Dinner last night was at Antonio's located at Taman Tun Dr Ismail just adjacent to the LRT station – check out their web page. This family-run restaurant has been our favourite for many years and we have hosted countless dinners for friends here over the years – and every time we have come off feeling very satisfied.
Last night was special as we were hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for my colleagues who looked after me during my recent illness. The management has a long-standing agreement with me not to charge corkage for wine, so long as I run up a reasonable bill for dinner. We and our friends enjoy the Italian food at Antonio's as it has a Malaysian twist to its taste – more spicy with generous helpings of tomato sauce (the chef assures us that this is the only item that comes out of a can at Antonio's, because it is more concentrated with tomatoes compared with homemade tomato sauce – everything else is homemade).
For starters we ordered Mozzarella Carrozza – deep fried mozzarella cheese and bread, served with fresh salad and spicy tomato sauce – crunchy when eaten hot and always a winner. We shared the mushroom soup as experience taught us that the helpings at Antonio's were big; we were not disappointed - the soup was rich and thick. The chef was visibly hurt when I asked him whether the soup came out of a can – looking very upset, he emphasised that it was made fresh in the kitchen.
Dr.NorLiza, our friend, had onion soup and remarked that it tasted very good. For the main course, I had Arrabiata – spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce – my favourite though I must remember to tell the chef to cut down on the spices next time. Dr Arnand also ordered Arrabiata but with Penne – poor man – having lived in UK for many years, his tongue was definitely on fire but he politely kept saying "nice type of spiciness" Angie ordered grilled salmon – generous slices that were well prepared; too much for her so I ended up eating half the dish.
Mallini ordered Gamberi Aglio Olio – Linguine served with large fresh prawns – I noted the plate was wiped clean – another satisfied guest. NorLiza ordered Rack of Lamb – I thought that the servings were small but Liza assured me that it was more than enough for her. Zuhannes (Liza's better half) ordered Pollo Antonios – chicken pieces marinated in Antonio's special sauce – not a drop of food was left on his plate at the end – so I did not bother to ask him how it tasted.
For dessert, we had Tiramisu – shared amongst the 5 of us as we were rather stuffed by then. Zuhannes ordered Affogato and gave it a 7/10 for taste. We washed this all down with German wine presented to us by our friend during our recent trip to Brisbane. Dinner conversation was lively and the topics varied from current Malaysian politics, the right of the state to enforce religious beliefs and our friends' interesting experiences during their recent trip to Denmark. A very interesting evening indeed. And the bill RM 387 (about AUD130) – I am certainly not complaining!