Friday, August 16, 2013

42 Foodies Italian Restaurant

42 Foodies is an Italian Restaurant situated in Kin Mee Park, the row of shops which is somewhere behind Petronas station. Recently there has been numerous new eateries in Ipoh namely the overated Plan B, the Indulgence/Secret Garden concept-like STG (Sabah Tea Garden), and there is JJ Cafe, which is another cafe who decided to join the likes of B.E.D, Uncle Albert's Traditional Fish and Chips (which literally charge the pricing after converting from Euro currency)... I have to start somewhere, and this is it!

Having just a light breakfast, we had our early lunch (brunch for some of my makan gang) as early as 12pm. This is one shot of the interior. It seems like the most of the newer cafes in Ipoh have been following a common trend, do you agree?

Cosy interior coupled with wooden seats with cushions. To be honest, my table is the one with the youngest average age group. The rest are mainly families.... and most others are the rich "tai-tais". So I guess Ipoh people are quite willing to spend after all eh?

Another shot of the interior, featuring oil paintings which set a homely feel setting for a lazy chit chat afternoon.

This is the Italian Minestrone Soup. It reads "Hearty vegetable soup in tomato broth" in the menu. Well, the broth is indeed quite light and the carrots cubes are too big! Ingredients and colour of the broth is definitely not appealing to the eyes. My friend said the taste is okay but to me, it is below average. For RM6, I definitely expected something more than just a "throw everything inside to simmer in a jiffy" soup.

To be frank, the Ceasar Salad (RM17) seems to be a bit of letdown in terms of appearance. Yeah, no doubt the tangy dressing is indeed appetizing, but since diners are paying RM17 for a salad, I expected more passion in return (and a bit more generous serving of the smoked salmon please instead of bits and pieces). Make use of olives and baby tomatoes as garnishing around the plate, and perhaps a bit more sprinkling and some drizzles to create a more "artistic" presentation? Not very much to ask for right since we are paying a more premium price.

The Mussel Pot (RM16) is cooked in a broth which I feel is a bit similar to the Minestrone soup, it is slightly tangy and it contains a dash of white wine (according to the menu description). Perhaps I am not a fan of mussels, you might want to order this if you are a fan of mussels, but to me, it did not give me much surprise. And by the way, the 2 pieces of baguette slices thrown on top is a bit out of place when it comes to food presentation, just my personal opinion.

The Rissotto (RM19 if I'm not mistaken) is a traditional Italian rice dish. The rice grains used for cooking this Italian rice dish is not the usual ones used for serving on our Malaysian dining table. Instead, the choice of rice grains used should be ones with high starch content and are usually shorter or rounder in shape. The chopped onions are sautéed in olive oil/butter and later enveloped the grains with much fragrance before the broth is gradually added to bring it to a simmer. The result: creamy, smooth and rich consistent outcome but each separate grains of rice could be felt with a slight solid mouth feel. A dish which looked simple but it was well executed here, though I prefer the grains to be less hard.

The Romeo pizza (RM16 for 9 inch) is a thin crust pizza which is suitable for diners who do not take beef. It contains chicken ham, olives, onions and pineapples on a surfaced moistened with tomato puree and topped with cheese. Very well baked with no signs of charred or burnt surfaces (unlike the common sight you see in your dining experience at Michelangelo Pizzeria). It is baked in near perfection but I find the taste to be quite predictable. Perhaps if I were to return, I might try the unconventional ones with anchovies and perhaps beef salami.

Pizza and risotto checked but a visit to a Italian restaurant would not be complete without testing their pasta skills. Normally I will pick the Cabonara or Aglio Olio but these two seems to be too mainstream, thus we opted for more unique pasta. We decided to savour alternating layers of creamy white sauce with pasta sheets and topped with melted mozzarella, in the form of Pollo Lasagna (RM18) According to the menu, there is another beef version which is coupled with tomato based sauce.

Checklist for the main course is complete but an Italian affair will not be completed without a few of their signature desserts. Think of Italian dessert and it is almost synonymous to Tiramisu, simple lady fingers soaked in espresso and alcohol, topped with whipped egg and mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa powder. As mentioned in my previous postings, Tiramisu is NEVER a cake and tiramisu is meant to be NON-HALAL! The version here could is a strong contender to the one I tried in The Bistro, Impiana.  Not too sure they are using the rum or coffee liquor like Bailey’s, one thing for sure is we are hooked upon the first bite. The strong espresso with smooth creamy cheese coupled with a slight burning aftertaste down your throat has indeed won our hearts. This is RM12 worth paying for and this is definitely one portion I do not wish to share it with others. Very well executed!

Another Italian dessert which is lesser known compared to the Tiramisu is the Panna Cotta (RM10). Not to be confused with Crème Brulee, which is egg custard, Panna Cotta is more like pudding made from simmering cream, sugar and gelatin. One man's meat is another man's poison - I still prefer the Creme Brulee. To be honest, the colour looks like this pudding has lost its touch of being premium, rather it looks like a dessert you can find in any hotel buffet spread... or worse still, at the end of any set meals in Western restaurant

Ending this meal with a hot cup of Capuccino. No signs of sophisticated coffee brewing machine in sight. Coffee is is just above average in terms of richness and overall mouth feel. A standard hot cuppa is in the range of RM5-7, while the iced version is RM1-2 extra.

They take pride in using Lavazza coffee, which is a premium brand for those caffeine addicts who enjoys premium coffee beverages.

For those who prefer non caffeinated beverages. opt for drinks like hot chocolate with marshmallow (RM5.50) or iced lemon tea (RM4). The drinks are quite reasonably priced. The total damage for a lunch with a "just right" portion came to slightly above RM160 for 4 persons. The pricing might be slightly above the average as hell did not broke lose when the orders are being taken. Perhaps you might wanna give this place a try before the 6%+10% taxes effect starts to kick in. Imagine paying RM16 extra for RM100 spent. Do give this a place a try though personally I feel there are a lot of hit and misses in the food (especially the presentation)