Savour At Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Kuala Lumpur, chef Mario Cit­ta­dini show­cases tra­di­tional mod­ern Ital­ian cui­sine through an ef­fort­less blend of flavours and tech­ni­cal com­plex­ity.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Savour - May - 2 017 By Jen­nifer Choo

Cucina Ital­iana ( Ital­ian cui­sine) is one of the finest in the world, with a his­tory stretch­ing back thou­sands of years and a cul­ture that still cel­e­brates cook­ing and eat­ing as an art form. Chef Mario Cit­ta­dini, a keeper of the flame, honed his skills to ex­press the dishes of his na­tive Tus­cany in new ways – as chef and co-owner of the Miche­lin-starred Il Postale restau­rant in Peru­gia, Italy.

Since 2009, Cit­ta­dini has been work­ing at top es­tab­lish­ments in Asia like the Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Taipei and Sin­ga­pore where he de­lights guests with cre­ations that bal­ance tra­di­tional Ital­ian cook­ing with the culi­nary ex­cite­ment de­manded at fine din­ing restau­rants. For an all-too-brief four days, Cit­ta­dini brought a taste of Italy to Kuala Lumpur at the Man­darin Grill. The evening of fine cui­sine from Il Bel­paese was ex­pertly paired with beau­ti­ful Ital­ian wines cho­sen by head som­me­lier Gabriele riz­zardi from villa Cafag­gio Wines.

A fes­tive aper­i­tif of Ab­dreola verv Preseco set the stage for the first two cour­ses - lightly smoked Bos­ton lob­ster, pear, turnip and miso con­somme, and seared Hokkaido scal­lops, bot­targa, braised ro­maine let­tuce with pas­sion fruit. Light and well-bal­anced, Cit­ta­dini un­der­lined his culi­nary fun­da­men­tals of re­spect­ing the in­gre­di­ents with both cour­ses. While homely car­bo­hy­drates form the bedrock of Ital­ian

Since 2009, Cit­ta­dini has been work­ing at top es­tab­lish­ments in Asia.

cook­ing, Cit­ta­dini es­chewed the po­ten­tial for stodgi­ness with a feather-light touch. A sin­gle Tortelli served with a parme­san emul­sion, black truf­fle and caviar pre­sented the per­fect mouth­ful, while the risotto, flavoured with Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes, green ap­ple and truf­fle, ex­em­pli­fied re­fined com­fort food.

How­ever, Cit­ta­dini saved his ace for the main course with a di­vine roasted lamb loin ac­com­pa­nied by spring onion oil, parsnips and fava bean ragout. Not to be eclipsed, Riz­zardi com­ple­mented the ro­bust flavours with a bold caber­net Sav­i­gnon from Cafag­gio basil­ica Del Cor tac­cio . Round­ing off the meal with vanilla panna cotta, wild berries and burnt milk ice cream, Cit­ta­dini reimag­ined this most Ital­ian of desserts as a fan­tas­ti­cal gar­den both in in­gre­di­ents and pre­sen­ta­tion.

Life is in­deed sweet in Cit­ta­dini’s culi­nary uni­verse. www. man­dari­nori­en­tal.com ≠

Life is in­deed sweet in Cit­ta­dini’s culi­nary uni­verse.

Mario Cit­ta­dini has a dis­tinct ta­lent in turn­ing or­di­nary pro­duce into plates of deca­dent cui­sine.

Fresh, high-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents bring out the nat­u­ral flavours in each dish.

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