Delicious Italian food with a Japanese Twist.
Rebel Pasta seems like just another Italian restaurant, but they break many rules when it comes to centuries-old culinary favourites. If you look closely at the items on their menu, there is a Japanese flair to many of their dishes. Many Italians around the world will aggressively insist on the “correct” way to do Italian food. This restaurant cheekily acknowledges its defiance of traditions with its name, “rebel.”
Ambience & Amenities
Rebel Pasta has a very nondescript atmosphere, and there isn’t much in the way of decor. There are up to eight booths along the back wall and in the space in front of the kitchen. Unique window seating looks out into the mall, with the option to sit on the other side looking in. These seats are surprisingly popular, and frequently there are diners and their tantalising plates of pasta on display when I walk by.
There is no toilet inside Rebel Pasta. Conveniently, the nearest one is right next door. Leave the restaurant and turn right. Make another right to go down the corridor behind the restaurant to get to the public mall toilets.
It’s obvious what the focus is at Rebel Pasta. Despite the name, there are just five different types on offer: spaghetti, pappardelle, ravioli, macaroni and lasagne. The small handful of meat-based mains on the menu don’t have huge amounts of carbs on the side, which seems deliberate.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
Unlike most other Italian restaurants, filtered water is free. It’s easiest to grab a bottle and glasses yourself from the shelves.
We ordered a Tango (RM29) antipasti to start. This platter is meant for two people, but it’s small enough for one person who isn’t that hungry. Four strips of smoked salmon with mild ricotta crumbled on top go well with the two 5cm pieces of lightly toasted focaccia. The pickled fruit was very sweet chunks of pineapple dusted with a hint of cinnamon. These are a perfect little finisher to save for after your meal if you don’t intend to get a slice of cake.
The risotto balls are Rebel Pasta’s take on the dish and are not as large as those in authentic Italian restaurants. They’re also not made of risotto but rather Japanese short-grain rice. The effect is there, though. The risotto-like chewiness is present, with a robust mushroom flavour imbued into the rice. Lots of cheese melted throughout the ball binds all the grains together. Instead of tomato sauce, these come with something called Chow-Chow relish, a pepper, tomato and onion mix. I would have preferred a bit of convention in this aspect and feel that the house pomodoro would have been the better choice.
The Holly Molly (RM45.00) is not as soupy as the other pappardelle dishes on the menu. This is a clean plate yet is still sufficiently saucy. The pasta was al-dente and very reminiscent of Italy. They stuck together a bit, and getting an individual noodle was hard. The beef was tender and had an incredibly rich taste. We didn’t need much of it on our forks to get an explosion of umami flavours in our bites.
The Black Manta (RM40) looks like five baby manta rays combing the sea floor. The ricotta, crab and prawn filling were shredded together into a creamy paste. The most notable element was the prawn, I’d say. There was no squid ink flavour at all, only the gimmicky colour. The seafood cream sauce on top is a little spicy but not enough to distract from the other flavours. This ravioli was very good with lots of seafood flavour without having to deal with the fussiness of various seafood shells. The pasta is not as thick and satisfying to bite as the pappardelle, so choose something else if you’re looking for that good chew.
I would absolutely return here as all of our dishes were excellent. Rebel Pasta serves high-quality pasta without haughtiness. I’ve found that there is a “right” way to do everything at authentic Italian restaurants. We’ve definitely gotten side-eyed when we don’t eat like they do in Italy and order four courses and a bottle of wine. Rebel Pasta is very eccentric in their dishes and preparation, so they don’t insist on tradition. I can order whatever the fuck I want, as little as I want, and with a glass of beer on the side, which is probably sacrilege in Italy. Rebel Pasta is fantastic, affordable, and is our new go-to pasta restaurant in Mont Kiara.
Price for 2 Pax: RM183.70
Black Manta: RM40.00
Holly Molly: RM45.00
House Red Wine Glass: RM28.00
10% Service: RM16.70
Address: Lot 1F-10 & 11 (First floor, by the escalators), 163 Retail Park, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm (10:30pm on Fridays & Saturdays)
Alcohol Served: Yes