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Portofino, Bangsar

Portofino, Bangsar

Portofino in Bangsar happens to be one of the Italian restaurants I frequent – clearly because of the location and mostly because I like the ambiance and food. Pricing is reasonable considering the location and service on most of my visits have been consistent.


Four Cheese Pizza

The upper floor is spacious, allowing you to dine comfortable without having to listen to the conversation of the people at the next table. It is also cosy enough to ensure you’re not faced with the formalities of a fancy restaurant.


Portofino Pizza

Portofino serves hearty Italian fare with seafood as a main feature. Or at least that’s what I think. The salads are commendable but I enjoy the pizzas better. My two standard orders? The four cheese pizza (RM34) and Portofino pizza (RM42). The former comes with a melted cheeses (if I’m not mistaken, Reggiano Parmesan and Gorgonzola makes two of them) and a drizzle of olive oil.


Pizza, topped with assorted seafood and cheese

Portofino pizza has a good amount of cheese and seafood, with a light yet flavourful tomato base. If you’re into simpler flavours, the four cheese pizza is recommended. But those who want a heartier start should give this a try.


Portofino Pasta (I changed it to tagliatelle)

My pasta order was also quite consistent – in my last three visits, I’ve had the Portofino Spaghetti (RM38), a sumptuous plate of assorted seafood in creamy tomato sauce and handmade tagliatelle. My only gripe is the pasta texture for it’s a tad overdone for me. I usually ask them to do it al dente but that night, I forgot. :(


Pasta wasn’t quite al dente, unfortunately


Squid ink pasta

rif’s squid ink pasta (RM38) is also a popular item at Portofino and one we tend to order repeatedly. That night, this too, was overdone. But the sauce and seafood flavour was done well. So if you’re planning to visit, remember to mention your pasta texture preference.


Gnocchi with gorgonzola


Spaghetti with pesto

Our friends had the gnocchi with gorgonzola (RM36) and spaghetti with pesto (RM34), both of which were alright but I liked my pasta better. I tend to prefer rich and creamy pastas so pesto isn’t an option I would go for unless it comes highly recommended.


Grilled salmon (catch of the day)



The tiramisu (RM16) is made in-house with Marsala wine and almond liqueur – not bad, but I prefer it more alcohol laden. That’s the best part about eating tiramisu, if you ask me. I didn’t care much for the almond semifreddo (RM18) or apple strudel (RM16), though both were decent. I did find the plating and decoration very identical. 😛


Almond semifreddo


Apple Strudel

Wines are reasonable too; a bottle of house white is RM90, which is why I like coming here with my friends. A night out at Portofino wouldn’t put too big a dent in the wallet.

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Ambiance: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 6.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good ambiance, hearty food and reasonable pricing.

Portofino Restaurant
No. 1, Persiaran Ara Kiri,
Lucky Garden,
Bangsar 59100
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2094 8490
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Baci Italian Cafe, Citta Mall

Baci Italian Cafe, Citta Mall

I remember my days in publishing where I had to review as many as 10 restaurants every month for the food section of the magazine. That, on top of what I was doing for Bangsarbabe.com. While I decide on the content for my blog, it’s not the same when it comes to working for a magazine. The direction of your content is ultimately decided by the advertiser.

Which is why I love being in control of my blog. I choose who I would like to work with and my content direction. Often, clients, advertisers and sponsors think they are the one in power (since they have advertising dollars) but it is also up to the blogger to decide if the collaboration is worth pursuing. Might not be the case for other bloggers but that’s how I roll. 😉



Baci Italian Restaurant in Citta Mall belongs to the group that manages The Apartment, Malones, and Italiannies, and claims to serve simple Italian cuisine and of course, Italian coffee. While some bloggers said good things about their food, my visit to the outlet was less than memorable. Service was sour and many of the food items were not available, presumably because it was a few days after Christmas.


Smoked beef bacon sandwich

Our table of five tried a few of their specialties – smoked beef bacon sandwich (RM16.90), chicken mushroom pie (RM18.90), spicy shrimp aglio olio (RM17.90), smoked duck and shitake spaghetti (RM19.90), creamy salmon fettuccine (17.90) and a smoked duck pizza (RM20.90). All were mediocre at best, and hardly worth the visit.


Chicken and mushroom pie


Too liquid for my liking

The beef bacon sandwich had more bread than meat and vegetables so it was dry. Some said the pie was good and it did look promising from the outside. Alas, the filling was diluted with tiny bits of chicken pieces – not a hearty pie, this one.


Creamy salmon fettuccine


Smoked duck and shitake spaghetti


Decent, but the pasta was overcooked.

All the pastas were overcooked, especially the salmon fettuccine which tasted soggy and rather cloying. The sauce was creamy, with little salt or pepper flavour. I thought the smoked duck and shitake pasta was the best of the three and it would have been tasty had the pasta be cooked al dente. The shrimp aglio olio was disappointingly bland.


Spicy shrimp aglio olio


Smoked duck pizza

Another miss was the smoked duck pizza, which came with scant toppings. While this didn’t taste too bad, the thin slivers of duck were off-putting. Might as well not include it there. The coffee was decent but definitely not worth the trip over.


Flat White & Americano

It could be because I went on the wrong day when the manager wasn’t around and the staff weren’t at their best. So I might give them another shot when I’m around the area.

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Ambiance: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Mediocre food and less than stellar service. If I had to pick a dish, I would go for the smoked duck pasta and insist on it being al dente.


Alfresco section

Lot G47, Ground Floor, Citta Mall
No.1, Jalan PJU 1A/48, Ara Damansara
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
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Hit & Mrs, Bangsar


Neighbourhood gem

Hit & Mrs has a lot more to offer than just food – it is an experience that combines modern cuisine, classic ambiance and a whole lot of passion. This spot in Bangsar focuses on creative European cuisine, helmed by Chef Keith Choong. The restaurant sits on the ground floor and the bar, upstairs. As Hit & Mrs is small, it is advisable to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.


The crowd, at 7pm


Cosy corner for a romantic dinner date


Corn Espuma with salted popcorn

My amuse bouche that night was a corn espuma with popiah skin and salted popcorn on top. The espuma had light hints of corn and a savoury twist from the popcorn. I sampled the 5-course tasting menu (RM168 per person) and it started with Gardens, a pretty platter of beetroot, red radish, sugarpea, chive yoghurt, black olive puree and hazelnut.


Freshly baked bread and salted butter




Mushroom broth

Mushroom broth came with a sous vide farm egg, asparagus, egg vinegar sabayon, puffed buckwheat and comte cheese. Light, flavour-rich and very whimsical. Great combination, as the sabayon held everything together nicely.


With sous vide farm egg


Scottish Salmon


Paired with La Closerie Des Lys Chardonnay

I was also impressed with the Scottish salmon, served alongside aubergine caviar, lily bulb, lotus root and salmon roe. This was paired with a glass of La Closerie Des Lys – the young grapes complemented the fine flavour of the salmon. I liked the addition of braised daikon and kobu in this dish; gives it an Asian touch.


Beef Tenderloin


Paired with Luis Felipe Edwards Cabernet Sauvignon

The beef tenderloin was paired with a Luis Felipe Edwards Cabernet Sauvignon, a robust choice that paired strangely well. The meat was meltingly tender and delicious, served with celeriac gratin, green pea & pearl onion ragout and red spinach.


Palate cleanser: White chocolate green apple mash with caramel popcorn and pear sorbet


Passion fruit

White chocolate and green apple mash with caramel popcorn and pear sorbet seemed more of a dessert than a palate cleanser, and a pretty one at that. I liked this better than dessert itself – passion fruit with green mango salad, pineapple and coconut sorbet. The latter was refreshing, like a tropical pina colada, deconstructed.


Malaya-inspired bar upstairs

Cocktails are stellar here. Like the Mojito Malaya (RM40) and Waterloo (RM35). Let the barista know what your cocktail preference is, and she will make a few good recommendations. The waterloo packed a wallop. Made with gin, campari, marinated watermelon, simple syrup and some lemon, this was serious, hiding behind a fun looking mask.


Signature cocktails


Mojito Malaya



Mojito Malaya is a clever twist from the usual mojito, combining pandan-infused rum, gula Melaka, mint, lime and orange. This is milder compared to the Waterloo, making it an easy drinking (but just as alcoholic) cocktail.


Fino Intro

And then there’s Fino Intro, a fine drink of fino sherry, sweet vermouth, maraschino cherry, angostura bitter and lemon twist. This is more of a pre-dinner cocktail, so order it while waiting for your food to arrive.


Memories of Rose Chan

All in, I loved the experience at Hit & Mrs. Portions are on the smaller side, but the flavours, colours and quality makes up for it.

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Ambiance: 7.5/10
Price: 5/10
Food: 7.5/10 (pork free)
Cocktails: 8/10
Verdict: Modern European cuisine and signature cocktails that pack a punch.


Hit & Mrs, along Lorong Kurau

Hit & Mrs
No. 15 & 15A
Taman Weng Lock
Lorong Kurau, Bangsar
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2282 3571
Business hours: Dinner: 7pm to 11pm (Tuesday – Saturday)
Brunch: 11am to 3pm (Saturday – Sunday)
*Closed Monday

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