  14. A group of us went for lunch at Bravo Italiana on Nov 3, 2009. It was a team gathering and supposingly it should be a happy occasion. Unfortunately, I received very poor service from the restaurant owners (both male & female owner). Their attitudes are absolutely RIDICULOUS!!! 🙁 This is what had happened… A Malay lady colleague of mine found “hair” in the spaghetti when she started eating. Thus, she talked to the waiter and requested for a replacement of the same dish (Fish Parmigiana) set lunch. As I was the one who made the reservation earlier, the waiter proceeded to talk to me. He said it was not possible to request for a replacement dish as my colleague already eaten 1/2 portion of the food served. What a nonsense! I replied saying that how could one know if there is “hair” in the spaghetti without eating it. Furthermore, my colleague only eaten few bites of the spaghetti, not like what they have claimed (1/2 portion). The fish fillet on the side still remain there, she didn’t even eat a bite of it. The waiter said he couldn’t do anything about it, and he referred me to talk to his lady boss. When the lady boss walked out from the kitchen, her face was dark and her attitudes while talking to me was very bad! She talked nonsense and gave unacceptable excuses. However, I still insisted to get a replacement as we deserve it because the food is not hygiene. After arguing for few minutes, the lady owner agreed to replace for us. But her attitude was very bad. I just couldn’t believe that I received such a poor service from the restaurant owner!!! The following day (after I cool down a bit), I made a phone call to the male restaurant owner. Out of my expectation, his reaction towards my complaint was terrible! His attitude was bad as well. I explained the whole situation and my unpleasant experience to him. Instead of acknowledging my complaint and feeling, he started to give unacceptable excuses and talked nonsense. At time, I feel that I have been “threatened” during the conversation. The conversation ended with unpleasant mood. Actually when I made the phone call to the make owner, I didn’t expect that he would compensate me anything. I just wanted to give feedback and share my unpleasant experience. If they cannot handle customer complaints and take customer feedback positively, then don’t operate a restaurant! I totally feel disappointed with the service I received from this restaurant. I will never go back to this restaurant!!! Lousy food & lousy service!!! 🙁

  15. I don’t think you have ever had “real” Italian food. I am of Italian heritage and have eaten Italian food in Italy, Chicago, New York and Boston. I tried this food and it was not very good. It may be the Malaysian version of Italian food, but it is far from the real Italian food my ancestors cooked and other Italians cook.

  16. Hi Steve, thanks for the feedback. I never know that there are so much different in real italian food compare to the one that I am introducing. If you are kind enough please give me a guide for real italian food that available in Penang. I am kin to try that out 🙂

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