Those who have been out and about in Ipoh would surely have heard of the Italian restaurant by the name of Marianis, now Marianis @ 7 but M7 to the regulars.
Well, I too know of Marianis @ 7 and have perceived, like many locals, that this is an “atas” (upscale) eatery. I have put it on my KIV list to dine here when there is a celebratory occasion, a time to close my eyes and just 豪一豪 (splurge on it).
With Christmas just ’round the corner, this is as good a time as any to do so. Setting foot in M7, I felt at home in its enveloping ambience. While it looked elegant, it is a casual dining place as well, I was glad to note. Looking at the menu, I was quite surprised that the prices are reasonable and not budget-breaking as I had deduced.
Marianis @ 7 should not be somewhere to 豪一豪 only, as this can also be a hangout spot among friends and colleagues over a long lunch. With its three private rooms, this is also an ideal venue to host functions, parties and informal meetings, over delicious food! It is true that the best ideas are formed and discussions most fruitful when one is well fed, in a conducive environment. Best of all, no booking fee is required.
My family and I were at M7 yesterday for lunch. Tuesday being a workday, my common go-to lunch is sets. I don’t have to waste time figuring out what to eat, or wait long to be served. Set lunches can be prepared very quickly at most cafés, like clockwork.
The set lunch menu offered at M7 daily from 12 noon till 3pm is wide and varied, but can be categorised into four main ones: Pizza, Spaghetti, Chicken and Nasi Briyani, incidentally, the only non-Italian item served here.
Within each category is a list of preparation options to select from. Although these main courses are also available in the à la carte, those in the set lunch menu come with complimentary Soft drink, Soup of the Day, and Dessert of the Day.
So, let’s have a look at our early Christmas lunch, an advanced celebration as I will be out of town, then.
We started our meal with Soup of the Day, which was pumpkin. This restaurant also serves other soups, such as spinach and mushroom.
Unlike many other eateries, the soups here are prepared using fresh ingredients, and not canned soup bought off the shelf. For the rich mushroom soup with fresh cream (Creama Di Funghi), there were actually chunky mushroom bites in the thick soup.
Set A: Pizza Alle Verdure (RM23 per set)
M7 is well known for its Italian pizzas, so when you are here, do at least order one pizza. Alle Verdure is a mixed vegetable pizza, using fresh vegetable choices from Cameron Highlands.
With thin charcoal bread base, baked in a wood-fired volcanic rock oven, this unique creation by owner Dato’ Dr. Wenddi Anne Chong herself is not available anywhere else in Malaysia. Even before you get a taste of it, the aroma of the pizza fills the room and teases your olfactory senses.
In addition to Pizza Alle Verdure, we had Hawaiana (Hawaiian) and Tonno E Cipolle (Tuna) in mini sizes so as to taste a variety of toppings.
Pizza Hawaiana has slices of turkey ham, onions and pineapple, while Pizza Tonno E Cipolle is topped with tuna, onions and mushroom.
Video: Chef Malek bakes pizza at Marianis @ 7
Having seen how these pizzas were baked, I am impressed with the generous quantity of meat and cheese used in the pizzas. Yes, there is a glass window to the kitchen that guests can actually view the entire process.
While these pizzas are delectable eaten as they are, diners who prefer an extra oomph may add on Tabasco sauce and/or chilli flakes, readily available on each table.
Set B: Spaghetti Aglio Olio and Fettucine Salmone (RM25 per set)
We had two sets of noodles: the popular non-meat, healthy Spaghetti Aglio Olio with fresh chillies, and Fettucine Salmone, homemade flat pasta with smoked salmon and creamy sauce on top.
If you love fish, definitely go for Fettucine Salmone, as you will enjoy the pieces of salmon hidden in the generous sauce and noodles.
Set C: Cordon Bleu Di Pollo Alla Puttannesca and Spring Chicken (RM29 per set)
These chicken sets are top choices among guests who prefer more meat in their meal. Look at how appealing Cordon Bleu Di Pollo Alla Puttannesca is, with cheese dripping from the deep fried chicken breast meat. Served with spaghetti in spicy tomato sauce, if you were me, one piece of chicken isn’t enough!
The Spring Chicken is another mouth-watering dish. Complemented with colourful vegetables and baked potato wedges, this is best eaten by pouring the accompanying black pepper sauce generously over the chicken. Other sauce options include mushroom and peppermint.
Set D: Nasi Briyani with Chicken Curry or Lamb Curry (RM22 per set)
Nasi briyani is the odd item out in this Italian restaurant but also its star! Cooked Arabic-style, the curry is pungent and spicy that complements the aromatic briyani of top grade basmati rice. It’s personal preference to go for chicken or lamb but you wouldn’t go wrong with either one.
The chicken meat separates nicely from its bone, which is how I like my serving prepared. As for the lamb, even though I am not big on red meat, it is with delight that I say that the tender meat has only the faintest gamey taste, so there is no worry about the overpowering mutton taste that could spoil the entire meal.
Risotto Italian Rice
From the à la carte menu, we had Risotto Italian Rice, traditional porridge-like Italian rice cooked with an assortment of seafood and tomato sauce.
Being a Cantonese, I only eat porridge and soft food when I am unwell. However, Risotto is still a good choice on an ordinary day if you prefer a lighter meal. The variety of seafood gives the rice its blend of flavours.
As for desserts, also from the à la carte menu, we had Dolci Al Assortiti, a quartet of Tiramisu (mascarpone cheese espresso and coffee liqueur), Chocolate lava brownie (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream), Crème Brûlée (custard with caramelised sugar top) and Panna Cotta (homemade creamy pudding).
Following the above-mentioned feast fit for a princess, if you plan a celebration at home, perhaps for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, it is an excellent idea to ‘tapau’ (takeaway) the marinated Wagyu Tomahawk steak which you can then cook by yourself.
Prices fluctuate slightly batch by batch for Wagyu Tomahawk Steak – this is selling at RM488 for 1.45kg. Interested? Place your order before Monday every week, and self-collect from the restaurant when it arrives.
Lazy to cook? Pressed for time? Let Marianis @ 7 host you and your family to a 4-course traditional Christmas dinner, at RM128+ per person. It begins with Starter of Fettucine Flat Pasta with Seafood and white wine, served with either a glass of red or white wine. Soup will be Wild Mushroom Soup.
There are two main courses to choose from: Stuffed Breast Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce or Tenderloin Roast Beef with Rosemary Herbs. Dinner is then wrapped up with Christmas pudding as dessert. Reservation required.
Do take note that Marianis @ 7 is a pork-free restaurant and can cater to different dietary needs, such as healthy, vegan or liquor-free. Just inform the staff beforehand.
Overall, Marianis @ 7 is value-for-money with a combination of appetising, quality food in lavish portions, great service and soothing ambience. For guests who drink, a comprehensive white wine selection is served here, at a reasonable price range, too. Prices are subject to 10% service charge.
Marianis @ 7
Add: 7, Jalan Wan Mohd Salleh, 30350 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: +605-243 6505
Business hours: 12 noon – 11pm (Tuesdays – Sundays), close on Mondays
Facebook: Marianis at 7 Italian Restaurant
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