Do you know that it is Portugal that has introduced hot chiles to Asia, tea to England and tempura to Japan? However, the country’s cuisine still remains a mystery to most food lovers outside of its borders, maybe except for pastéis de nata.
Bella is an Italian restaurant set within the quiet neighbourhood of Jalan Kurau but its restaurant manager Filippe and chef Joan are both Portuguese. Bella organises a Portuguese Night every other month to bring the Portuguese community in Malaysia together, as well as to introduce the wonderful cuisine of Portugal to more people.
We tried 5 starters, 2 mains and a dessert – basically everything from the Portuguese Night menu. Sangria is also priced reasonably at RM 15 per glass and RM 50 per jug.
Homemade Cottage Cheese with Pumpkin Jam (RM 21). Requeijão is the equivalent to cottage cheese in Portugal. It is mixed with something sweet such as this flavourful pumpkin jam here.
With contrasting salty sweet flavours and a burst of juicy melon, this (beef) parma ham and melon dish (RM 35) makes a wonderfully fresh and light appetiser.
Gambas com piri piri (RM 35), or prawns with chilli, is a classic seafood dish. Can’t go wrong with those fresh, sweet tasting prawns and hot sauce from Portugal!
Alheira is a type of fowl sausage and it is also the most common Portuguese dishes with a fascinating history. This croquette (RM 15) is made of Bella’s very own home made beef alheira and it was delicious!
Deep Fried Anchovies ala Escabeche style (RM 8)
The light-golden coloured anchovies with crispy batter and sweet flesh have small bones that crisp up really well when fried. It goes really well with the sweet and tangy vinegar sauce.
Arroz de Polvo (RM 55) is one of the most popular octopus recipes and can be found on most menus across Portugal. The flavour of the arborio rice comes from the octopus stock and other herbs and vegetables, giving the rice a very meaty flavour and a lovely hue of pink. So good!
This one pot dish of clams, beef, potatoes, pickles and olives (RM 45) has so much great flavours and textures. I love the pickles and potatoes, they were being simmered in stock to absorb all the best flavours.
Pastéis de nata (RM 6). These deliciously soft, sweet, custard tarts are simply irresistible!
Bella by Big
Address: 15, Lorong Kurau, Taman Weng Lock, Bangsar, 59100 Bangsar, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 12–3PM, 6PM–12AM daily, closed on Mondays
Tel: 03-2282 3571