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La Risata @ Persiaran Ampang

Angeline Sunday, May 29, 2011 , , ,

La Risata

What makes a great pizza? Everyone has different versions of the perfect pizza, and to me, a great pizza has absolutely thin crust that is crispy at the edges, light, has cheesy toppings and most importantly, wood-fired. That, coupled with the fact that I’m a sucker for Italian food, landed us at La Risata one fine evening with some lovely company. It was my first time there, and the dining area boasted raw brick walls which gave it a casual yet cosy ambience especially on a rainy night.

La Risata
La Risata
16 Persiaran Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel No: +603-4252 6269 Fax: +603-4257 9503
La Risata
The restaurant has 2 levels, the ground floor which is more casual and the first floor with a more formal table-clothed environment.
La Risata 
While waiting for our orders to arrive, we were served with a basket of white bread with a side of home made olive sauce which was made from mashed olives soaked in olive oil. It may seem overwhelming with an overload of olives but trust me, this was simply gorgeous with white bread! The paste gave a certain bite as well as a nice sour taste to the otherwise plain bread. I had two pieces with the olive paste spread liberally on them.
La Risata 

Antipasti Misti (RM42)
The Antipasti Misti was a platter of grilled mushrooms, deep fried calamari rings, beef carpaccio, garlic crostini, gnocchi and chicken liver pate. Among these, I especially enjoyed the chicken liver pate spread on top the crispy garlic crostini. The pate was smooth and dense, with a very flavourful and velvety finish that was actually pretty addictive. That aside, the beef carpaccio topped with mushroom and cheese was a wonderful combination too. The sauteed mushrooms managed to half-cook the carpaccio and the partially melted cheese on top gave it a nice savoury finish. What a genius combo!

Insalata Dea / Goddess Salad (RM22)
When the Insalata Dea or Goddess Salad was served, I was surprised by how generous the portion was, topped with slices of grilled chicken, croutons and creamy herb dressing. The leaves were fresh but being me, chicken breast will always be a tad too dry for my liking.
Minestrone Soup (RM10)
You know whenever you dine at any restaurant serving a specific cuisine, there is usually a specific dish that you would order to gauge the restaurant’s standard. For Saucer, his gauge in an Italian restaurant is the Minestrone soup. The soup had a generous amount of vegetables but he thought that it lacked the herb flavour and was overpowered by the tomato base.

Pizza Carbonara (RM28)
The star of the night was, of course pizzas! The first of the lot was Pizza Carbonara, with beef bacon, mushrooms, mozarella and parmesan cheese on top. Thin crust? Check. Crispy at the edges? Check. Cheesy? Double check! The added beef bacon was simply a bonus to this wonderfully prepared pizza which was light and savoury. The uneven charred edges were tell-tale signs that this was baked in a wood-fired oven, to perfection, no less.

Pizza D’Anatra (RM36)
Another pizza worthy of mention was the Pizza D’Anatra, which was topped with smoked duck, rocket leaves, anchovy and mozzarella. The smoked duck added a creative touch to the pizza, not to mention the anchovies that gave it a nice crunchy bite. And to top them off, fresh rocket leaves which somehow made the ensemble balanced and right. Love it!

Zuppa di Pesce (RM62)
For seafood lovers, the Zuppa di Pesce was paradise! It was a huge serving of prawns, squids, mussels, clams and fish in a rich and thick tomato sauce which doubled as a hearty soup. The hint of garlic and parsley was distinct in the savoury and sour soup, with succulent seafood to boot. This was definitely a dish meant to be shared.

Spaghetti Alla Risata (RM35)
To me, I gauge an Italian restaurant with how good their pastas are. So when the Spaghetti Alla Risata came wrapped in an aluminum foil, I was eagerly anticipating of what laid beneath. Lo and behold, piping hot spaghetti mixed with a variety of seafood, tossed with Napoli sauce with a strong aroma attacked me. It immediately perked my senses. Anything served piping hot deserves a +1! The seafood was fresh, the sauce was not overly sour, and the spaghetti al-dente. I certainly had no complaints.

Gnocchi Ai Gamberi (RM22)
The Gnocchi Ai Gamberi looked like plain potato dumplings at first sight, but looks can be deceiving. These mini potato balls had a slightly crispy outer layer with bouncy and fluffy interior. Oh, and don’t forget the buttery coat on the surface – aromatic!

Stinco D’Agnello (RM34)
If I didn’t know Italian, I would think that Stinco D’Agnello refers to something that stinks. But no, Stinco refers to shank, and this dish of wood fired oven braised lamb shank was baked to perfection before being smothered with rosemary sauce. The lamb was amazingly tender and juicy, a proof of the many hours that it had been in the oven. Couple that with creamy and smooth mashed potatoes, it’s every man’s best friend.
Crema Catalana Napoletana (RM16)

Desserts were a trio of Creme Brulee, Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. The Crema Catalana Napoletana, a trio of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry creme brulee were served warm with the right amount of caramelized layer on top. Scooping the creme brulee while making a cracking sound through the caramel was just liberating. Yes, it was that thick. And delightfully rich too.
Tiramisu (RM16)

The Tiramisu was decadent and extremely rich with the thick and smooth mascarpone cream cheese filling a sizable glass, but I would have preferred it better with the addition of liquor.
Panna Cotta (RM12)
Last but not least, the best dessert of the lot, in my opinion, was the Panna Cotta. This smooth cream pudding was topped with caramel sauce that was not overly sweet. But the main point was how exceptionally smooth and soft the texture of the panna cotta was! It was light as air and smooth as silk. This was a dessert like no other and I fell in love with it!
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