Michelangelo’s Ristorante Italiano, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
By its name alone, you know straight away that it is an Italian restaurant.
Michelangelo’s Ristorante Italiano opened in 2007. It is located at the bustling Connection area of the Pavilion shopping centre in the heart of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. As you enter the restaurant you are immediately drawn to the huge replica of the famous Michelangelo painting on the wall, The Creation of Adam. Other works of art are also displayed across the room which makes for a very elegant yet relaxed dining experience, as if you are dining in the very comforts of your own home, but with what you would call in Italy a cameriere (waiter)!
The Tortelli-making workshop
There were twenty enthusiastic Enakers, notably all ladies, who attended this interactive lunch event orchestrated by our very own MCG President, Ay Ling Liem. An introductory speech was given by both Ay Ling and the owner of Michelangelo’s, Dilys Chiam, before the start of the workshop. Two long tables were set up in the dining area of the restaurant to allow for the class, which were quickly rearranged to accommodate other diners who came for lunch afterwards. A well-presented menu for the day and the recipe for Tortelli along with a blank sheet of paper and a pen for note-taking were also provided to each of the participants, which was much appreciated - great organisation!
Chef Mark was the lucky man enlisted to mentor the ladies. He has been with Michelangelo’s for the last fifteen years, starting as a kitchen assistant and after many years of dedicated service and commitment top quality food, he is now Michelangelo’s Sous Chef.
At the workshop we learned the basic ingredients used in making fresh pasta and how easy and simple it is to make; flour, eggs, salt, and maybe a little bit of water, if you’re finicky, are all you need to make fresh pasta, and of course the very handy pasta machine for ease in rolling and flattening the dough before shaping it into tortellis. Who knew! However, due to time constraints we didn’t actually get to make the dough ourselves as Chef Mark had already prepared two blocks for us in advance. Similarly, we didn’t get to prepare the salmon filling ourselves as Chef Mark had it readily available for us too. It came as a relief to some of us who were beginning to get hungry by midday, but quite a disappointment to others who wished they had made the dough and the salmon filling themselves. At any rate, we learned the theory for both.
The fun part was the actual pressing of the dough, which we did, into the pasta machine, a few times at different settings, until we reached the desired thinness before cutting into squares and stuffing them with the salmon filling. The tricky part though, as most of us found, was the twisting of the stuffed tortellis to make them look like small hats! Some came out looking like mini hats alright, the rest like UFOs! But once we got the hang of it, the tortellis mostly came out just fine. I guess the artistic spirit of Michelangelo himself rubbed off on all of us! And they were all edible!
Lunch is served, Buon Appetito!
After the very enjoyable workshop, it was time to be seated and wait for our hearty meal that consisted of Zuppa di Pomodoro (homemade tomato soup with herbs and cream served with toasted baguette) followed by Insalata di Brezzolata and Provola (mesclun salad with provola cheese, pear, beef bacon, mushrooms sultanas, avocado, croutons, capsicums and sesame seeds served with balsamic dressing) to start with. The main course was none other than (our) Tortelli Salmonati in cream saffron sauce which was delicious! Cannolini for dessert (tubes of crispy pastry filled with vanilla custard cream) was served next. All delightful, washed down with iced lemon tea, and thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. There was, however, some confusion and delay in serving the coffee and tea later on. Some of us didn’t get served our coffee/tea at all, unfortunately. I guess by this time, the serving staff were already inundated with other guests who have come for their lunch break.
Truly a wholesome and fun culinary experience to remember! Not only did we learn how to make tortellis, we got to eat them too! And more than anything, we all enjoyed catching up with one another while savouring yet another delicious Enak Xtra meal together! More to come, per favore!
Contributed by Ana Liza Johnson