I love carbs — there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. In fact, there have been many times when I’ve told myself I needed to go on a low-carb diet, and each time I’ve failed. It wasn’t because I couldn’t, but instead simply choosing not to because why would I?
One of my many favourite forms of carbs is none other than pasta — the crevices of a fusilli, the fluffy texture of gnocchi, and the solid lines of spaghetti… Oh wow, this is starting to sound like a love letter to pasta.
Without further ado, here are some of the best spots in Kuala Lumpur (KL) for fresh-as-they-come pasta! You can bet on your carbs here being made from scratch, and not from out of a box. Buon appetito!
1. Rebel Pasta, Mont Kiara
As the name suggests, Rebel Pasta is not one to follow hard and fast rules, which is apparent in its menu. For fresh and classic plates of pasta with a touch of Japanese flair, here is the place to be. The ambience is super casual, making it the perfect spot to go when you need a quick Italian (with a dash of umami) fix.
Must-try: Matcha-Made In Atlantis, Mario-Five-O, The Darth Wader
Address: 1F-10&11, 163 retail park, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6012 331 3048
2. Back Alley Pasta, Ampang
No guesses where this pasta joint is located, and as you would have assumed by its name, Back Alley Pasta is a small pasta bar. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in freshly-made pasta with unforgettable accompanying sauces.
One of the restaurant’s highlights is definitely its bar-like area, where you get to see the chefs in action. This place is often booked out months in advance, so plan your visit with caution.
Must-try: Charred cauliflower with Pesto Diavolo and Pecorino Romano, Tagliatelle in Nori and Roasted Garlic Butter with Grilled Kurobuta collar Steak and Pesto Diovola
Address: 8 Jalan 1/67B, Off Jalan Mengkudu, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2856 3065
3. Strato at Troika Sky Dining, KL city centre
There are no misses when it comes to the restaurants at Troika Sky Dining, and this is especially true with Strato, which gives its guests great food, affordable pricing, and a stellar view. Not going to lie; I also love the ‘casually atas’ vibe about the place. There’s also a bar where you can order refreshing cocktails while waiting for your food. Only a few places can do gnocchi well, but Strato nails it to the T!
Must-try: Wagyu Beef Cheek Tortellini, Ricotta Gnocchi al Gorgonzola e Tartufo, Spaghetti Sugo di Gamberi
Address: Level 23A Tower B, The Troika, 19, Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2162 0886
4. Grano Pasta Bar, Bangsar
Hankering for some seriously freshly handmade pasta plus an extensive selection of wine? Then look no further, though if you’re on a low-carb diet, you may want to stay away. Everything on the menu is carb-heavy, and honestly, I’m not complaining. They even have a specific section on their menu for add-on items, just in case you want to add more oomph to your meals.
Must-try: Cheese Ravioli, Penne Alla Vodka, Linguine Zia Teresa
Address: 29, Jalan Riong, APW Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2201 3613
5. Nero Nero, Damansara Heights
Nero Nero is a cosy Italian restaurant located in DC Mall that serves authentic and delicious Italian cuisine. The restaurant uses organic flour to make its pasta and employs traditional techniques to ensure it is always fresh and perfectly cooked. Definitely the place to come to celebrate a special occasion or if you’re looking to splurge on a good meal!
Must-try: Ravioli di Zucca, Linguine al Granchio, Fettucini al Nero di Seppia
Address: L3-02, Jalan Damanlela Damansara City Mall, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6019 667 4546
6. Natalina, KL city centre
Ask any real foodie and those who truly appreciate good Italian fare, and they’ll mention Natalina, which many tout as one of the best places for pasta. I personally have never been, but Zafigo’s very own Editor, Zai, has given rave reviews.
Their menu is extensive, so even if you’re not in the mood for pasta, there are other equally delicious dishes you can order. Those with little ones can even ask the chef to whip up something kid-friendly, and what’s even better is the dish can be personalised to your child’s liking.
Must-try: Gnocchi al Tartufo, Tortellini Salmon e Asparago, Pappardelle con Guancia di Manzo.
Address: Avenue K, Lot 06 – Level 03, 156, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6012 673 3860
7. Osteria Gamberoni, Downtown KL
This little gem known as Osteria Gamberoni has been steadily serving customers some of the best Italian eats in town ever since its opening two years ago. The venue is spacious and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, which lets in plenty of sunshine when dining during the day.
There’s also a semi-al fresco area for those who prefer a non-air-conditioning setting. Everything on the wine list is also 100% Italian, each specifically chosen to pair well with the dishes on the menu.
Must-try: Risotto al Nero di Seppia, Gnocchi alla Campidanese, Tagliatelle Anatra e Zucchine
Address: 17 Jalan Yap Ah Shak, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2602 9727
8. Moodmood, Downtown KL
Is it just me, or has there been a rise in pasta bars. Again, I’m not complaining. I’m all in for pasta bars, and another one that must be added to the list is moodmood — a place that’s clearly here to stay, thanks to its hearty and soulful plates of food.
Being tucked away in a shop lot along Jalan Tun H S Lee almost makes it a culinary treasure we must protect at all costs! There are no misses here, plates of pasta are as fresh as you can get ‘em, and there’s an impressive selection of wine too!
Must-try: Silk Blanket with Mushroom and Truffle sauce, Cacio e Pepe, Tiramisu
Address: 196, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6019 332 0988
9. Roberto’s 1020 Osteria, Bangsar
Ask anyone where you should go for delicious Italian, and a lot will mention Roberto’s 1020 Osteria, located in the upscale neighbourhood of Bangsar. With an indoor air-conditioned section, covered patio and lounge, it’s an all-day dining affair. Many rave about their classic and gourmet pizzas, but their handmade pasta deserves a shout too — there is no going wrong.
Must-try: Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, Beef Ragout Pappardelle
Address: Lot G109 & GK3, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6017 394 8050
10. La Risata, Damansara Heights & Ampang
No stranger to the pasta scene, La Risata has been around for decades and is loved by many. With only two outlets in the Klang Valley, this restaurant chain has consistently delivered fresh and delicious pasta (and then some), which keeps customers returning for more. While their mains are much to shout about, their desserts also deserve some love. Make room for some; that’s all we can tell you!
Must-try: Gnocchetti Di Spinaci Con Timballo Verdure, Risotto Nero Con Calamari Ripieni, Pappardelle Al Ragu D’agnello
Address: Damansara Heights – 128, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur; Ampang – 16, Persiaran Ampang, Kuala Ampang, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Damansara Heights – +603 2095 9572; +603 4252 6269
11. GOODDAM, Petaling Jaya
For Italian fare that is reasonably priced and tasteful, look no further than GOODDAM. While this restaurant may not be in the Kuala Lumpur vicinity, its Petaling Jaya location still makes it easily accessible. Helmed by a group of young chefs hungry to serve customers with a well-thought-out menu, you’ll find it hard to be disappointed with any order chosen. You can even bring your own bottle here!
Must-try: Classic Carbonara, Grilled Mussel Tagliatelle, GOODDAM Tiramisu
Address: Lot B-G-07, The Hub SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya
Contact: +6010 766 9708
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 10 April 2023 and has been updated to include more locations.