Monday, March 16, 2009

Bravo Italiana still a long way to go

After reading about Bravo Italiana from, I, being a big fan of Italian food, was looking forward to visit the restaurant some time soon. The opportunity presented itself when the kind Penangtuapui was giving away 20% discount vouchers to its readers who want to visit Bravo Italiana.

Therefore, Saucer and I went to the restaurant one fine Saturday for dinner. It was about 7.30pm when we reached, and only 2 other tables were occupied. When I first entered the restaurant, I was captivated by the amount of paintings lining up the walls of the place. There were also plenty of cute and one-of-a-kind ornaments decorating the place, exuding a certain warm Italian charm about it.

Interior of Bravo Italiana

Our first order arrived, which was the garlic bread (RM4).

Garlic bread

Now, I have said it before that the garlic bread pretty much represents how good an Italian restaurant is, because it’s the fundamental appetizer that cannot go wrong. Unfortunately, the garlic bread in Bravo Italiano was really not my cup of tea. For starters, it was rather bland. Sure there were sprinkles of garlic on the bread, but perhaps there wasn’t enough butter? It was just a torture to eat it after my first piece. Besides, I was appalled when I asked the waitress for olive oil and vinegar to go with the bread, to be was given traditional vinegar instead of the balsamic vinegar that should be expected.

I was expecting this:

Olive oil & balsamic vinegar

But was given this:

Traditional vinegar & olive oil

And that was after she gave me a blank look when I requested for it, like she had no idea what I was asking. Of course, to avoid embarrassment to the waitress, I just let it slide. This was probably the only time I ever condemned garlic bread. Just makes me miss the one in Bella Italia SO much.

Next up, our main course arrived. I ordered the Spaghetti Al Capitano (RM29.80), which was very similar to spaghetti marinara. The first impression, I must say, was pretty good. The presentation was attractive, especially the big pieces of mussels, scallops and prawns surrounding the plate.

Spaghetti al Capitano


I quickly dug in and found the prawns to be pretty succulent and fresh. There were also calamari rings and salmon fillets hidden beneath the pasta, definitely not skimping on the seafood here. However, aside from the pasta, prawns and calamari rings, I really have no other praises for this dish. The mussels, albeit large, were absolutely fishy! I put the whole big piece into my mouth and after a few chews, I was reliving my nightmare of the fishy oysters at Manhattan Fish Market. I have tasted mussels before and they were certainly never this fishy! I simply couldn’t stand it, and gave the rest to Saucer.

Can you spot the scallop roe?

The scallops definitely looked big and tempting, but don’t let the size betray you. Almost half of the scallop was actually scallop roe. Yes, the scallops here came with roe, which, to me was not a good idea. The roe was so extremely fishy, to the point of inedible (by my standards). Also, I even read from forums that scallop roe is highly perishable and is not supposed to be served! *gasp* At this point, both Saucer and I thought there was really something fishy with this pasta! The mussels and scallops were not very fresh! I’m sorry to say that the same went with the salmon fillets. Goodness, we could SMELL the fishy stench before even eating them. So you could imagine how much more fishy the salmon was inside our mouths. Seriously, I have a strong feeling that their seafood used (aside from shrimps) was not exactly fresh.

scallop roe
How scallop roe looks like

Our second main course was the Hawaiian pizza (RM28), which was by far the most expensive Hawaiian pizza that I’ve ever ordered. Honestly, it’s just chicken sausages and pineapples. I really don’t see why it’s priced almost the same with the Spaghetti Al Capitano that had so much more seafood in it.

Hawaiian pizza

Anyway, that aside, the amount of cheese used was definitely generous. Nevertheless, it’s sad to say that this pizza was too sour and a little bland. After just one bite, I could taste the chicken sausages, which, by the way, seemed to me like they came from the packet of frozen sausages I had bought from Jusco supermarket earlier today. Also, the pineapples used were too sour. At one point, both Saucer and I were picking out the pineapples because they were just too sour to savour. The base of the pizza was also sour from the tomato paste, and the pizza crust was tasteless. Basically, the pizza was just – sour, without much of other taste. Rather disappointing, especially for the price they charge too. Domino’s Aloha Chicken fared much much better than this, sad to say.

Even though had good reviews for this restaurant (and I had high expectations for it), I’m afraid that it really failed to tickle my senses. The worst thing was that after that meal, Saucer was hit with a bout of diarrhea the next morning. :( Poor poor guy. I have a good mind that it must have something to do with either the mussels or the scallop roe. *sigh* I guess it was just not our lucky night. It is safe to say that Bravo Italiana still has a long way to go in my books, and I’m not looking to go back there again anytime soon.

Bravo Italiana
01-01-11, Complex I-Avenue,
Medan Kampung Relau 1,
11900 Bayan Lepas,
Tel no: 04-641 0499


三股东 said...

well, all course seems just nice to me when i was viewing ur pics. Oh ya~the hawaiian pizza seems just better than Piz Hut~
All will b judge only when u taste it,rite?
Hmmm....jus wondering r the chef from italia ?

ck lam said...

Hope your boyfriend has recover from his diarrhea.

J2Kfm said...

geez ... and i've had countless encounters with scallops + roes, some baked together, and there I was, wondering what the heck with that orange sac?!!!

guess taste is rather subjective. now i'm wondering if Bravo's worth a visit the next time i'm in Pg.

khengsiong said...

Italian charm? Well I think they should decorate the place with a few footballs and pictures of Italian football teams.

MisSmall said...

LOL @ the part about traditional vinegar being served with bread! I've heard many funny restaurant stories, this one definitely made it to my top 10. Tsk tsk tsk, the kind of knowledge waiters/waitresses have around here huh? :|

foongpc said...

Huh? The waitress gave you the traditional vinegar to go with your bread? Oh, my!!

I don't like to eat seafood which are not fresh and taste fishy. I've been hospitalised for food poisoning for eating unfresh raw oysters. Learnt a lesson and never simply eat raw oysters any more!

Btw, the haunted Penang hotel - maybe you can guess from the clues in my post? If really, really cannot then I will email you the name : )

vkeong said...

too bad for you and your bf :( I hope the diarrhea didn't set him back about scallops.. I know how it feels because I had food poisoning once with bad salmon.. until now I still can't get over the experience..

kinda surprised to know the food sucked.. a lot of Penang bloggers were invited to the review, where most of them gave thumbs up.. guess the reviews ain't too accurate

Anonymous said...

greetings. i am an italian lover too. i had been to bravo italiana several times already. the only food i will order is spaghetti capitano. the reason is the seafood is fresh and most interesting is the scallop.
when (iamthewitch) mention that her friend had this dish and had diarrhoea, she must be joking. i had this dish so many times and nothing happened to me. is this reader trying to sabotage the owner of bravo? you must be a competitor. just kidding.
i guess he must have eaten something else before that.
the quality of food is so fresh and with the 20% promotion, i will definetely go over again. no problem with me. i guess (iamthewitch) is not suitable for italian food. go try other food. bye

iamthewitch said...

三股东: Yea the appearance looked nice, but the freshness was questionable. Apparently the chef has spent some time staying in Italy before.

ck lam: Thanks for your concern CK, he's fine after seeing doctor and taking medicine.

J2Kfm: Well, I guess you can still go there to eat other dishes that other bloggers recommended, just not those that I wrote about. :)

khengsiong: Haha, there are lots of things Italian.. I guess you're more towards the football side. :)

MisSmall: I know! Hilarious, isn't it?

foongpc: Yea I should have asked the chef to taste the seafood once I felt that it was too fishy. Haih I regret not doing that, because now people are saying that I didn't give an honest review!

vkeong: My bf is ok now after taking medicine and seeing doctor, thank you. :) As for the restaurant food, I guess you shouldn't judge based on my review alone. Also, I wouldn't trust too much on those invited reviews, because they're eating for free. Anyway, I think you can still try other dishes which are recommended by the other bloggers, just not the pizza. :)

Anonymous: First of all, if you're such an Italian lover and you bravely admitted that you've eaten at this place so many times, why are you so afraid to show your true self? Is there anything that you're hiding? Perhaps the truth? Anyway I think you should be more open-minded to accept constructive criticism. If you think I'm a competitor, then I would think that you're someone from Bravo itself, trying to redeem your restaurant by giving some lame comment that I am not suitable for Italian food. The nerve!

chiaoju said...

traditional vinegar vs balsamic vinegar? HAHAHAHA...

and they call themselves an Italian restaurant. :) I mean if you don't have balsamic vinegar, just say you don't have it.

iamthewitch said...

chiaoju, you know I think the waitress didn't even know the existence of balsamic vinegar. :P

chittaranjan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C C T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C C T said...

I had been the restaurant. I think you are too much on commenting the service and the food there.

No wonder your boyfriend got diarrhea. He must have get the viruses from your smelly mouth while kissing.

GOD gives you the mouth to speak , gives you the brain to think before speaking. It seems like you think with your tiny "otak udang".

What a shame to have such BITCH malaysian like you.

By the way , your webpage contains are being saved, including your pretty but brainless face photo and reported to blogspot's administrator for further actions.

andrew said...

This comment is dedicated to the very brainful CCT.

It's only right that we speak what we think and we do not necessary need to agree with other have to say and think.

I have sympathy on you CCT on the level of maturity and the shallowness you potray in this comment.

Why critise ppl's brain size, i am sure you are not potraying that you have a brain bigger then the malaysian road pebbles.

Whats wrong with having diarrhea? you never had one? most likely you suffer from constipation from the way you comment with you so damn constipated mind.

Yes God gave us brain to think before we speak, i believe the blogger think and spoke and this post is her opinion.whats wrong with that? do you really think that u used ur brain better than her? i so doubt it.

if you are ashamed of this BITCH Malaysian like her, i will pray that you will grow up and God will ease your constipation.

Please send her photo and report to blogspot, but i strongly advise you to read Blogspot's Content Policy before you send us the details. here is the link

So tell me who is not 'talking' with his/her brain now?

Think hard and not be so constipated.

God save you !!

Anonymous said...

Opinions are personal perspective, thus the comments are valid. If you think she commented too much, I dare to say you did the same too and since you called her a bitch, that makes you pretty much a bastard too. =) For your information, stomachache is not caused by viruses. Perhaps a little research before calling others brainless wont make you looked bloody idiotic in public. Or maybe, elementary english classes are more suitable before proceeding to the research part.

Anyway, good job iamthewitch. Bravo!

Lee said...

CCT, i have got another phrase for you to think about yourself as to complement andrew's point of view about you. "to say before you think, is like wiping your ass before you shit".

Hai Seong said...

You guys, please excuse CCT. I think he (or maybe she, we do not know) should be just a young punk kid out of nowhere.

Either the food in Bravo is nice or sucks, it's up to the readers to taste and judge. Everyone has own taste and likings.

J2Kfm said...

everyone has his/her own personal opinion on a place.

there's no need for excessive hurling of abusive words.

ju said...

CCT, not everyone will have the same sort of taste buds to like the same type of food. Perhaps food at Bravo Italiana is to your liking - but that doesn't mean that it will suit everyone.

You may disagree - with valid reasons. but I personally think you've gone a little over the board by harassing iamthewitch with unpleasant bitch-slapping statements. You do know that we can still live in this world, agreeing to disagree on certain matters. Hmm...Or maybe you don't.

I most definitely agree with you that GOD gave us a brain to think. Maybe you can try to use them and start to grow up. *pat pat* =)

God bless. =)

iamthewitch said...

CCT: I have nothing to say to you, because my good friends have pretty much said what you deserve. However, I would still like to thank you for saying that I'm pretty. :)

andrew: I like your constipation idea. :))

Anonymous: I know who you are, and thank you *hugs*

Lee: A funny one!! *LOL*

Hai Seong: Yes, everyone has his rights to his own taste.

J2Kfm: Exactly, thanks... :)

ju: Thank you for helping me to voice out my sentiments dear. :)

foongpc said...

Wow! I'm surprised by CCT's comments! I always thought everyone is entitled to his/her own opinions. Are we supposed to just praise and praise and not criticize? Imagine forcing yourself to write a good review of a restaurant even though it sucks? Then what's the purpose of reading reviews anymore?

Since every reviewer is different, I think we should just take what we read as a guidance and not as something cast in stone.

Anonymous said...

dear cct,
i wonder why your fucking mother ever gave birth to you. or maybe you must be the son of a bitch(anak di luar nikah). ever calling a person bitch makes you a `paria`.

Anonymous said...

err... Kou Mui all the anonymous posting above is not from me.... the bad ones.. defintely not me... the good ones... well I hope I had time to respond earlier... sorry..Rgds,