Modern Italian marvels at new Italian eatery Aposto


The saba on toast is an addictive little treat that is a sure-fire hit. — APOSTO KL

For years, Chu Wei Sin worked as a chef in other people’s restaurants, building an enviable resume and collecting experiences in eateries in the United States, New Zealand and Malaysia, to name a few.

But like many passionate young kitchen mavens, he dreamt of one day opening his own restaurant. So in April this year, he launched his fledgling eatery, named Aposto KL in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Aposto may be just a few months old, but it has already earned a sterling reputation – which also means reservations are hard to come by as tables are snapped up to a month in advance.

Chu opened Aposto, serving modern Italian fare, in April. — APOSTO KLChu opened Aposto, serving modern Italian fare, in April. — APOSTO KL

The restaurant is cosy and modern with a vast open kitchen – helmed by Chu – taking centre stage. Across the eatery, Chu has peppered tiny little details that add sparkle and personality. Like a cleverly-designed map of the neighbourhood with “Aposto” emblazoned on it.

The menu has been designed around the concept of modern Italian food, to mimic the hearty, strong flavours he grew up with in Klang, Selangor.

“I selected Italian cuisine because it resonated the most with me in terms of flavour profile. I am from Klang, so flavours are big and bold, so Italian food has that effect on taste profiles as well.

“So when I talk about Italian food, I am doing modern Italian. This is more of the Italian that we Malaysians know and love, but with new ingredients as well as techniques – that’s why I call it modern Italian,” he says.

Chu also built on his childhood memories of eating around the dinner table or going out for family gatherings, and brought the essence and soul of those experiences to Aposto.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic these past couple of years, people have been really cut off from others and everything has become so impersonal. So when I designed this place, I did it as an open dining concept, so you can see the kitchen and the bar and you can talk to the chefs. It is a lot about communal dining and communion and connecting people,” he says.

The eatery is built around the concept of an open kitchen so diners can see Chu in action. — ABIRAMI DURAI/The StarThe eatery is built around the concept of an open kitchen so diners can see Chu in action. — ABIRAMI DURAI/The Star

The food at Aposto reflects Chu’s ability to build and develop flavour into every morsel and mouthful of food that he puts on the plate. There is a focus on good ingredients and hard work in terms of making everything from stocks to sauces to pasta and ricotta cheese from scratch, which makes a meal here both satisfying as well as very, very soulful and real.

To start, try the Oysters & Granita (RM42 for two pieces). Here, you will discover fresh Irish oysters set against a backdrop of green apple granita and lumpfish caviar. This is an incredibly refreshing opener that combines the briny, aquatic qualities of the oysters, which are very plump and fresh against a fresh, icy cold acidic counterpoint that also has traces of umami notes from the caviar. It’s a bold, unapologetically good introduction to a meal here.

Fresh Irish oysters set against a green apple granita is a captivating combination. — APOSTO KLFresh Irish oysters set against a green apple granita is a captivating combination. — APOSTO KL

Up next, definitely indulge in the Saba on Toast (RM36 for three pieces). Done in the style of a bruschetta, this meal features house-pickled and toasted saba (mackerel) with gremolata, feta and sunflower seeds on toasted ciabatta.

This is a meal that bewitches and entices from the beginning – from the slight crunch and yield of the bread to the mackerel, which retains an understated fishy element, tempered by the pickling and torching. It is an addictive little treat so make sure to get an entire portion for yourself if you’re feeling particularly greedy.

From the curated selection of handmade pastas on offer, indulge in the Mushroom Agnolotti (RM60). These are plump little pasta pillows filled with mushroom and ricotta with an indulgent mushroom sauce artfully placed throughout the dish. Scattered astride this meal are shimeiji mushrooms, sautéed in soy sauce and butter. On top is a smattering of Parmigiana-Reggiano to round out the meal.

This is a pasta to remember – a vegetarian beauty with nirvanic pleasure coursing through its veins. The mushroom pasta pillows are voluptuous with a hint of a bite and this succumbs to an interior filled with creamy cheese and mushroom. It’s a combination that is thoughtful and clever, one that will leave a lasting impression, long after every last bit of this meal has been wiped clean off the plate.

Fat hand-made pasta parcels stuffed with mushroom and ricotta form the bedrock of this instantly satisfying meal. — ABIRAMI DURAI/The StarFat hand-made pasta parcels stuffed with mushroom and ricotta form the bedrock of this instantly satisfying meal. — ABIRAMI DURAI/The Star

From a journey through more carnivorous terrain, check out Chu’s Twice-Cooked Lamb Ribs (RM110). This meal pays homage to Chu’s grandfather, a staunch lamb devotee who recently passed away. The lamb is braised, then grilled and features a pomegranate-coffee glaze that bears a distant resemblance to marmite chicken, a staple in some Chinese restaurants.

Even if you have a huge appetite, this is a meal that does best as a sharing course. The lamb is incredible – the fat is melty to the touch and the meat within is tender to its very core. But because of the high fat content, it is nay impossible to polish off the ribs on your own – try as you might – and the dish will likely get a tad cloying if you attempt to do this on your own. So heed this advice and share!

The MB5 Wagyu Sirloin 200g (RM180) is an uncomplicated meal that features good produce cooked exceptionally well. Here, you will discover charcoal-grilled Australian wagyu served alongside smashed potatoes and a tomato compound butter made in-house.

The wagyu is superlative – a char on the skin and perfectly pink, moist meat on the inside that delivers a malleable, almost melt-in-the-mouth texture. The smashed potatoes are not too memorable but the compound butter lends rich notes to each mouthful of beef in what can only be described as a meeting of soulmates.

The tiramisu features all the usual components of this Italian dessert but with a slight twist.The tiramisu features all the usual components of this Italian dessert but with a slight twist.

For a sweet ending, savour the Tiramisu (RM36; no liquor) which is a deconstructed version of a classic featuring coffee-soaked savoiardi biscuits, mascarpone, chocolate mousse and a crunchy tuille topped with coffee meringue.

This is a delightful rendition of tiramisu – all the familiar flavours are couched in a different configuration so you get a sense of déjà vu without experiencing exactly the same thing. The coffee meringue is a stand-out in this iteration of this dessert and you might find yourself developing a serious obsession after the first bite.

Chu says his goal with Aposto is to keep getting better and keep growing his customer base.

“We are new in the industry and we’ve gotten a good following so far but there’s always a lot for us to improve. Even the dishes that we have from day one have always been constantly improved. My goal is to give customers a better experience in general and build and improve the restaurant,” he shares.

Aposto KL

38, Lorong Kajai 14,

Taman Tun Dr Ismail

60000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 010-282 4990

Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 5.30pm-11pm

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