Saturday, 6 August 2016
Basilico Italian Restaurant in Johor Bahru Mount Austin JK1700
I was invited to visit Basilico Restaurant at Mount Austin (near the Austin Height Water Theme Park) in JB which specialises in Italian staples like pizza and pasta. I like this young, small restaurant as everything is made from scratch from fresh ingredients, so the food we tasted was delicious.
Inside Basilico, the decor is simple and neat. The space is lit by a soft orange glow while Italian (I believe) songs filled the air softly. The furniture is sturdy and comfortable.
Service by the friendly youthful crew was earnest and sincere.
Owner Chefs Han (left) and Kukie, both Anak Johor, first met at the Italian restaurant in Singapore's Fairmont Hotel where they worked. Together, they shared the dream of opening their own Italian restaurant in Johor. Basilico is the dream come true of these two buddies whose vision is to introduce Johoreans to authentic Italian cuisine at affordable prices.
Han started us off with Basilico Caesar Salad (RM13.50+).
Baby romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken breast, crispy crouton, boiled egg slices and shredded Parmesan cheese tossed in a house made sauce of white wine, olive oil, vinegar and anchovies.
I like the sauce's intense layered savoury flavours which masked any green taste from the crunchy juicy fresh greens.
Squid Ink Taggiolini with jumbo prawns (RM32+).
Basilico make their pasta with flour imported from Italy. To make the squid ink taggiolini, they also used squid ink from Italy. The house made pasta is tossed in a thick spicy tomato sauce and served with pan seared shelled jumbo prawns.
The taggiolini was quite thick and cooked to a soft spongy mouth feel reminding me of a bouncier version of Cantonese yee mee noodles 伊麵. The quite robust sourish sweet, savoury tomato sauce was delicious. It would please many people that the tomato sauce masked the taste of squid ink in the pasta. Personally, I like to have a little of that characteristic squid ink taste.
The fresh prawns were meaty and crunchy.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole (RM23+)
My favourite things altogether. Fresh la la clams sauteed with garlic, cherry tomatoes, chili flakes and house made spaghetti tossed in a garlicky, layered savoury sauce with Italian white wine.
Highly recommend this delicious and good value dish (RM23+).
Kukie baking a pizza for us using their gas fired oven specially imported from Italy. Basilico's pizza dough like their pasta are all made in house.
This pizza is called Italian Sausage (RM27+).
Crispy browned thin crust covered with mozzarella cheese, slathered with tomato sauce and topped with house made fennel sausage (ground pork), cherry tomatoes, dusted with chili flakes, sweet onions and garnished with rocket greens.
The toppings worked well together and were delicious. I especially love the fennel sausage made with fresh pork. The crust could be done a little bit browner in my opinion.
We wrapped up our dinner with Earl Grey Panna Cotta - Basilico's signature interpretation of the classic Italian sweet dessert (RM15+). Not overly sweet cream balanced with a slight tanginess and perfumed with Earl Grey. If you are a panna cotta and Earl Grey fan, call ahead at tel: 07 364 7463 to book, as they only make a small number of this dessert fresh every day.
At Basilico, eating Italian with Acqua Panna pure mountain spring water and San Pellegrino fizzy juices complete the authentic experience. Of course, there are also the usual Hoegaarden, Corona extra, K1664 etc 😁
👍Nice little Italian restaurant serving tasty house made pasta and pizza in a comfortable space at reasonable prices.
Disclosure: Please note that this was an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Basilico
Address: 17, Jalan Austin Heights 8/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.559175, 103.773067 / 1°33'33.0"N 103°46'23.0"E
Tel: 07 364 7463
Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm (open till 1:00am on weekends) (Closed on Monday)
Date visited: 5 Aug 2016
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