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Tucked away in a far corner of The Intermark Mall is one of the fastest-growing restaurants in Malaysia with a sterling reputation for delivering the finest Italian fare. Helmed by one of the top 500 chefs in the world, Chef Azizan Shukri, the venue was the host of the latest MIGF Publicity Dinner and earned a solid place in the hearts of each of the evening’s 22 diners.

Guests filtered in to the relaxing bar area, where sumptuous canapes were enjoyed as many guests were making their first visit to Savini, while others were already regular customers. Even before a single diner had taken their seat, they were each blown away by the stunning décor and unique charm of the restaurant.

Tunku Kecil Besar Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar bin Tunku Mustapha and Dato' Nick Lough

Iman Ridzwan, Puan Sri Datin Siti Mohd Zin, Puan Sri Sylvia Shazia Merican, Puan Sri Ong Li Ling and Yip Lai Mun

Delicious scallop canapes

The guestlist for the night was filled with notable VIPs including members of the Festival Advisory Committee, royalty, ambassadors and captains of industry. Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar led the lineup alongside Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Binti Al-Marhum Tuanku Ja’afar, Tunku Kecil Besar Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar bin Tunku Mustapha, Kuwaiti Ambassador HE Saad A Al Asousi, Tengku Dato’ Seri Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz, Tan Sri Dato’ Paduka Ir Othman Merican, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ridzwan Bin Abu Bakar and Dato’ Nick Lough.

Ramlan Abdul Latif and Dato' Steve Day

Tan Sri Dato' Paduka Ir Othman Merican, Datin Seri Selena Ibak and Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ridzwan Bin Abu Bakar

Festival Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day began the evening in customary fashion, by introducing Chef Azizan and Savini Director Adam Zainal. Dato’ Steve admitted that this was his first time visiting Savini but that he had heard such high praise for the restaurant that he shared in the diners’ collective anticipation for what was ahead.

Dato' Steve introduces Adam Zainal and Chef Azizan Shukri

A restaurant renowned for its presentation, Savini was clad in its unofficial colours of orange and black with balloons dangling down from the ceiling surrounding a plush table fit for the 22 elite diners.

As the guests took their seats, Chef Azizan was busy in his kitchen whipping up the first of the nine courses that were to delight the diners. His antipasto of Mesclun and Feta Cheese Salad was the first to showcase the chef’s refined attention to detail, while the lightness of the dish set the stage for what was to be a gastronomic extravaganza ahead.

Mesclun and Feta Cheese Salad

Next up was the delectable Spaghettini King Crab, which combines an Italian classic pasta dish and creamy cheesiness with melt-in-your-mouth crab that had every diner craving more.

Spaghettini King Crab

Continuing with Chef Azizan’s penchant for delicious seafood was the third course – a Tian of Avocado, Bluefin Tuna and Hokkaido Scallops. Another immaculately presented work of art, the dish offered such a diverse range of flavours that every forkful brought a new sensation to the palate.

House band Flava performed songs from Malaysia, Italy and all over the world

Chef Azizan prepares a Tian of Avocado, Bluefin Tuna and Hokkaido Scallops

The chef’s soup course was the fourth dish on his menu and carried its own weight of expectation thanks to the popularity it earned during Taste MIGF. The Lobster Bisque with cheesy bread and cappuccino foam was one of the stars of the weekend spectacular in September and the diners were eager to sample the full portion.

Lobster Bisque

Rarely on a menu does a palate cleanser steal the show, but such is Chef Azizan’s mastery of flavours and presentation that his Raspberry Sorbet captured imaginations throughout. As sweet and refined as it was refreshing, the fruity sorbet was paired with a wafer and crumbled biscuit after which not one plate was left unfinished.

Raspberry Sorbet

Yet another display of aquatic mastery was to come as the chef moved into the first of his main courses – a Baked Cod. Tender to the touch and dazzlingly flavourful, Chef Azizan proved once again why he is so highly ranked in the culinary world with a dish that few will ever forget.

Baked Cod

As the diners moved into the seventh course on the menu, excitement was at a fever pitch as to what else Chef Azizan could bring to the table. His second main course of Pan Seared Foie Gras set palates ablaze once again when paired with juicy pineapple and continued to display the chef’s love of treating his plate like a canvas and filling it with colour.

Pan Seared Foie Gras

To cap off the evening’s savoury courses was Wagyu Marbling 9 served with Japanese Sweet Potato and Apple Bouquet Truffle. The tenderness of the meat certainly impressed HE Saad A. Al Asousi when he called the beef ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ and ‘deliciously juicy’.

Wagyu Marbling 9

With diners reeling from the enormous eight courses they had enjoyed, Chef Azizan presented his pièce de résistance – a dessert of Madagascar Vanilla Crème Brûlée. Doing away with the traditional seared sugar atop the creamy dessert, Chef Azizan topped the dish with Squid Ink Sorbet and miniature meringues. The explosion of vanilla meant that the dish was as awe-inspiring on the palate as it was pleasing to the eye, with the extraordinarily artistic layout a rare treat.

Madagascar Vanilla Crème Brûlée

After nine courses – each more spectacular than the last – Chef Azizan emerged from his kitchen to a huge round of applause from each of the guests.

Tengku Dato’ Seri Azmil was asked to speak on behalf of the diners and accurately summed up the feelings of all the guests when he said: “The food has been absolutely amazing and the presentation throughout has totally blown me away. When the dishes first arrived, it seemed a shame to start eating them because they were so beautiful but, as soon as you try them, you’re overwhelmed with even more delight.”

Tengku Dato' Seri Azmil opines on a breathtaking dinner

Festival Advisory Committee member Tunku Dara was the next to take to the microphone and said: “Normally when I eat a dinner with so many courses, I find it difficult to finish, but tonight I have eaten every single mouthful and I look forward to trying many more dishes here at Savini for years to come.”

Tunku Dara thanks the Savini team on behalf of the guests

Members of the Festival Advisory Committee grab a photo with the Savini team

As the guests left the venue, many assured the staff that they would be back again very soon to be taken on another culinary adventure by Chef Azizan.

The Full Festival Menu is available for just RM300++ without wines and RM400++ with wine pairings included. A light five-course version of the Festival Menu is also available for just RM150++ without wines or RM200++ with wines. To view both of these menu options, click here. To learn more about why Chef Azizan Shukri is one of the top 500 chefs in the world, click here.

You too can enjoy this Festival experience! Be sure to dine out at Savini during The Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival from 1st to 31st October!