Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Grazie Ristorante

Aeons ago, 7 of us known as 'The Loans Girls' (as versus the Accounts, or Admin or RD Girls) were living the high life, working and partying without a care. We used to get together often to cook up a big meal--steamboat usually--and spend the night yakking our jaws off about who, what, where, when. In those days we never heard of cellulite or blocked arteries, such was the bliss of youth, and food was our biggest obsession next to shopping and travelling. Through the years, most of us got married, and three from the group drifted overseas, one to the US, one Canada and the third, Australia. The remaining pathetic four tried bravely to hold on to the eating culture of The Loans Girls, but with increasing family responsibilities and waistlines, we were lucky if we met up to eat more than twice a year.

Last Monday, the 4 of us--who would've thought V with her western ways would end up living here while K would marry a Kevin Bacon-lookalike and live in the US--left our responsibilities hehind and spent a delightful evening catching up (meaning yakking about who, who with, where, when, what?! After all the shocking news about failed marriages and so on, we looked at each other and V said (paraphased), "Hey, we all made it through so far, not bad!" I felt a little sad, that we--those fine boys and girls in the bank 20 years ago--have all finally grown up and that those days of innocence and wonder were now gone. Heck.) over an Italian meal (and a bottle of good merlot) at Grazie Ristorante, Ground Floor, Wisma MAA.

What is it about old friends that no matter how long you haven't seen each other, you can transcend that time gap and pick up where you last met? The bond of old friendships, sealed through more than 20 years of love and support for each other through ups and downs, is so comfortable that none of us need to put up pretences (and if we did, would not be allowed to get away with) about our lives, work or whatever situation. I truly thank God for friends like P, V and R! And the runaway 3 of course, one of whom is coming back to visit in 2 weeks. More feasting to come.

P had warned us about the food at Grazie, but I insisted on going there because I'd never been there. I heard that the chef is from that Italian restaurant in Jesselton Hotel but there was no Italian hunk in the kitchen that night except for a local guy who was very good at twirling pizza dough into the air. We shared our orders (now that we have at last acknowledged the orange peel skin on our thighs as cellulite) which were very distinctly diverse, ranging from downright inedible to very good. And if they are reading this, I would suggest some good old Italian music instead of Michael Bolton over and over.

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Zuppa de mare--good, with big chunks of fresh seafood but unnecessarily hot with the addition of lots of chili strips and I'd rather the tomatoes aren't so liquidised. Portion was small. RM12.90/US$4.

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I can't remember what salad this was but I can tell you we were squinting and making eyes at each other when eating it because the dressing was so sour! The portion again was small which was just as well because given the pH2 dressing and boring ingredients we couldn't finish it. Can't remember the price...

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Prawns linguine aglio e oilo (garlic and olive oil). My favorite pasta sauce is not with tomato passata or cream, it's with lots of aglio and the best olive olio. This was surprisingly good, better than other pasta aglio e olio I've had recently (except for the best one I had, in Perth of all places). If I have to find fault in this, it'll be that it tasted slightly too creamy or buttery instead of tasting light. But, still, it was good.

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I'd go back to Grazie for their pizzas, although when I do, I'll order the small pizzas instead of large (no medium) because the large was so large the slice of pizza couldn't hold up and was folding under. RM23.90/US$7.50, pretty reasonable.

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Panna cotta. As with panna cotta, you can never go wrong. However, this was so ridiculously small the four of us had only a teaspoon each. RM8.80/US$2.50

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Ai yayaya. This was the worst tiramisu I've ever eaten. I couldn't taste any liquor or mascarpone, just soggy sponge fingers with coffee and chocolate. RM8.80/US$2.50

And that, folks, is Grazie, a restaurant that serves food that can range from awful to awesome in one meal.

9 comments:

CK-II said...

I don't know why of all the beautiful Italian words, they have chosen 'Grazie'. That's 'Thank You Restaurant' in English! Haha! :D

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

surprisingly i googled n there r many many restaurants called Grazie around the world. must be an italian thing, like how chinese like shops names tt include 'hock' or 'fatt'!

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, Ive been to this restaurant for many many times.. and I found them that they are the best and served REAL Italian foods.!! know what I mean?? REAL"?!!just like they served in ITALY! The foods that youre talking, I dont think they really taste bad as u thought! Bcos I did take the same dishes that you took and I had the best meal in KK! Just how I had my real Italian meal in ITALY... They are using pure Olive Oil and never tasted Butter! o well, differ ppl different tongue!
Everytime I dine there, I always has a chat with the chef and yes 'he's Italian and a chef!' I dont think our local ppl can cook a real Italian food, cant they? I think you as a 'food critics' (if that what you are) better dont critic to the food that is not your Tongue!!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

i don't know why ppl like u get so upset over a food review. if u read well, u'll find tt i liked certain items in grazie. u shd try tt awful salad, on a day when the italian chef is not around. in any case, i always stay true to my tastebuds n if u think it's the best, tt's ur opinion. i also don't think tt mastery in cooking is confined to ur race. some ppl know food n cuisines well n they can cook pretty well anything. n regarding ur last comment, n since u don't have italian tastebuds either, who are u to judge too based on ur criteria of a food critic?

Fooman said...

Ya know, you've yet to do a review of Little Italy.

Yes, I'm leaving comments all over your blog today. Its a slow day. I'm looking up recipes for Pan fried bread to making while camping Sigh..

Fooman said...

Never been to Grazie yet, but I've been to Bella Italia several times when the chef was there. I enjoyed my meal but didn't think it was worth the premium over Little Italy. Time to check out Grazie and see.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

anon: sorry i reacted, friends?

fooman:i haven't done a review of Lit It bc i know many ppl love their food, but i'm like it's ok, so i don't want to invite attacks. this is a tough hobby u know, no pay n no praise...

Shan said...

Wow Terri, another Anon. This sounds like a disgruntled Italian if you ask me.

Funny though. I've traveled extensively in Europe and would never presume to know one food better than another, but that has never stopped me from having my own opinions about what I like and don't like.

Anon, sounds like you're forcing your opinions on to us by telling Terri she doesn't have a right to have hers.

Fooman said...

Aww Terri, wisdom on your part I'd say. Hahah.

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