Everything Is Good
Tutto posto. Everything is good. Aposto. The food is good.
That previous statement seems like a logical conclusion to sum up after my inaugural visit to chef Chu Wei Sin's new gastronomy baby – Aposto. Choosing to call the culinary neighbourhood of TTDI home, Aposto is a Malaysian chef's love letter to handmade pasta and robust Italian flavours. With a splash of modern influences thrown in for good measure, of course.
Aposto does a great job at riffing on the classics and there's a little bit of something for everyone here. Their debut menu makes an excellent first impression and to make your first visit all the better, I'm here to recommend a few must-haves and other dishes that I think have the potential to become even better as the kitchen continues to find its groove.
Saba On Toast
Mmmmmmm, this is a must-have – seared, juicy mackerel on ciabatta with feta and olives (RM34). This dish is nothing overly fancy, just simple, quality ingredients working well to get the appetite rearing for the main event. The meaty mackerel is a little smoky, with the feta and olives working in tandem to balance the dish.
Black Tiger Prawn Polpette
This is one of Aposto's signature starters. Essentially prawn meatballs, the polpette (RM36) is served in a light tomato sauce with crème fraîche. On paper, this sounds amazing. In execution, the meatballs were good but not outstanding. Granted that the day I was there for this review was the restaurant's soft launch, meaning it was a full house. The taste of prawn was evident but a bit lacking. With that being said, everything else, from the texture of the meatballs to the light tomato sauce, was pretty spot on.
Here's a useless fun fact: my favourite salad is a caesar. At Aposto, the restaurant chars baby napa cabbage and serves it with egg yolk crumbs, parmesan, and crisps (RM32). It's light, slightly smoky, and just the right umami from the sauce and shaved cheese.
Miso Chilli Vongole Aglio E Olio
Pasta is the restaurant’s strongest suit. I’m told that each dish, including the pasta, is hand made from scratch using fresh, premium and carefully curated imported ingredients.
If you’re a fan of vongole, as I am, I think you’ll love Aposto’s miso chilli vongole aglio e olio (RM52). Featuring hand-cut linguini, and mix of venus and asari clams, the dish was light, bright and packed full of flavour. I’m not exactly sure what goes into making that delicious sauce, but it’s wonderfully balanced. There’s umami from the miso in the foreground, a robust garlicky seafood tang in the background, and a delightfully enjoyable level of spiciness from the chilli to neatly wrap this all up. Oh, and those clams had a springy, juicy bounce that I rather enjoyed.
16-Hour Braised Duck Pasta
Is this Aposto’s pièce de résistance? Or should I say piatto principale instead since we’re talking about Italian food?
Listen to this – hand cut maltagliati, duck ragu and pumpkin. The last item on the 16-hour braised duck maltagliati‘s (RM56) description lost me for a moment (I'm not too fond of pumpkin), but thankfully the dish itself was superb.
The pasta itself was so silky smooth and toothsome, with just the right amount of chew for me. The duck provided just the right amount of flavour so as not to overshadow the pasta. At the same time, the pumpkin adds body, with a thankfully minor role, and the accompanying garnishes the likes of nuts, cheese and microgreens round out the dish.
This dish is definitely a must-try, even for pumpkin haters like myself.
Lasagnette Al Wagyu Ragu
Ever had a deconstructed lasagne? Aposto served their wagyu ragu lasagnette (RM68) as such, the pasta itself stuffed with ricotta cheese, and assembled next to the ragu, basil and toasted quinoa (for crunch).
This too was pretty good. I would say that this dish is more suitable for sharing rather than acting as a main. I’ve never quite had lasagne in this form, but I’m now glad that I have.
Think pillowy, chewy pasta stuffed with mushroom duxelles, ricotta and parmigiano, and you’ve more or less have an idea of what Aposto’s mushroom agnolotti (RM58) is like. There’s a good mix of mushrooms here, giving this sole vegetarian dish on Aposto’s debut menu an easily likeable flavour profile. That’s if you like mushrooms, that is.
Aposto has a section on the menu entitled "Meats & More", which is where you'll find this indulgent little number. Lobster spring risotto (RM298) features Boston lobster, edamame and a bisque foam for a quaint, light and flavourful dish. Although the dish itself was a touch salty during my inaugural visit there, I'd say that this was still a winner. The texture of the rice was perfect, and the interplay of light earthy notes with that of the more dominant crustacean-forward flavours made for a treat.
Honey Panna Cotta
I loved Aposto's honey panna cotta (RM34). It's a light, simple way to end the meal on a high note, featuring blackberries, white wine jelly and actual honeycomb to dial back the heavier flavours of the mains that you just recently indulged in.
Aposto makes a strong, much welcomed addition to the KL dining landscape. I love Italian food and chef Chu's understanding and respect for the cuisine allows him to pull off such deliciously new creations. There's also a respectable wine list and a surprising focus on non-alcoholic concoctions to cater to everyone.
The pastas are undoubtedly the strongest dishes on the menu, but the rest of the menu is no slouch either. Take a look at the menu for yourself, but trust me, gather some mates, make a reservation, indulge and you thank me later.