Strictly keeping with Italian food tradition


The private wine bar where diners can chill the night away.

SAVOUR authentic Italian fare in the Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) neighbourhood by cooks who trained under Italian chef Modesto Marini.

Modi & Rosa Italian Dining and Wine Bar, which is part of the Marini’s Group known for restaurants like Marini’s on 57 and Marble 8, is dishing up flavours that Italian families grew up eating.

The restaurant, located on the lower ground floor of Glo Damansara Mall, prepares its dishes the traditional way.

“The authenticity of this restaurant’s offerings makes it stand out from the others, as dishes are not localised here,” said Marini’s Group assistant business development manager Soey Saw.

She said customers often viewed Italian dishes as being predominantly cheesy and creamy, but this was not the case at Modi & Rosa.

(From left) Fried calamari is on the restaurant‘s tapas menu; Beef Lagsana al Forno consists of more meat and pasta than cheese and cream sauce; Tuna e Tartare di Pomodoro is pan seared tuna with diced tomatoes on toast; and Linguine alla Modi Rosa is wrapped in aluminium foil to retain the flavour of the seafood pasta. — Photos: GLENN GUAN/The Star

The pizza, for example, made from thin crust dough, is not lavish with tomato paste or cheese. Instead, it is topped with fresh ingredients and just enough cheese and tomato for taste and colour.

We were advised to use our hands and fold the pizza slices into half to enjoy their full flavour. The pizza was certainly more flavourful when eaten this way.

The beef lasagna also featured less cheese and sauce. Instead, the focus was on the filling and pasta.

Crema di Funghi is prepared with different types of mushrooms.
Crema di Funghi is prepared with different types of mushrooms

“Some customers are not accustomed to eating it this way, which is as authentic and traditional as it gets.

“We tell diners this is how it is made in Italy and what the chef intended,” said Saw, adding that the chef at Modi & Rosa was trained by Marini for more than 18 years.

Despite spending more than 22 years in Malaysia, Marini does not believe in localising dishes and stays true to his roots.

We also sampled the famous Linguine alla Modi Rosa, which is wrapped in aluminium foil to retain the flavour of the pasta.

Cooked with a generous amount of seafood and featuring a tomato-based sauce, the chewy noodles are tangy.

An interesting condiment apart from the usual salt, pepper, chilli flakes or hot sauce, is the extra virgin olive oil infused with red chillies.

The chilli oil can be mixed with all dishes, including the complimentary bread and pizza crisps served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar before the meal.

We made it a point to try the dishes on their own before mixing the chilli oil for that extra tang.

The only thing we did not try the chilli oil with was the creamy mushroom soup, which was drizzled with truffle oil.

The mushroom soup with different types of mushrooms in its making is rich in flavour.

Proscuitto ai Funghi (left)and Alla Modi Rosa pizza are both signature offerings, featuring house-made crispy thin dough for that authentic Italian dining experience.
Proscuitto ai Funghi (left) and Alla Modi Rosa pizza are both signature offerings, featuring house-made crispy thin dough for that authentic Italian dining experience

Those who prefer meat for their mains can try the juicy and tender Oven Baked Lamb Shank with Herbs or Crispy Duck Leg with Honey Gravy.

Both are served with rich and creamy truffle mash.

Diners can also enjoy drinks and finger food, including tapas, at the bar section. Besides cheese sausage and fried calamari, the signature Tuna e Tartar di Pomodoro, which is pan seared tuna with diced tomatoes served on toast, is recommended.

To end the night, the restaurant has tiramisu infused with alcohol, white and wobbly panna cotta and decadent creme brulee.

“Wine lovers can also try our Anna Fendi or Jarno Bianco wines from Italy,” said Seow.

MODI & ROSA ITALIAN DINING AND WINE BAR, Glo Damansara Mall, LG06.699 Jalan Damansara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-7733 1719) Business hours: 10am to 10pm, noon to 1am (bar section), daily. Pork-free.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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