I remember my birthday meal last year was arranged by Crystal in an Italian joint Neroteca. This year Crystal did the arrangements again. And it was a surprise of sort. The place she initially picked was some place in Aman Suria, PJ. But that place had a function and was full house. So she did a last minute change and we ended up in yet another Italian place - the d'italiane.
The d'italiane is located on the ground floor of the Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya, PJ. It is at the outside concourse of the mall.
The restaurant is rather big. They have a small outdoor (smoking?) dining area. Inside, it has a nice contemporary decor. The setting was right for a quiet relaxing meal.
My first surprise was seeing SP, Mei and Van in the restaurant. I thought it was to be a quiet threesome. Crystal arranged their presence. It certainly was nice to have them.
Their menu was like a newspaper.I wondered why it was D'Times. The variety and selection was pretty good. But I did not have to crack my heads over it. Crystal did the ordering.
The waiters laid our table. And no, it is not my camera or your eyes.
The glasses were indeed crooked.
The food were delivered very promptly. We started with the salads. This was the Sicilian chicken salad with roasted chicken strips, diced tomato, sliced peach, grapes, pine nuts and mixed salad tossed in herb dressing and served with a mustard sauce. It was a good salad. The flavour was mixed and varied. I enjoyed the variety.
The second salad was with roasted pumpkin, chick peas, rockets and lettuce, tossed in herb dressing and served with grated feta cheese. It was quite an unique salad. The roasted pumpkin was very nice.
The fresh mushroom soup was served with decorative cream and bread. The flavour was mild and pleasant.
This orange coloured soup was pumpkin and tomato. The combination was not bad at all, but it was somewhat stronger in flavour. I liked the mushroom more.
We ordered garlic bread to go with the soups, not knowing that bread came with the soup. But no regrets. The garlic bread was very well done. I enjoyed it.
The first of the entrees was this smoked duck pizza. Besides strips of duck meat, there were button mushroom, sliced garlic and spring onion, covered with mozzarella cheese and a base of roma tomato sauce. The pizza was delicious. The crust was perfect. I had double helpings of it. I guess it is a birthday boy privilege.
This was spinach ricotta ravioli. The ravioli was stuffed with ricotta cheese, cooked in a spinach and pesto sauce, and topped with roasted pine nuts. I am no big fan for ravioli. I find them rather doughy. The spinach and pesto flavour was good.
There was a choice of chicken or beef in this carbonara spaghetti. We opted for chicken. It was cooked with button mushrooms, herbs and garlic. The flavour was very good. But the al dente of the pasta was not totally satisfactory. I found it a little soggy.
This was the river prawn arrabiata spaghetti. Arrabiatta is a kind of spicy tomato sauce, which I liked. Again the pasta was not great in texture, but the sauce and fresh prawn made up for it.
The "jumbo" lamb shank was not exactly that big. It was served with mashed potato, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot. The meat was rather soft but the flavour of the sauce was good.
Finally, we had this pimento chicken. It was pieces of grilled chicken thigh cooked in pimento sauce and served with rosemary potato and some mixed vegetables. I liked the taste of the pimento. It was slightly spicy and added a lot of flavour to the chicken. The rosemary potato was very nice too.
It was a very satisfying meal. d'italiane did a very creditable job. I enjoyed the meal. Then I got my second surprise. The waiters walked out with the birthday cake. I was a little flustered. Crystal had arranged all these. And it was a good cake too - green tea and red beans.
I had a most enjoyable birthday evening.