Nestled along Jalan Wan Mohd Salleh, Greentown, Ipoh is a 10,000 sq ft single-storey pristine white bungalow which has been refurbished as a modern-style Italian ristorante, Marianis@7. In this little jewel box of a place, three sports cars / supercars (Porsche 911 Turbo S, Ferrari F430 Spider and Lamborghini Gallardo) guarded its entrance during its official opening on Tuesday, December 22.
Upon entry, we were greeted with the wonderful scent of wood-fired oven pizzas permeating the atmosphere and a wine wall with a wine list which covers the globe. There is even a fireplace to make the cozy yet elegant interior feel all the more homey.
Being the one and only lady in Malaysia that owns all three high-performance vehicles, 53-year-old and well-travelled Dato’ Dr Wenddi Anne Chong is a perfect example of a renaissance woman with an extensive experience in the hospitality, entertainment, modelling, and now in the food and beverage industry.
“Marianis@7 is named after the famous food writer John Mariani. Meanwhile, the number 7 is the address of this place,” Dato’ Dr Wenddi explained. She co-owned Marianis@7 together with her other half, Kim Goo Khim Kian.
“When we first came here five years ago, we only saw a few pasta places. There was no full Italian cuisine in Ipoh, that’s why we decided to open one,” Kim, who draws his inspiration from his experience as the former owner of 14 Italian restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, told Ipoh Echo. Marianis@7 was formerly located at De Garden.
All the chefs are Italian-trained and the team imports only the highest quality ingredients. The waiters offer impeccable yet un-snooty service, another plus point.
First of all, the wood-fired oven turned Scampi (RM34), a shrimp-cheese-and-tomato pizza, Hawaiana (RM36), a turkey ham-onion-and-pineapple pizza and Marianis (RM36), a rocket salad-and-cheese pizza into magical creations bursting with flavour.
Next was the roast chicken served with mushroom or black pepper sauce (RM78 – whole bird, RM42 – half bird). The breast meat was so tender, I could cry. “In fact, for Christmas, someone bought the whole turkey and requested for it to be cooked the same way as our chicken,” Dato’ Dr Wenddi enthused.
Equally memorable was the chef-recommended Stinco D’Agnello Al Forno, a lamb shank slow roasted in red wine (RM56). Regarding their perfect al dente pastas, literally everything is good, but do try the Spaghetti Sorpasso (RM56) which is spicy marinated spaghetti with freshly baked seafood. Totally swoon-worthy.
Try to leave room for their Tiramisu (RM16), the original version of mascarpone cheese espresso and coffee liqueur, Tortino al Cioccolato (RM16), rich chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream and Panna Cotta Alle Noci E Miele (RM15), homemade creamy pudding served with walnut and honey sauce. I especially loved the warm chocolate oozing from the brownie with a crisp exterior.
“Everything I do, I want to do the best. I want this place to benefit many people with its great food, beautiful place and affordable pricing,” Dato’ Dr Wenddi concluded.
Offering lunch and dinner, Marianis@7 opens every day from 12 in the afternoon till late night. It can accommodate up to 124 indoor and 300 outdoor, which makes it a unique venue for special events such as weddings and annual dinners. For those seeking a private space, the most comprehensive Italian restaurant in Ipoh has a sound-proof VIP room with a huge screen perfect for movies, karaoke and dance for up to 22 people.
Prices are nett and reservations are advised. Bon appetito!Address: No. 7, Jalan Wan Mohamed Salleh, Greentown 30450, Ipoh. Contact: 05 243 6505