May 19 2012
NeroFico is a “jazzeria” — a combined jazz and trattoria outlet — in Kuala Lumpur’s Damansara Heights that’s an affordable but stylish spot to savour classic Italian food, or to end up listening to some jazz later in the evening.
A 15-minute cab ride from the city, Damansara plays host to a fresh crop of restaurants that are cheaper than KL’s high-end options, increasingly making it (and Bangsar) the new places to dine before a night out on the town.
NeroFico is a sister of NeroVivo and NeroTeca, which are located in KL’s centre and have matching swankier surrounds — and higher prices. NeroFico makes a good alternative for those who don’t want to wrestle through the traffic snarls of the Golden Triangle (that busy area of Bukit Bintang, KLCC and Jalan Imbi), with a still-stylish interior — despite being located in an office building — and classic executions of traditional Italian dishes.
Its interior is still unmistakably Nero, with dark wood tables and trimmings, and a spacious but intimate setting with bottles of wine, grappa and De Cecco pasta adorning the shelves. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows open out to a breezy fresco area — where you can smoke — and on the pork-free menu you’ll find items not quite identical to those on the other Nero outlets, but with still enough of a selection to keep your taste buds occupied and the favourites you expect to see, such as pastas, pizzas, steaks and gourmet sandwiches; think subtle creations, with powerful results. Prices here are lower than at the other outlets, too.
Worth trying is the vongole saltate (20 ringgit), served with juicy cherry tomatoes and asparagus that bring out the flavours of the clams sauteed in white wine. The ravioli di granchio (30 ringgit) is worth a mention too — it’s an impressive dish with the ravioli stuffed with succulent crabmeat and served in a light tomato and clam sauce.
The extensive wine list focuses on Italy, but you’ll also find a selection from Germany, France, South Africa and the United States; expect to pay 20 to 30 ringgit for a glass of one of the house pours. This makes an excellent accompaniment to watching the jazz performed Friday and Saturday nights. NeroFico boasts some of KL’s best jazz, and has a small stage featuring local and international artists from 22:00 onwards on those nights — see their website for who’s playing.
If you want to come for lunch, try a Monday when their all-you-can-eat-pasta is priced at 48++ ringgit. An unlimited amount of pasta comes with a glass of red wine plus a salad to start the marathon with.
You’ll find NeroFico located off Jalan Semantan, on the ground floor of Plaza Perintis. It’s easy to bypass at night with NeroFico’s low, romantic lighting but it’s tucked away in the last office building on Jalan Dungun, just before the road curves off into Lorong Dungun.
If you enjoy dining at affordable but classy venues, another restaurant worth checking out is F Concept Dining by Buffalo Kitchens, a five-minute drive from Jalan Dungun in Bangsar.
Ground Floor Wisma Perintis,
47 Jalan Dungun,
Damansara Heights, KL
T: (03) 2089 5312
Open Mon-Sat 08:00-midnight; Sun 18:00-midnight
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