Portofino Italian Restaurant, The Sphere Bangsar South

Portofino is always on the list whenever people mention good Italian restaurants in KL – so when the Hubs and I found ourselves at The Sphere in Bangsar South over the weekend, we decided to try it out. The place looks classy and is well-lit, with tall glass windows looking out to lush greenery and pale blue upholstery matching the giant backdrop of Venice on one side of the wall.

Many of the tables inside the air-conditioned dining area were reserved, but we managed to snag a table on the patio. Service was professional.

On the menu you’ll find the typical Italian staples: from appetizers of bruschetta and arancini (stuffed rice balls coated in bread crumbs), homemade pastas such as tortellini and gnocchi with lamb ragout, to pizzas and heavier mains like beef tenderloin and veal Milanese. Sweet-toothed diners can round off their meal with traditional desserts such as panna cotta, tiramisu, and affogato.

The Hubs and I got a tomato bruschetta (RM14) to share. These were served cold, with shredded Parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes atop crispy slices of toast. The ingredients tasted fresh and natural; the Parmesan’s bold flavour mellowed out by the tanginess of the tomatoes.

Our food didn’t take long to arrive, since we came early and the resto was empty.

I opted for their signature Tagliatelle Bolognese (RM38), served with beef ragout sauce that has been slow cooked for over four hours. The portion was generous, and the pasta was done al dente – it reminded me of pan mee, as it had the same thickness/chewiness to the noodles. The sauce was tasty as well. Had trouble finishing it due to large portion; if I’m coming back here next time I think the Hubs and I would just get a few more appetizers and then a pasta dish to share.

The Hubs’ Seafood Spaghetti (RM42) followed the same vein: generous portions of al dente pasta and lots of ingredients including a large mussel, clams, squid, and sizable shrimps. His dish was spicier, and the taste was well-balanced: there was the natural sweetness/tanginess of the tomato sauce, but also the fresh flavours of seafood.

Overall, we were satisfied with our dining experience at Portofino. The price tag can be a bit steep, but it’s not unexpected in an area such as Bangsar South. There is a service charge of 10% and an additional 6% for SST. Our meal for two came up to RM109.

PORTOFINO (Bangsar South)

Unit G5, The Sphere, No. 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South City, Jalan Kerinchi, 59200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening hours: 10AM – 11PM

Reservations can be made online at https://www.portofino.my/portofino.

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