Food + Drink

Food Review: Chef Marco Caverni brings delicious Venetian flavours to Mandarin Grill

What to expect


By Genie Leong

Food Review: Chef Marco Caverni brings delicious Venetian flavours to Mandarin Grill

When one thinks of the Mandarin Oriental, one thinks of opulent hotel rooms, stunning views of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline, and of course, the eminent Mandarin Grill. The restaurant’s polished interior features a contemporary yet relaxed set-up, complete with warm wood finishes, spotless surfaces and polished silverware. Remarkable views aren’t just for guests staying on high floors either, for diners at the Mandarin Grill are treated to a sprawling panorama of the lush KLCC Park that lies just beyond the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, tying in nicely with traces of greenery incorporated into the restaurant’s decor.

Of course, diners at the Mandarin Grill aren’t only treated to a visual feast but are in for an exquisite gastronomic journey—talk about dining with a view! Mandarin Grill’s new Chef De Cuisine, Marco Caverni, brings a luxurious, Venetian twist to the grill’s revamped menu. With multiple years of culinary experience in Italy, China, Jakarta, Singapore, and Seoul, Chef Marco is more than up to the task. His time working at the two Michelin-starred Trussardi Alla Scala in Milan, five-star hotels, and numerous other distinguished restaurants is displayed in the intricacy and detail of each menu item, expertly bringing diners a delicious piece of Venice in the heart of KL.

Wondering what to expect when you dine-in at Mandarin Grill? From starters to dessert, here are the must-have dishes that guarantee a fabulous dining experience:


Gone are the days of ordering just one appetiser. With so many unique dishes to sample for starters, we recommend getting a variety of dishes that pique your interest—especially if you’re dining with friends, family, or your special someone because sharing is caring after all. Here are three that stand out on the menu:


For those who enjoy a starter on the lighter, fresher side to whet the appetite, definitely order the burrata. The plate arrives with a satisfyingly round globe of milky white cheese sat next to a hedge of salad, ripe tomatoes, and roasted rock melon (which absolutely *has* be paired with the burrata). Soft on the tongue and refreshingly light, the dish offers mild albeit crisp and bright, tart flavours, making each bite the perfect starter that is not too heavy on the tongue. A prime example of elevating simple, high-quality ingredients to make the most out of a staple Italian dish.


If you’re all about mouthfeel and intriguing textures, the Polpo Alla Griglia puts the spotlight on a somewhat lesser-heard ingredient: octopus. The bright, warm colours of the roasted capsicum puree and salsa verde draw the eyes to the char-grilled octopus tentacles propped against a scoop of mustard yellow, turmeric-flavoured potato.

Each bite of the polpo is a discovery, with meatier sections providing a faint chewiness and overall succulent consistency and the thinner ends being crispier and housing most of the charred smokiness, both perfectly accompanied by the other elements on the plate. The turmeric potato is reminiscent of local flavours, opening a small window into the Asian influences in Chef Marco’s creations.


At first glance, Chef Marco’s signature antipasti may raise a few worried questions. With the main focus of the dish being raw beef, this carpaccio is certainly not for the timid. That being said, if you can get over the unease of consuming raw beef, this is an authentic Italian dish you have to try at least once in your life—and if the one at Mandarin Grill is your first, it’s likely not your last either. Rest assured that the preparation of the carpaccio is of the utmost precision and care

The freshly prepared wagyu carpaccio is delicately thin and served on a cushy bed of arugula, topped with roasted mushrooms, cured egg yolk, and a lavish garnish of black truffle. Its flavour profile is sharp and a tad salty, rounded out by the earthiness of the truffle and mushroom, all presented in a smooth, easy-to-chew mouthful. Just the thing to pleasantly surprise the taste buds and whisk up excitement for the rest of the meal.



When it comes to entrees at Mandarin Grill, there is no better choice than one of Chef Marco’s signature pasta dishes which features homemade ravioli and tiger prawns, accentuated by saffron and burrata. It’s common knowledge that the calibre of any Italian restaurant worth its chops can be determined by the quality of the pasta served, and the perfectly al dente ravioli filled with a rich and savoury filling solidifies Mandarin Grill’s status as the most prestigious Italian grill in the city. The tiger prawns are a flawless complement to the pasta, offering a difference in texture and a rounder, fresh seafood flavour. If you’re feeling a little extra opulent, make sure to get a lacing of black truffle shaved on top of the ravioli.



In the realm of Italian desserts, tiramisu is a longstanding staple, and the one on Mandarin Grill’s menu is truly delectable. However, if you’re looking to try something new or just don’t fancy tiramisu all that much (how dare you, by the way), then the roasted pineapple is a truly wonderful dish to end your dining experience. The bright yellow, marinated pineapple is sweet and succulent, with a slight tanginess to keep things interesting. Served as a rectangular slice and a rosette on the side, the pineapple is paired with sagey, evergreen rosemary ice cream and nutty almond tuille that balance out the sweetness of the fruit, enhancing the dish’s palatability. The well-evaluated flavours of this dessert make it easy to eat after heavier entrees—and a delectable end to a fantastic meal.

Other must-order signature dishes include:

Buon appetito!

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