Upon entering this dining hotspot, a tender warmth unfolds within your stomach – eventually engulfing your entire being. The Italian-influenced romantic aura at Ciao Ristorante can be felt in every space, from its pastel-infused panels and wood-lined ceiling to the soft yellowish lighting.
“Even my friends from Italy are pleasantly surprised when they come here, because it feels like home; like you are in a Tuscany country place,” said the Ciao Ristorante’s owner Rudy Stecca.
Rudy has designed the restaurant on his own, for besides restaurant management and cooking, he is passionate about interior design. His craftsmanship is also evident in the other restaurants he owns, including the nearby Anita Laguna.
Started in 1991, Ciao is the oldest Italian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, and it moved to its current location six years ago. Working with contractors, Rudy transformed a former bungalow into the warm and inviting restaurant that we see today.
“The contractors were initially puzzled when I requested that certain wood surfaces should be scratched and some frames should be asymmetrically set,” Rudy smiled as he spoke about his experience in recreating a lived-in, rustic look for his restaurant.
This elegant rustic look is as prominent as ever today, with Ciao’s romantic ambience and authentic Italian cuisines having become the talk of the town. It regularly hosts wedding receptions. In addition to being a favourite spot for couples, the restaurant staff mentioned that its regulars also include families who enjoy Italian dining.
We walked through arched doorways and walls adorned with artwork, which showcase Italian culture and films. A lovingly restored framed piece of the classic Italian movie “La Dolce Vita” (“The Sweet Life”) dominates a particular panel. The whitewashed and wood-based flooring further accentuate the tasteful atmosphere.
Beyond the sculpted windows, there is a spacious outdoor deck that overlooks a golf course and the KL city skyline. On a clear night, the lights of Genting Highlands are visible.
Accompanied by the soft, gentle gushing of water from the indoor fountains and Italian music, we savoured some of the finest meals ever. Its menu features a wide array handmade pasta, seafood, pizza and meat dishes. We selected the Carpacio Classico (a salad with slices of raw beef tenderloin and parmesan cheese), Linguinne Alla Marinara (mixed seafood pasta), Spaghetti Alle Vongole (a dish with clams and a touch of chilli) and Costolette Di Agnello (a pistachio and arugula-crusted rack of lamb).
Along with a serving of Ciao’s aromatic Cappuccino, our taste buds were treated to true delight. We enjoyed every dish, especially the Spaghetti Alle Vongole with its touch of spiciness. This is an experience you ought to share with your special someone as well as family and friends.
No. 20A, Jalan Kampung Pandan,
off Jalan Tun Razak,
55100, Kuala Lumpur