The restaurant of choice, after some exhaustive research, turned out to be Favola, on the 8th floor of Le Meridien KL. Honestly, I dislike going to KL Sentral (where Le Meridien is located). I dislike getting out even more. There's no proper, clear sign-age to that place and even if there was, it's usually at the last minute when it's too late to successfully cut across like a gazillion lanes.
Anyway, I digress. Favola (meaning fable in Italian) is on the 8th floor, and has a poolside view (lovely in the evening). I'd been reading some reviews on the place and there seemed to be a general consensus about some of the dishes which were good, so I decided not to be too adventurous and go with the recommendations (which were recommended in the menu as well anyway).
Favola has a very comfortable, rustic feel about it.
Complimentary bread with dips. Nothing quite like fresh bread, and with good accompaniments. They give three dips, two of which change daily, of course the olive oil and vinegar is standard.
Nice teacup with an even better teapot. One that could pour hot tea properly without spillage. And the outside of the teapot was still cool even though the tea was boiling hot inside. And then there was the almond biscotti as well :)
Ordered one accompaniment, Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops (RM55) - all the reviews I saw before this said it came on a bed of cauliflower. I was kinda looking forward to that, I guess they changed the menu. The beans were still good, however, and drizzled with truffle jus. I've never had such huge scallops before, and they were seared to a lovely, juicy and succulent doneness that, drizzled with a bit of black pepper, gave a very nice melt-in-your-mouth texture. Best scallops I've had so far.
Close-up of said scallops!
(RM50) - another one of their specialties, essentially (for the non-Italian speaking crowd) shell pasta with seafood sauce, in a paper parcel. The pasta, sauce and seafood were all excellent, except for the squid which was a bit excessive (also because I don't eat squid, my wife had to eat all of it) and it wasn't really fresh. Otherwise, all the other seafood in the dish was excellent.
Lasagna al Forno (RM50) - Lasagna is made in-house, not pre-packaged lasagna. And with wagyu beef that melts in the mouth. They even included small chunks of the beef in addition to the minced beef, creating a nice meaty effect. Again, one of the best lasagnas I've ever had. And the first time I've ever had wagyu beef as well. And I wasn't disappointed.
All three dishes. Seriously, look at the size of the scallops!
Dessert was the specialty Illy coffee inspired Tiramisu (RM30) and a scoop of Italian gelato (rum and raisin) (RM8 per scoop) - we were kinda disappointed by the tiramisu, it didn't really taste like much and it's not something I would order again. The ice cream, on the other hand, was sheer quality. And for RM8 per scoop, not bad value either.
The total bill came up to only RM145 (after my Starwood card discount - I highly recommend it!) - looking at all the food we had, it was definitely worth every penny. Add to that the poolside view, the rustic setting, and the excellent service, it's definitely a place I'd visit again. The manager even came personally to apologize about the squid.