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Oct 20, 2013 07:56 PM

Penang - Italian dinner at Mario's, Batu Ferringhi

Okay, so we needed a break from Penang's hawker food and wanted to opt for something "familiar". Mario's Ristorante, a decade-old Italian eatery along Batu Ferringhi, located right across the road from Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort, offers quite good alternative dining options. Besides its pizzas, freshly baked from the wood-fired oven upfront, Mario's menu also has some Mexican options (?!).

What we had:
- Crab cakes: the twin discs seemed a tad small at first glance, and with a much firmer texture than we'd have liked. But the flavours were nice and the crab-meat was very fresh. The green-tinted sauce added a nice, creamy-rich taste.
- Aubergines Parmigiana: the aubergines were coated in batter and crisp-fried, before being topped with tomatoes and cheese then baked. It's pretty tasty.
- Baked Oysters Mornay: very fresh oysters, though I could use with more cheese for the creamy topping.
- The clam chowder soup served in a sourdough bread bowl was great! Not too creamy-rich like those I'd normally find in San Francisco - this one had the perfect balance of flavours: the salty-oceanic tang from the clams undercutting the milky-rich soup. Highly-recommended.

- Pasta with creamy-pesto sauce and pinenuts. I find that pastas in many places in Asia often tend to be slightly "over-boiled", and the version here was pretty much the same. The pesto sauce was slightly creamy, which I find a bit surprising - why add milk-cream to the sauce? Also could use more toasted pinenuts.
- Pasta with marinara sauce was pretty average in taste, and perhaps needed for herbs. But it was redeemed by very fresh seafood used.
- Beef-filled cannelloni, blanketed with tomato and cream sauce, was very competently turned out. It's not the best I'd had, but very good by Penang standards.
- The Mario's special pizza was thin-crusted and topped with pepperoni, capsicums and onions - loved the crust, but could use with more flavours in the topping. Still, a very good option.

We skipped the desserts. Overall, quite an enjoyable dinner. Well-kept, comfortable ambience, and very friendly service all round.

Address details
Mario's Ristorante
152-B, Jalan Batu Ferringhi
Batu Ferringhi
11100 Penang
Tel: +604 881 3775

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  1. Hello Klyeoh,

    I hope you are doing fine !! I'm going to KL and Singapore mid Nov. for 8-10 days. Could you please send me a link or two of your previous posts that contain a good starting point for me to plan. I'm in the mood of exploring local cuisine. Places to Vishaltchi in Brickfields (I pick it up from one of your previous posts) seems ideal in both cities.



    2 Replies
    1. re: domenexx

      Hi domenexx, Vishalatchi Catering has moved locations since I was last there. It's currently on 18 Jalan Scott, Brickfields:

      My original post:

      If you're going down to Brickfields, do try Nagas, a casual self-service eatery that delivers on flavours: