Pearl and I headed over to Villa Danieli at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur on 8 April 2014 for the exclusive media preview of their Santa Margherita Wine Dinner. Villa Danieli is one of my favourite romantic Italian restaurants and I’ve had some fond memories there during my visit to try out their 4-course Frescobaldi Italian Wine Dinner – https://timchew.net/2013/10/10/romantic-dining-spots-villa-danieli-sheraton-imperial-kl/ in October 2013, and then again in December 2013 to try out their special Christmas and NYE menu – https://timchew.net/2013/12/17/food-review-christmas-and-nye-menu-at-sheraton-imperial-kl/. There are lots of photos of the interior of the restaurant in both of those posts therefore I didn’t include any in this one.
The menu was specially designed by Chef Kamaruddin Adnin, the Executive Sous Chef of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, who has 16 years of culinary experience from the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur to cruise ships Royal Viking Sun and Seabourn Sun Ship, and even the Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna in Abu Dhabi. His special menu for the restaurant only available in April 2014, consists with a 5-course Italian set menu paired with some specially chosen Santa Margherita wines.
The Santa Margherita Wine Estate was founded in 1935 by Gaetano Marzotto whose goal was to make wines from a single varietal that spoke of the region as much as the grape. Santa Margherita incorporates three of Italy’s most important premium wine production areas: the Eastern Veneto, the valley of the River Adige and the hills between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. Each of the zones have specific characteristics that render them unique, and together with the complex composition of their soils and their different climates, enables the wineries to produce wines of outstanding quality.
Fast forward 80 years later and Santa Margherita wines are available in over 70 countries, and are known for their easy drinking and easy pairing with food. More info on Santa Magherita wines at http://www.santamargherita.com
With me was the Sony Alpha 5000 which I’m current reviewing and you can find more info on the camera at http://bit.ly/1eLboU1
On hand to teach us about the wines was Reuben Arthur who is a full time Food and Beverage lecturer at Taylor’s University, with 17 years of experience in their School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts where he specializes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Reuben is also part of the Sommelier Association of Malaysia, and holds a level 3 Advance certificate in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in the UK, and is the only certified WSET teacher in the country.
Pre Dinner Drink ~ Santa Margherita Brut Valdobiadene DOCG
Smoked duck breast with caramelized apple, mint and berries coulis
We started off the night with some prosecco which was paired with the amuse bouche, with the sweet notes of peach, apricot and citrus of the rather dry and delicate prosecco contrasting against the savoury smoked duck breast. The beautifully cooked duck did not have the strong duck smell and was accompanied by the sweet and minty coulis which lent even more balance of flavours to the dish although the duck breast on its own was so good I could have had at least 10 more pieces with the prosecco.
I must say that this was one of the better starters that I’ve had in quite a while! I also thought the presentation was very eye-catching indeed and of course I had to upload this to my Instagram even though it was only an amuse bouche (follow me at http://instagram.com/timchew1311). #shamelessadvertising
Button mushroom crusted with mascarpone and goat cheese served with rocket salad and herbs oil
Ox tongue timbale with gherkin, roasted cherry tomato, sour parsley pesto and balsamic reduction
The button mushrooms are bursting with flavours and is a good mix of earthy flavours of the mushroom and creamy flavours of the cheese, with the ever so slightly bitter taste of the rocket. The ox tongue is so tender and melts in the mouth and is accompanied with some acidity from the gherkins and tomatoes. A finely balanced dish indeed! Both go beautifully with the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C which imparts a clean, intense taste with slight hints of apples.
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C
Squid ink agnaloti stuffed with cream cod in parmesan sauce and crispy shimeji
You would think that shimeji is only found in East Asia and so did I but after a little research I discovered that the mushrooms are also found in Northern Europe! In any case they lent a little earthy and nutty flavours to the agnaloti (which is somewhat similar to a ravioli) which hides some cod in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with shavings of cheese! This is definitely one for cheese lovers like me!
The dish was paired with the Santa Margherita Chianti Classico D.O.C.G which I thought was a lovely wine indeed with wild berry fruit notes with hints of spices!
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico D.O.C.G
Main (choice of)
Crispy skinned salmon with spinach, chickpea, glazed Belgium endive and orange reduction
Honey lamb ribs with gorgonzola mashed potato, roasted vegetable and natural jus
I suggest that one person order the salmon and the other the lamb, then share as both mains are really delicious! Both the fish and lamb are paired with the Ca’del Bosco Carmenero which is a complex and full bodied wine with notes ranging from ripened fruits, blueberries jam, liquorice, chestnut and cocoa. You can definitely taste the tannins which are good and well balanced on the finish.
My favourite part of the dish was the crispy salmon skin. The fish was fresh and went well with the accompaniments however I do think this wine goes better with the lamb. I suggest that you save some Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C from the second course to go with the fish then enjoy the Carmenero on its own after you finish this course.
The lamb ribs though went superbly well with the wine and was hearty yet tender and most flavourful. Loved the creamy mashed potatoes too!
Ca’del Bosco Carmenero
Lemon crème chiboust with sable crumble and strawberry sauce
A creamy, slightly sweet, with a little lemon twang dessert that was a lovely way to end the meal, especially when paired with Illyquore which is essentially illy espresso and Campari. Illyquore is a 28-proof (14% alcohol) coffee liquer with rich notes of dark chocolate, vanilla bean and illy espresso, and can be served straight over ice, or shaken with other ingredients in a cocktail. I must get myself a bottle of this to keep in my fridge!
Illyquore Coffee Liquor
This special five-course Italian dining set menu in Villa Danieli is priced at RM180.00++ per person, and runs from 8 April 2014 to 30 April 2014. You have the option of adding on the wine package for the pairing of Santa Margherita wines for an additional of RM150.00++
SPG members have an added benefit and will enjoy 20% discount off total food bill at Villa Danieli (terms and conditions apply).
Villa Danieli is located at
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Lunch from 12.00 noon to 2.30pm from Mondays to Fridays
Dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm from Mondays to Saturdays.
The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Parking: There is ample parking in the hotel’s basement parking lot. Don’t forget to validate your parking ticket at the reception to get the flat rate.
Photos shot with the Sony Alpha 5000. More info on the camera at http://bit.ly/1eLboU1