The Italian practice of communal dining is based on the belief that a proper meal goes well beyond the dishes being served, where meals serve as a bridge that connects between family and friends. This philosophy serves as the foundation that led to the creation of Emilia. Chris Winston Sandy, the chef-owner of Emilia, channeled his fascination with the Italian’s way of sharing food through the idea of a humble communal eatery that aims to attract the attention of culinary epicureans who possess an in-depth understanding of food.
Tucked in the city’s residential area of Permata Hijau, the restaurant’s exterior is reminiscent of Italian trattorias. Their compact interior radiates a welcoming warmth that lends the space an intimate charm, as several embellishments in the form of framed artworks and decorative wine bottles—gifts from close family friends or taken from his residential home—offer a glimpse of the owner’s personal touches.
Although Emilia adapts a more American-Italian style of cooking with hints of French influences (an ode to Chris’ mastery in French cuisine) for bolder flavour, the authenticity of the Italian spirit is reflected in their belief that Italian food should be humble. For one, their pastas (with the exception of spaghetti and linguine) are handmade daily in the kitchen, and their long list of dishes not only make the most of quality ingredients but also allude to home cooking with a touch of gourmet.
Start off your dining experience at Emilia with a sumptuous plate of Afettati Misti (Italian Cured Meat Platter) or the classic Arugula E Podomoro Salad (Arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes and balsamic vinegar). For the entrée, if you long for the comfort of classic Italian dishes, be sure to try their homemade Ravioli di Spinaci (Spinach Ravioli) and their best-selling Al Funghi Pizza (Mushroom Pizza). If you’re in the mood for something more grandeur, have a plate of Emilia’s Pappardelle con Bistecca (a Hungarian-inspired dish that marries the characteristics of Goulash and Steak Diane) or their French-influenced Lobster Linguine for your intake of sea protein. Cleanse your palate with the restaurant’s selection of wine and signature cocktails before concluding the feast with their delectable dessert choices of Tiramisu or Honey Gorgonzola Cheesecake.
Emilia opened their doors in the thick of the pandemic yet has already turned curious epicureans into gourmand regulars. It goes to say that even when we think we’ve seen the extent of wildly popular cuisines such as Italian, the mastery of charm and honest food is a key which cannot be easily deciphered. Here, their meals speak for themselves, a fact their regular patrons will be more than happy to attest to. So for those who seek comfort in the form of a hearty Italian meal, be sure to pay Emilia a visit.