After visiting Italy twice in the last couple of years, I really fell in love with the country and everything about it. Especially the food. They say the fastest way to a (wo)man's heart is through the stomach and I couldn't agree more.
The Taman Paramount area has always had good food and recently years have seen more modern cafes and restaurants popping up. Though the neighbourhood is still primarily inhabited by the older Chinese generation, you'll find flocks of younger people frequenting the area during their weekend food hunts.
The brothers behind A'Roma Dinings have clearly put much thought into the place. The interior is a great testament to how much effort they've committed to making this restaurant as beautiful as it is authentic.
The mural of the Colosseum was hand painted by a local artist - something the brothers are quite proud of and with good reason. It catches your eye as soon as you enter, not only because it spans across the whole wall but also due to the intricacy of the painting.
The restaurant also splits off into a cool lounge space where a live band plays on the weekends and is poised to be one of those favourite hangout places for drinkers to chill at.
Another hand painted mural adorns the backing wall at the stage area in the lounge section.
The food here at A'Roma dinings is a perfect marriage of homecooked-straight-out-of-cucina-nonna (grandmother's kitchen) and upscale restaurant.
The focaccia with a chilli onion dip is made in-house too, which is something they pride themselves on. All the breads, pastas and desserts are made fresh. The focaccia, in particular, is only baked when diners are seated and have ordered their food. So it comes fresh, warm and crispy.
Like all great European meals, a good Italian meal must start with a cold cut platter. The tagliere di salumi (RM60) is a charcuterie board featuring mortadella bologna, Milano salami, prosciutto and cotechino accompanied by some bread, olives, pickles and your typical olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The interesting element in this platter is the cotechino which reminds me of luncheon meat, except it is coated in a gelatinous layer of coagulated fat. Mm, there's nothing better than indulging in some sinful pork lard.
Of course, with good cold cuts, one must have good wine. The brothers behind A'Roma are also really into their vino and as such, have ensured that they bring in only Italian wines and not those that are commonly found elsewhere. Bottles here range from the low hundreds to as high as RM800.
It would be good to get a bottle of wine if you're dining here though, because the wines pair beautifully with the food offerings.
A must-try off the pasta section on the menu is the pappardelle al ragu di foie gras con coscia d'anatra (RM45). The pappardelle is made in the restaurant itself with their pasta machine and has a nice texture when cooked al dents. The duck leg was also prepared perfectly and was juicy from start to finish.
If you're looking for something heavy for meats, I'd recommend going for the puntine di maiale e pancetta (RM79). This is a serving dish of Spanish pork Ribs and Spanish pork belly with roasted baby potatoes and dark cherry compote. The berry sauce always goes well with the savoury pork meat.
The pork belly was slightly dry but when paired with the berry compote, left a lovely taste in my mouth. The pork Ribs were cooked to perfection and the meat just fell off the bones with the slightest touch.
We ended the meal with a classic tiramisu (RM23), which was to die for. The layered sponge fingers were soaked in DeGayo espresso, slathered generously with mascarpone cream and sitting atop a bed of melted dark cocoa fudge.
This is easily one of the best tiramisus I've ever tasted.
I was overall very pleased with my meal here at A'Roma and wouldn't hesitate to return again soon.