Nero Nero: Vibrant Italian, from North to South

Facade | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Tucked on the third floor of DC Mall sits a beautiful Italian restaurant, transporting you to the cobbled streets of Rome – Nero Nero. The restaurant serves predominantly southern Italian cuisine, most notably their Neapolitan pizzas, but also some staples from all around Italy. With Diego Reali heading the kitchen and much anticipated Natalina, we take a look at some of their best work.

Exterior | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Nero Nero: Modern Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is one of the more varied cuisines, with the north serving food that is quite significantly different from the south. While dried pasta is more common to the northern Italians, fresh pasta is favoured in the south. Today, cuisine has come a long way, and diversity is what puts the freshest available ingredients, with its best preparation. Chef Diego Reali is currently the head the kitchen of Nero Nero, and will also be heading Natalina when it opens later this year.

Chef Diego Reali | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Nero Nerio was opened in June of 2017. Our cuisine is mostly southern Italian with weekly specials from other regions on Italy. We believe in fresh products and quality products which are imported from Italy. Our pastas are all home-made and made from scratch, no shortcuts. Some of our signatures are our burrata salad, cavatelli marinara and wagyu ribeye, which you should try. We seek to provide wonderful authentic Italian cuisine with great service and wonderful home-made food.” — Diego Reali, Head Chef of Nero Nero.

Breads | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

The Nero Nero Menu

The menu that we tasted was a special menu which is essentially a preview to what’s to come at Natalina, with many of the dishes being in a similar vein. In addition to the A La Carte menu, there’s always specials to be had which is listed on the board in the restaurant.

Hamachi Carpaccio | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Hamachi Carpaccio

Truffle, tapenade, avocado, arugula, olive oil
Traditionally carpaccio is made using raw meat, but this practice has evolved, with many using fish today. The hamachi is one of the leaner fishes, with just the right amount of fat for the perfect mouthfeel, with a drizzle of olive oil, lifting the dish. The truffle added a nice texture, but also that unforgettable aroma to the dish. The spiciness from the arugula added a nice textural and flavour contrast.

Foie Gras | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Foie Gras

Red wine sauce and saffron jam
The foie gras was cooked perfectly, with a nice crust on the top and bottom. A simple yet elegant dish, the foie was served with a red wine reduction, served on a crostini. The saffron jam added a beautiful sweetness to the delicate foie. This is one of the better dishes of the night.

Squid Ink Ravioli | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Squid-Ink Ravioli

Marinara sauce
The squid ink ravioli used fresh house made pasta, which was filled with hand chopped prawn mince, with squid and chunky prawns. The flavour of the marinara was fragrant and sweet, and one of the best ravioli’s we’ve had in Kuala Lumpur. This dish is definitely one of their highlights, full of seafood and rich in that tomato flavour.

Agnolotti | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Agnolotti

Stuffed with capsicum chicken served with dry ricotta
Agnolotti originate from the Piedmont region of the north of Italy, but has since been used extensively all over the country. The sauce made with capsicum chicken, which is more of a Roman style, is served with dry ricotta is just to add a dimension of different umami to the dish.

Pan Seared Lamb Loin | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Pan-seared Lamb Loin

Truffle chickpea pureé and sautéed mixed mushrooms
The lamb was cooked perfectly pink, which has the right texture while not being overcooked. The flavour from the lamb was enhanced with the truffle and chickpea pureé, which added an interesting grainy texture to the sauce, but honestly, the lamb was great on its own. The mixed mushrooms were a decent side for a balance of umami and an overall side for a dish.

“We only use fine quality lamb. We tried with lamb racks but they quality did not meet our expectations, so we decided to go with the lamb loin. It is a superior quality.”

Stewed Black Angus Beef Ribs | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Stewed Black Angus Beef Ribs

Veggie mustard and Portobello confit
The black angus beef was slow cooked, ensuring that it achieves that fall off the bone texture. As Chef Diego is known for his meat preparations, you would not expect anything less from one of their main cuts. The deep and bold flavours helped the meat reach a level of sweetened umami from the slow cooking. One of their stars.

Diavolo Pizza | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Diavola Pizza

Tomato sauce, mozzarella, chilli and beef salami
For fans of Neapolitan style pizza, the ones from Nero Nero is considered one of the better ones you’ll find in Kuala Lumpur. A sign of an authentic Napoli pizza is its chewy texture, fragrance and thin base, which yeast heavy flour may take up to 2 weeks to age. The spiciness of pizza was perfect, with the slices of beef salami giving it a certain earthiness.

Bombolini | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

Bombolini

Stuffed with custard pistachio cream
A simple yet effective dessert, the bombolini is very much an Italian doughnut filled with a creamy custard pistachio cream. The flavour of the pistachio was prominent, and was a great ending to a very satisfactory meal.

Vigne Vecchie Leggenda Primitivo di Manduria

Th red leaned towards to the more tannic, and had peppery notes. This wine matched well with the foie gras and the red meats. Special note and thanks to the team for creating one of the most beautiful presentations of a menu, on the back of a bottle of wine.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol, prosecco and soda water
A classic light apertivo cocktail, the Aperol Spritz made a good first drink.

Negroni

Gin, Campari and vermouth
A cocktail for the person who likes something a little more spifir forward, the Negroni here was decently balanced, also perfect for apertivo.

Interior | Nero Nero | Food For Thought

The Nero Nero Experience

One would not expect that tucked on the highest floor of DC Mall you would find a little touch of Italy in Kuala Lumpur, with its very distinctive Italian décor, including a fountain right in the centre of the dining area. The food is as authentic as it can get, with a wide variety to choose from, with highlights including its foie gras, meats and Napoli style pizza. With Diego bringing his own touch to the restaurant, we can’t wait to see what Natalina will bring.


Nero Nero
L3-02, DC Mall,
Damansara City,
6, Jalan Damanlela,
Damansara Heights,
50490 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 2011 3811
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday, 12.00 pm to 3.30 pm
Monday to Friday, 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm (Pizza & desserts only)
Monday to Friday, 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 12.00 pm to 10.00 pm

| PHOTOGRAPHY: NICHOLAS NG & NERO NERO | WEBSITE: NERO NERO |

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic, travelogue and opinion columnist which is curated on Food For Thought. He has been a freelance writer for 10 years and has previously worked as a lawyer. He currently is the Principal Counsultant of A Thoughtfull Consultancy.

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