Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a little ravenous rabbit introduced us to her cousin, one of the other rabbits that had multiplied like rabbits in a fertile faraway land, who had invited a group of motley hungry floggers*, to sample the new treats they had to offer. Unlike the Witch who beckoned Hansel and Gretel to her gingerbread house, and subsequently ate them, our wonderful hostess, Cheryl Lum of Meridien, just fattened us up without eating us while we aspired to live happily ever after.
*Us comprising the Famousest Flogger of All, KY Speaks, The Queen of the DSLR Kingdom, AWhiffoffart (oops, I mean awhiffoflemongrass), The Queen of the Flogging Kingdom, Masak Masak, The Flying Winged Monkeys, Ciki and A LilFatMonkey (the penguin equivalent of Flying monkeys, ie, flightless), and The Baker who made the gingerbread man....
Favola means "FABLE" in Italian.
What was previously the Middle Eastern Al Nafourah no longer has belly dancers, but murals and frescos made to resemble some casual alfresco dining place in Italy. Check out the man in the mask groping the lady's chest.
The lovely breads. Actually if you are on a low budget, just come here and eat lots of bread, with the lovely potato truffle flavoured dip, and order a small starter. Sure full one! (don't kill me please, Cheryl).
Cold Antipasti (RM35 for a selection of 5) from the Crudo Bar which includes the following:
i. Octopus tossed with chopped garlic, chili flakes, sea salt & olive oil. The octopus was surprisingly tender, and not like something from the Michellin (tyre) factory.
ii. Seafood Salad in a dressing of garlic, chili-olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkled with Italian parsley
iii. Bresaola, shaved dried beef topped with aragula, fresh fig, pink peppercorn, drizzled with lemon juice and extra virgin oil.
iv. Bruschetta with cured salmon, portobello mushrooms and buffalo mozzarella topping
v. Caprese, a unique salad of buffalo mozzarella layered between slices of tomato, basil, anchovies, garlic confit, and oregano.
(Note: Food titles and some descriptions have been shamelessly plagiarised from Alilfatmonkey's blog, since my memory is failing me)
The platter of Warm Caldo Antipasti (which could lead to an angioplasty) included crispy sardines, which were my favourite, coz I don't think I've had them before, breaded cod fritters, with a duo of dipping sauces, of which the garlic sauce was sublime, and Panzerotti. (the curry puff shaped ones). I loved them, because I thought the pastry tasted delightfully buttery. But apparently, its pizza dough, ....perhaps it was fried in butter. Perfect finger foods.
Another starter, crispy pizza dough with olives kinda thing.
While the rest of the table was sitting down in civilised conversation, the two monkeys were roaming the restaurant, trying out the most amazing fruity balsamic, and err....making monkeys of themselves. In an adorable way, of course.
The lobster risotto. Usually not a risotto fan, I found this one quite palatable, perhaps it has been made to cater to our uncultured palate. Not too aldente, but not soggy either.
The Wagyu Cheek Lasagna. Actually it was great, but I felt it would have been just as good with any normal beef. Lovely layers of freshly made lasagna. Eat your heart out, Garfield.
The Conchiglioni Marinara al Cartoccio
Shell shaped pasta, served in parchment paper. Must be inspired by Seri Kembangan chi pau kai. Nicely al dente, and not overpowered by sauces, you could taste the tastiness of the pasta itself, complemented by the subtle tomatoey clammy sauce.
Veal Escalope Duo Mondi, one seared, one breaded. With a generous serving of truffle mashed potatoes. I prefer the seared veal.
The veal osso bucco in rich jus. I love sucking the marrow.
Seared scallops on a bed of mashed cauliflower doused with truffle oil. How can you possibly go wrong with such a divine combination. Hmmm, I feel like having this for lunch.
The honored cast for the fable that night. We had to get home before we turned into pumpkins, before midnight.
Say Chis Everyone. Let's grope the grappa.
Thamby: Shall I snip off his name tag?
KY: Blink blink, pinch me, am I dreaming, surrounded by such HAWT HAWT CHICKS!!!! I must be in a fable....
One of the house specialties, Mussels err....in a tomato sauce. Although we were bursting at the seams by this time, Cheryl insisted we had a mussel each.
Monkey moans that he has more Mussels!!!
The jolly Chef Antoine and the lovely Paprika aka Ravenous Rabbit.
That blurry thing is actually the empty bone which had its marrow sucked out. (No no no, not the bones in focus. The unfocused one)
Note: How does one pass the meat dishes to CIKI? "Here please pass the meat to those bones"
Their signature Tiramisu. Yummy layers of sponge, soaked in Illy Coffee and slathered with mascarpone and chocolate. This is why the rabbit lost to the tortoise in the race. Too much tiramisu.
A ricotta thingie with summer fruits. Very light, almost yoghurty, and resembles a very healthy breakfast.
My personal favourite for the night, the Panna Cotta with a summer fruit coulis. The texture of the panna cotta was amazing, and the sweetness was balanced by the tangy coulis. Yum.
At the end of it all, the hostess with the mostest tosses her hair back in satisfaction, knowing that her harem* was well fed and contented.
What a feast. And some VERY POTENT GRAPPA at the end to finish us off. Heaps of thanks to Ravenous Rabbit for securing us the invite, and to Cheryl for having us.
Prices are very reasonable. Considering the location and 5 star venue, the prices are comparable with your normal Changkat BB kinda outlets. A casual happy atmosphere, (not the quiet quiet prim proper fine dining atmosphere), a great place to hang out with friends.
And so, we lived happily ever after.
*Special Acknowledgement to Kenny Mah for helping me with my vocabulary.