We went to Vilaggio, an Italian themed restaurant in Skudai Baru in Johor Bahru.
Inside Vilaggio Restaurant, the decor is well appointed with gravel flooring, brick and stone lined walls, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
The mid day sun flood the interior from the large windows on one side. The dark wood furniture and heavy upholstered high back chairs are very comfortable.
There are nice little touches like quality cutlery, nice napkins and brass collars.
Owner Thomas, a Skudai boy, started out as an apprentice in the Italian restaurant in Singapore's Grand Hyatt Hotel. Then followed by a stint in Ding Tai Fung in Taipei, Taiwan before returning to hometown Skudai, JB. Besides Vilaggio, Thomas also owns La Pasta, another Italian concept restaurant also in Skudai.
We started with some nibbles. The deep fried onion rings come with a set of mayonnaise (RM9.90).
I like it that Vilaggio provides three different mayonnaise dips, in addition to the usual ketchup and chili sauce.
There is the basic Lady's Choice REAL mayo made with a blend of soya bean oil, eggs, vinegar, salt etc which is smooth with a nicely balanced tangy, salty taste.
The pinkish coloured dip is Lady's Choice REAL mayo blended in house with chili flakes and paprika which gave it a mild spicy hot flavour.
The light green hued mayo dip has sweet radish and crunchy cucumber pickle added.
Deep fried squid rings with homemade tartar sauce RM15.90.
Good sized Canadian oysters served on a bed of ice (RM10.90 for one).
The soft oyster tasted fresh and has a briny flavour like sea spray on the lips.
Home made sweet pumpkin soup RM9.90.
House made mushroom soup with Shitake, button and abalone mushrooms RM9.90.
I like Vilaggio's vegetarian Minestrone soup which is light tomato broth with carrot, zucchini, celery, and mixed beans (RM9.90).
All Vilaggio soups are served with house made bread stick.
I like Vilaggio's Seafood Aglio Olio RM33.90.
The pasta is done half a notch softer than al dente which is the local preference. The toasted garlic and chili flakes sauteed in aromatic olive oil gave the dish a layered robust savouriness and assertive spiciness. It's not the usual aglio olio flavour and I like this JB rendition of the Italian classic. It's got kick.
The spaghetti is generously topped with mussel, prawn, scallop, squid, black olives and cherry tomatoes.
We also had Villagio's fried chicken chop (RM25.90).
I like to eat the chicken chop with Vilaggio's three different types of mayo dip made with Lady's Choice REAL mayo - original (salty tangy), spicy (with chili and paprika) and sweet (with radish and crunchy cucumber pickle).
The fresh chicken leg is battered with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and deep fried. The golden brown batter was crispy while the chicken meat was juicy and tender. The mayo dips gave the savoury sweet chicken chop added zest and flavours.
Grilled Salmon with teriyaki sauce RM38.90.
I like the savoury sweet flavour of the grilled crispy outside though the pinkish inside was a little on the dry side today. Love that house made potato mash which was soft with a bit of graininess and natural sweetness.
Grilled leg of lamb (New Zealand), sprinkled with parmesan cheese and parsley then baked to medium well (RM59.90). The marbled parts were tender and juicy with nice gaminess while the lean sections were slightly drier. Served with lovely mint sauce and black pepper sauce.
Would love to be back for Vilaggio's pizzas and more pasta 😋
3-Star (out of 5). We like the ambiance here at Vilaggio in Skudai. We like their seafood aglio olio though it is tuned to local palates and slightly pricey. We also enjoyed Vilaggio's crispy fried chicken chop. Their offer of three different types of mayo dips at no additional cost makes their fried dishes more enjoyable. Remember to ask for their mayo tray 😋
Disclosure: Please note that this is an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Vilaggio Restaurant
Address: 48, Jalan Hang Tuah 4, Taman Skudai Baru, Johor, Skudai
GPS: 1°31'35.6"N 103°39'28.8"E | 1.526554, 103.658008
Tel: +60 7-556 7366
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert (alcohol served)
Date visited: 17 Oct 2016
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