Dave’s Pizza Pasta Vino 1Utama Review

(Disclosure: I was commissioned for this write-up, but I paid for the food myself and the following are my honest and independently written review of their menu.)
In the interest of helping Malaysia curb the obesity epidemic, this will be the final food review I’m doing for Emmanuel Stroobant’s Christmas menu.

Dave’s Pizza Pasta Vino is one of the hidden treasures of 1Utama. So hidden in fact that despite going to 1Utama so often, I never even knew it existed.
1Utama to me has always been just The New Wing. I searched high and low for this restaurant, only to realise that it is actually located at The Old Wing, on the ground floor right opposite Burger King and TGI Friday’s.

The restaurant didn’t impress me at first.
Upon entering, I was immediately reminded of other similar informal Italian restaurants like Chili’s or Italiannies. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But the dimmed lights, cluttered walls, and comfy cushions just seems a bit too common place.
There’s a decent crowd of regulars at the restaurant, but it wasn’t exactly packed too brim. The ambience was still casual and comfortable.
So comfortable in fact, that they even provided us with a baby pillow.

Maybe some kid accidentally left behind her pillow also. I dunno.
In any case, I sat on it too long and so err… it kinda smells like my butt now.
Unlike Chili’s or Italiannies though, the food at Dave’s is very non-halal, which means pig lovers can go hog wild at all the porky galore goodness.

“Welcome! Eat me!”

From a business standpoint, it seems quite silly at first that Dave’s would wanna make their restaurant non-halal. It’s a huge revenue sacrifice when you alienate about 60% of the Malaysian population. Why the heck would anyone wanna do that?
But as soon as I sunk my teeth into the pan-fried pork belly shaving (RM18), immediately I understood why Dave’s decided to go against convention and squeal OINK!

Damn. That was one downright sinfully delicious pork belly!
This is one dish you really gotta try to believe! The texture is great and the aroma even better. The crispy bacon soaked in dripping oil is so tasty that it completely blew me away.

Just as awesome were the button mushrooms stuffed with bacon, cream and mozzarella cheese (RM18.50).
As a true meatlover, I wasn’t expecting much out of this predominantly vegie dish. But as soon as I put it in my mouth, my eyes immediately lit up.

What a fantastic delight. Words do not do justice the orgasmic delight when the overflowing juices of the stuffed mushrooms bukkaked and filled up inside your mouth. These are the best mushrooms I’ve ever had in years!
Two entrees and already we were impressed.
We can’t go to a restaurant with “Pizza” in its name without at least sampling their pizzas, so we got a large pork salami pizza (RM38) to share.

I know this is starting to get old, but…
This pizza kicked ass.
This pizza kicked Pizza Hut’s ass. Multiple times over.
This pizza kicked Pizza Hut’s ass so bad, the customers eating at Pizza Hut could taste Dave’s foot on their pizza toppings.

In short, this pizza totally kicked ass.
What I like the most about the pizza is the taste of slightly-burnt cheese on the crispy crust outside. Very yummy! Other than the restaurants in 5-star hotels, not too often have I seen gourmet pizzas done to that perfection.
The only thing I hate about the salami pizza is the ba jiao (star anise, I think) they added to the pizza topping. Who the heck put ba jiao on pizzas man? Please, leave that foul-tasting herb in bakuteh, and not on my pizzas.

Three hits in a row and we wondered when Dave’s would go wrong. Unfortunately, they did with the chicken parmegiana (RM40).
There was chicken, cheese and mashed potatoes, but ultimately there was nothing out of the ordinary. It was the only dish we didn’t actually finish.

The mixed seafood platter (RM41) we had was above average though. For RM41, we got an assortment of prawns, mussels, fish, calamari and clams all baked with cheese and served over truffle sauce.
Quite a sweet deal for indecisive people like us who can’t make up their mind.

But the best deal in the house has gotta be the Guinness lamb shank (RM41).
For RM41, I got a humungous portion of a lamb shank and, like every other main course item on the Guinness Christmas menu, comes a free pint of Guinness Draught on the house.
The beer costs about RM20 at Dave’s, so essentially I’m only paying 21 bucks the lamb shank.

Nowhere in KL, Kuching or some say Batam can you get a lamb shank at a restaurant for just 21 bucks.
And it’s pretty good lamb shank too!
The Guinness tenderized the meat so well it falls off the bone and melts in my mouth. When accompanied with mashed potato on sweet stout-enhanced gravy, the end result was a lamb shank so flavoursome I can’t wait to wash down with a pint of cold black beer. It was such a satisfying dish.

The aftermath of the lamb shank

One thing I must also commend on was the service at Dave’s. It was most definitely a good 4 and half out of 5 stars.
Service was prompt without being hectic, friendly without being pushy, attentive without being annoying. If you ask the waiters any basic question, they know their stuff. The best part is that it’s easy to get their attention because they are always nearby.
It was very unlike my experience in other restaurants, where the waiters always seems too busy talking to each other, or too lazy to move around as if they were acting in a movie called “The Day The Waiters Stood Still.”

My collection of miniature Guinness pint glasses

I know I sound like some fanboy raving through this review, but there is no false advertising here! If you like places like Chili’s, TGI Friday’s or Italiannies, you’ll love Dave’s at 1Utama. The food is good and the prices even better.
The only false advertising you’re gonna get is in their Kid’s Menu.

Nemo as Fish & Chips? Damn, that’s cruel!

Seriously though, I say the Guinness Christmas menu promotion is one of those things too good to miss out own. It only runs till 31st December and only at selected outlets around Klang Valley. They are really worth trying. If you’re wary, I have already given my verdict on which dish to order and which ones to avoid at Delaney’s, Jarrod & Rawlins @ Ampwalk Mall, Michelangelo’s @ Solaris and Dave’s. KY have also written reviews for Cafe Chulo, Ronnie Q, Gypsy Wine & Bar, SevenAteNine and The Magnificent Fish & Chips.

Kenny Sia after eating at Dave’s

Anyway opportunities like these don’t come very often, where you get to sample dishes created by a celebrity chef at prices so reasonable, especially when you take into account the free beer they throw in with every main course. 🙂

Went to Hanoi last year and enjoyed the trip immensely. I am in Saigon, South Vietnam now. Though it isn’t as pretty as the north, the food here definitely kicked serious ass.

79 Replies to “Dave’s Pizza Pasta Vino 1Utama Review”

  1. Nice and yummy. No, don’t stop. Please write more food reviews, they are so informative and hilarious-ly funny. Not the food, but the way you review the food lol.

  2. Good choice.. And I’m jealous. You get to try so many dishes…Usually, I’m filled to the brink with just a pasta and a pizza shared among 2-3 friends!

  3. my previous experience with Dave wasn’t good. I went there with a group of friends for their lunch promo (50% off pasta and free wine on weekday afternoons).
    basically, the pasta was terrible, very pre-made and lousy presentation. the wine barely filled 1/8 of the glass (approx. 3 sips). Plus the service was seriously one of the worse ever.
    so, don’t go for the lunch promo. dinner or other times should be much better. cheers.

  4. i’ve always wanted to try this place every time i walk past, but never have.
    i think i will now, after that mouth-watering review!! mmm… pooorrrkkk!!

  5. you know what else’s awesome at dave’s?
    their cabonara anything.
    and ribs.
    oh my god eating it makes me feel like i died and gone to heaven- food heaven.
    cheers, kenny.
    finally someone else reviewed my fav restaurant. they deserve more publicity. 🙂

  6. Facts:
    The carbonara is one of the best in KL. Seriously. You should have tried their carbonara and wrote about it.
    And if you want to eat there (the carbonara especially), go at lunchtime. The pasta is at half price. Carbonara lovers like me will head over there to eat!

  7. I remember they serve this kick-ass kong-po pasta… surprise that u didnt try it… unless , they dont have it anymore 🙁

  8. hey, kenny…
    i hope u read this and give it a thorough thought.
    Since u are recently single again and reading many of your readers’ comments, i guess it would be perfect if you were to hold a SINGLES’ PARTAY!!
    It will cheer you up for sure, give u something to look forward to, and most importantly, for your fans to meet up with you and for you to know more gals. hahaha. hope to hear the good news!

  9. I do admit that Dave rest. in One Utama is one of my favourite lunch joint. But I have not been there for almost a year now. Last year, they had great lunch promotions whereby a pasta set lunch with a glass of wine costs only about RM15. But most importantly, it tastes good and the ambience is simply great.
    Despite that, I have to admit that it is still a hidden secret as not many people are aware of that restaurant. My only fear now that once kenny sia has made it known to the world, more people would start flocking into it and it would no longer remain cheap.

  10. dave is the best place in town to drink and dine. I love to go there very much, but they are still in my top 5 list for beer and food! This is one place….cheers to Dave’s!

  11. I used to work as a waiter about 6 years ago in Dave’s. Those days, we were allowed to pick a dish from the menu for our provided meal!
    I think the all time favourite was the bacon carbonara and the turkey ham pizza. It’s awesome!
    Also, beer aside…their cocktails and drinks menu are pretty decent. I remember the milkshakes, they used to use only Bulla ice-cream.
    You should go visit em a second time. 🙂

  12. I looooooovee Dave’s. They’ve been my favourite restaurant since the first day they opened in 1 utama. Was just there last night with my family (also incidentally was having the lamb shank which was absolutely to die for) and was so worried about the lack of customers. I just didnt understand how a restaurant with such good food can have so little customers! Was just wishing that a blogger would go there and try their food and then rave about it online. Ironic eh? It’s a pity you didn’t try their pastas which I personally feel is their forte. Try the squid ink pasta or the mixed seafood pasta next time. Absolutely delish!

  13. Chili’s is actually a restaurant chain that serves American food with some Mexican influence. It’s definitely not an Italian restaurant.

  14. I have pass by the shop many times but never though they serve food with that high quality…as mention the outlook of the restaurant did not attract me at all but after today, i might go there and try…no harm wat…thanks kenny!!!

  15. Dave’s has been my favorite restaurant in 1U for a long time. I went there with Suanie like 2 years ago and drank 2 jugs of beer in a single seating then had my dinner. They kept changing my mug to an ice-cold frosted one, very good service! They have this Oyster and champagne appetizer thing which I find quite value for money, never fail to order that whenever I go there.

  16. Hey Kenny, i just tried the lamb shank you recommended (30th Dec ’09, 9.30pm), and feel its so-so only. Not so great like what you said lah! May be we have different taste

  17. hi,
    i managed to finish reading 3yrs of your blog, from head to toe, in 3 days. i must commend that it was an amazing journey. keep up the good work.

  18. kenny.i know u love animals.i know one that needs help.you dun have to link it to my blog or anything.but please friend.spare ten minutes to visit my blog.thefrogcroaks.blogspot.com then try and copy the picture to your blog. i believe in prayer…the dog is still alive…lets create a miracle. Linus

  19. i’ve been trying to promote dave’s almost everywhere and to everyone!! i’ve been a frequent diner there since i was 18.. and now i’m soon-to-be 28.. almost ALL of my friends whom i took there love the food..
    the button mushroom dish is my hubby’s fav dish and also the chicken cordon bleu.. it comes with ‘satisfaction guaranted’.. as for me, i’ve been always the pasta lover.. hence i love their olive oil mushroom turkey ham pasta.. yummy.. oh, u forgot to mention about the pasta ya? it comes with at least 4 sauces.. tomato, cabonara, olive oil and…. grren curry/kung po/thai.. if i’m not mistaken..AND also a few choices of pasta.. eg: linguine, fettuccine, penne, spaghetti..
    dave’s still has the half price promotion for pasta.. from 12pm to 5pm.. the pasta is still good (even it’s promotion) plus it comes with white wine..
    i hope with this entry on kenny’s blog, dave’s will have more customers.. coz i hate to see such good restaurant to close..
    ps: yea, the pork is yummy! 🙂

  20. Hi Kenny,
    Happy New Year to you tooooo!
    Great food at Dave’s and their non-halal food brings back the remaining 40% of the pop.
    Back to the topic, I think with your training regime, even if you overindulge, your body should be able to burn off the extra calories. Cut down on the pints, though as a beer belly can be difficult to bring down. Keep up with the food reviews.
    btw., who is the cute girl? New g/f? Not bad rebound.

  21. Kenny, I was there on 26th, had Hawaiian Pizza and the pork belly too. Had wine as well. The pork belly is just fine to me. Tired of crunching the pieces. Ha.

  22. Hey Kenny, I would love to chop you up and cook you, then SECRETLY feed you to your OWN family – and tell them a few hours later – then watch them barf you up 🙂
    Can I please do this?

  23. Ever since your blog on Dave’s, I’ve been there twice. And i have ordered their pumpkin soup twice. The first mouthful was like a drop from heaven. Everyday, I long to go back just for the pumpkin soup. The pizzas and pastas were great too, not to mention salad.
    I went back yesterday, they changed their menu!!! My pumpkin soup is gone!! I was so extremely upset. I tried to get the waitress to convey this to the chef, on whether I can pre-order 10 portions of this for me to freeze at home, but she said cannot.
    Is there anyway you can convince their management to bring this soup back please?? Else, i have to go to Singapore just to have a this, but Dave’s was far nicer! Thank you kenny.

  24. Angie Teh – Are you sure no more pumpkin soup? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! That was the best, second favorite is the wild mushroom soup. So outta dis world taste…. Bring back the pumpkin soup…please!

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