Monday, June 8, 2009

Il Tempio @ Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

There are "Dining Enthusiasts" and then there are "Eating Enthusiasts"... What's the difference you ask?

Well eating is an activity of consuming something edible to satisfy one's hunger, whiles providing a pleasurable sensation to our sense of taste. (Duh..)
Dining on the other hand, involves not only our sense of taste, but also our sense of sound, sight and smell. Basically… dining is an experience.

KL is blessed with an anthology of dining outlets, from fine to casual, coming in all shapes and cuisines, Frangipani, Avanti, Carcossa, and La Fitte being some of the finest names around. However, most if not all of these dining outlets are Urban in every sense. As fantastic or exclusive as they may be, you always know that you're in the city. However, there is one restaurant that breaks that norm.

Il Tempio is a name unfamiliar to many, and basically means "The Temple" in the Italian language.And as the name suggests, it is a restaurant serving fine Italian cuisine as well... but it's as much a restaurant, as it is a work of art.

A dining experience with Il Tempio starts with the sense of sight and sound. As its tranquil setting hidden amidst lush greenery is backed by the soundtrack of nature and a very appropriate chill CD.Its unique monastery inspired architecture, soft intimate lighting, accents of flowing water, and numerous pieces of art including Buddha statues create an intimate, Zen like ambience.Its isolation from the city is a welcome atmosphere and really does deceive your sense of location. Because how can a place like this, be in KL?

Words will never do justice to just how visually enticing Il Tempio is, regardless of how many descriptive adjectives we use. Furthermore, it provides a sense of exclusivity like very few other restaurants do because of it’s “hidden away” nature.

The pictures speak for themselves.

After taking in the sights and sounds, Il Tempio's selection of fine Italian Cuisine tops off the dining experience by pampering your taste buds. The menu features a wide range of common dishes, albeit with a slight twist and a fancy name courtesy of Chef Daniele Sarno of Tuscany.

An interesting addition found in a few choices in the menu are almonds! Not something you'd normally see during dinner, but it's just one of the many touches ingeniously used by Chef Daniele.

Our orders were a Breaded Chicken Breast, stuffed with Mushrooms and cheese, accompanied by a few almond flakes.

Also, a Grilled Lamb Loin, served with a slice of grilled eggplant/aubergine and a unique mix of grilled tomatoes and something else of which we can't really recall.

In truth, although the dishes were uniquely prepared and reflected Il Tempio's attention to detail in its presentation, we'd rate the overall taste as being "quite good" compared to "extraordinary". However, that “shortcoming” is quickly and easily ignored.

Being a fine dining restaurant, it’s quite correct to assume that most of us would not consider dining here everyday for lunch and dinner, instead we’d see it as a luxury, once in a while kind of thing. Of course there are the lucky few who earn enough to make themselves regulars. But with that in mind, and with all things considered, Il Tempio’s pricing really is affordable. A simple meal for 1 would only set you back around RM80, but of course depending on how flamboyant you’re feeling on the night. There’s also a 3-4 course individual set menu at around RM160 per person, accompanied with a glass of wine. And if you’re a wine lover or are just in the mood for a glass of wine, Il Tempio boasts a rather comprehensive wine list.

As positive as this review sounds, I doubt it would do justice to just how memorable an evening with Il Tempio would actually be. If you do take our advice and decide to pay them a visit, be sure to make a reservation, as their seating is rather limited.

Here’s their URL for starters :

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