This post was written by Chad Merchant
MOST RESTAURANTS HANDLE the senses of taste and smell with smooth skill… but we visited one recently that engages and delights your senses of sight and sound, as well. It’s not easy to categorize the chic Paradiso Cinelounge at the up-and-coming Publika Shopping Gallery. Is it an upmarket restaurant? Is it a posh pub? Or is it just a different sort of cinema? The answer is “all of the above,” actually, and it makes Paradiso a unique player in the market and well worth your attention.
Arising from the proprietor’s twin loves of good cinema and excellent liquid libations, Paradiso is actually named for the award-winning classic Italian film Cinema Paradiso, reflecting the owner’s affection for movies. So, in addition to their outstanding cuisine and truly mesmerizing mixology (the signature cocktails here are quite inventive), Paradiso also screens movies so you can enjoy classic and current films as you nosh on your dinner and sip your drink. Indeed, as we settled into our comfortable sofa-like seats in the expansive and welcoming lounge, we were tantalised by expertly mixed cocktails – be sure to try their classic Old Fashioned – and delectable starters, such as deep-fried soft shell crab, bruschetta, and crispy spring rolls.
As we progressed to the main courses, including such treats as traditional battered fish and chips, a delicious pan-seared sea bass, and a decadent lamb shank, a true standout dish was Paradiso’s Zebra Pasta, so named for the contrast of black pasta with the creamy mascarpone sauce. Had it just been the pasta and sauce, this dish still probably would have been a favourite, but with the addition of lobster tail and prawns, it drew rave reviews. Another impressive specialty on the ever-changing menu was the luscious cheese fondue, not always an easy thing to find in Malaysia!
And what about the cinelounge ambiance and experience? Paradiso screens movies each week on its 12-foot-wide screen (Saturdays at 6pm). Want some chill out time with live music? Well, they’ve got that too, on Wednesdays from 7-10pm (this month features a smooth Brazilian band), and on Fridays, resident DJs are spinning chill-out deep house tunes from 8 until late. With a state-of-the-art audio/video system on hand, patrons can be assured of great shows and hot tunes.
Sometimes it’s a challenge being a trailblazer, but as Malaysia’s first real cinelounge, Paradiso has proven itself more than capable. It’s a little bit of everything, but everything is done well. Do yourself a favour and seek out this unique outlet that will engage virtually all your senses.
Fact File :
Lots 28 & 29, Level G3, Block C5
Publika Shopping Gallery
Solaris Dutamas, Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03.6211 3344
Prices: Most appetizers and entrees: RM15-40
Opening Hours:Open 1pm until late, seven days a week
For more restaurant reviews visit: www.DineMalaysia.com
Source: The Expat September 2012
- A Sparkling Brunch at Serena Brasserie
- Lunch with Frederick Kho, the New Chef at the Golden Sands Resort in Penang
- Madisons Restaurant, the New Kid on the Block
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