Thursday, 7 June 2012

Venezia Italian Restaurant @ Taman Segar, Cheras

There has been a restaurant that has been plaguing our minds for the past 2-3 years. It's a tiny little Italian restaurant nestled in the middle of a sloping hill in Taman Segar. I remember driving past this restaurant for the past 10 years of my life, wondering what amazing food they offered. Because y'see, for a Western restaurant that is not McDonald's to survive in the harsh tastebuds of Cheras is almost unheard of.

So we decided to give the place a try. And the occasion for such a momentous undertaking was, unfortunately, also quite a sad one. Y'see, 2 of our Forever Hungry Buggers, Seah and Jun, will be leaving for the UK for about 3 months. I will also be heading off to Australia for the next 6 months while Marcus will most probably be off to Shanghai for a few months. The only remaining member here in Malaysia will be ECF.

This means that Forever Hungry will officially be broken up all over the world for at least half a year.

That's why we decided to have the farewell dinner at a restaurant we have always wondered about. Before I go on, I just want to explain my stand on why it's difficult for a Western restaurant to survive in Cheras. Cheras people are extremely picky with the kind of Western food they eat. So, there are only 3 reasons why a Western restaurant can survive in Cheras.
1) Very, very reasonable prices.
2) Very, very good food.
3) Very, very reasonable portions.

Let's start off with the place itself. Venezia is located on a sloping hillside near Leisure Mall. Venezia has gone through many changes over the years but it's still a very obvious restaurant with its eye-catching sign.

The interior is very cozy and Italian restaurant themed, with oil paintings hanging on the walls. It's generally what would would expect from an Italian restaurant.

Very cozy.

Now, we will rate the place based on our initial reasoning on why Venezia has managed to survive for so long in Cheras.

1) Very, very reasonable prices. 

The price of the food was reasonable, yes.

But it's typical Italian food pricing. The pasta ranged from about RM15 - RM20 and their pizzas (8 slices) were about the same price as any other pizza place. I wouldn't say that the place is expensive, but it's certainly not cheap either.

2) Very, very good food.

Honestly, I was disappointed. Here was a place I wanted to try for over 10 years and I may have gotten my hopes up a little too high. Jun and ECF felt the same way as well because, as hungry as we were, we didn't tear into the food with that gusto. The food was below expectations.

We had the garlic bread for appetizers.

Garlic bread. 

Nothing special and definitely loses to the one in Pizza Hut. Nothing beats the garlic bread in Pizza Hut.

Next up for the main course, the Spaghetti Vongole, which is pasta with clams, parsley and white wine.

Spaghetti Vongole, with clams, parsley and white wine.

I personally felt that this was too plain, with only the clams to provide a little bit of flavor to the pasta. The taste of white wine was almost non-existent. It was quite disappointing.

We also had the Fettuccine Carbonara, with smoked pork bits, cheese and egg yolks.

Fettuccine Carbonara, with smoked pork ribs, cheese and egg yolks.

The initial sight of this pasta was encouraging because it looked really authentic and delicious. But when we tried it, Jun made a remark that even he could make a better Carbonara. (Jun's a good cook so yes, he can say that) The egg yolks and the cheese didn't mix well enough and turned into a sticky mess of yellow.

Well, according to me of course. There were too few smoked pork bits and again, it was very disappointing for us.

The last thing we ordered was the Hawaiian Pizza.

No one can actually go wrong with Hawaiian pizza because it's a tried and true formula. Luckily, it wasn't bad at all. The crust was thin and crunchy and there was a generous amount of pineapple toppings. The only complaint is the chicken, which were supposed to be chunks of roast chicken but turned out to be a little more than chicken slices.

I don't see chunks of roast chicken. Do you?

But overall, not bad. Because try as hard as you can, no one can mess up a Hawaiian pizza.

Overall, the food wasn't up to the standard.

3) Very, very reasonable portions

The pasta was, at most enough for one person. The pizza is definitely made for sharing but with different prices (most expensive pizza an all pork pizza worth RM33 for 8 slices), I don't see how the portions are reasonable for sharing. It's all very similar to other restaurants. 

Venezia has done some pretty amazing stuff by surviving through 10 years of business in a place where the average Western restaurant lasts about 1 year at best. (Even Leisure Mall's A&W closed down! It takes so much to please these people) But by their food standards, I don't think I'm impressed enough. Perhaps if they tweak their food slightly, they really have what it takes to be a good Italian restaurant. 

More info on Venezia:
Address: No. 1, Jalan Manis 4, Taman Segar, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: Longitude: 3.088617 Latitude: 101.743618
Phone: 03-9130 8992
You can also check out their Facebook page here.

Lastly, we also hope Jun and Seah have fun enjoying themselves (and eating) in the UK. See, even ECF is sad. 


By the way, go to our Facebook page and drop a word or two of luck for Jun and Seah as they study in UK. I heard the Fish & Chips is nice there. =)

Also, we'll be at the DiGiWWWOW Awards as one of the Top 10 contenders in the Nuffnang Makan-Makan Expert category. If you're there, come say hi to us and wish us luck for victory!


  1. I feel like trying out the spaghetti! Look so delicious! =]

  2. you make me so hungry now. nooooooo. i don want supper


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