IL Bacaro restaurant in Campbell House is the place to be in Penang, when one fancies savouring the heartwarming flavours of Italy.
Nestled at the intersection of Campbell Street and Cintra Street in George Town, it is known for its authentic dishes and house creations. The latter, while modern, remain true to the cuisine’s traditions.
Regardless, all are made with fine imported ingredients and fresh local produce.
The a la carte menu has all the time-honoured classics, from antipasto to pastas, pizzas, and grilled meat and seafood items.
But keep an eye out for the daily specials board — which offer an ever-changing selection of items based on what is available and in season.
Currently, it includes the Crabmeat Linguine with Bottarga — whose tasty chunks of crustacean meat and cured fish roe, tossed with al dente pasta, olive oil and garlic, is sure to resonate with locals.
“Traditionally, the only Aglio Olio pasta we eat in Italy is Peperoncino with chillies. But we noticed that Malaysians like it with added meat or seafood, and came up with this,” explained owner Roberto Dreon.
A native of Venice, he enjoys bringing over and sharing the culinary traditions of his homeland. And locals’ increasingly adventurous palates have certainly warmed to it.
Also debuting recently is the T-Bone Steak Fiorentina, or grilled aged beef with Porcini mushroom sauce, mustard mayonnaise, roast potatoes and vegetables.
While many Malaysians might not associate steak with Italian cuisine, this hearty cut, weighing no less than 500gm, is a typical dish in the region of Tuscany.
Best shared by two persons or more, it is served carved up for diners’ convenience. And it has quickly become a crowd favourite.
“Customers love it. Some even phone more family members or friends to come here and indulge together, once they see it’s available for the day,” Dreon revealed.
There is also the Whole Baked Snapper with Olives, Cherry Tomatoes and Mushrooms, a house creation that spotlights fresh local fish.
“The accompaniments give it a Mediterranean flavour, and similar to how we prepare fish in Italy,” he added.
The restaurant, modelled after quaint Venetian backstreet taverns, also serves Italian wines and ciccheti (tapas-styled small plates), making it a great place to meet up and munch.
Business hours are 8am to 10.30pm daily. Breakfast is also available.
For more information or reservations, visit www.campbellhousepenang.com or call 04-2618290.