Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL – New Chef

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL – New Chef

Words: Nichole Ong
Photos: Rich Callahan

One of KL’s finest Italian restaurants has just received a fresh infusion of energy and creativity. Zenzero’s newest head chef, Paolo Cola, hails from Italy and brings the dynamic flavours of his homeland to patrons in Malaysia. He believes in the importance of quality ingredients and the need to change and evolve with the times, culminating in the masterful interweaving of tradition and modernity, turning humble ingredients into luxurious dishes. 

Italian Food Kuala Lumpur
Lovely Alfresco Patio
Italian Food Kuala Lumpur
Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL

Chef Paolo Cola

Chef Paolo Cola’s journey in the kitchen started in Cesena, a small town in central Italy. As a child, his love for food grew as he followed his grandmother around the kitchen as she cooked. At nineteen, he became a dishwasher, working in the kitchen until his talent was recognised by the chef. Since then, Chef Paolo Cola has transformed his humble origins into commandeering kitchens at restaurants worldwide. His experiences include being head chef at a restaurant in 2015 in New Zealand as a non-English speaker (one of the best experiences, he tells us), working as the head chef of a Ramsay restaurant, and working as the executive chef in a paradisiacal retreat on Tioman Island. 

Having migrated back to Italy in the wake of the COVID pandemic, Chef Paolo Cola set up his own Italian restaurant on the beach but still dreamed of experiences abroad. He tells us about the call he received offering him the position at Zenzero: “It was my favourite Italian restaurant in KL. The chef there was very well respected. I knew there would be high expectations, but I decided to take the risk.” This risk has paid off immensely, providing patrons of Zenzero with a genuinely excellent menu made from chef Paolo’s heart. 

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar Menu

The Scallop Carpaccio (RM 65) is the perfect way to start a meal, using fresh scallops that are smooth and buttery. The flavour from the fennel jelly and the umami kick from the wasabi mayo complemented the natural flavours of the bivalve beautifully. At the same time, the radishes were wonderful crispy intermissions to the seafood. 

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Scallop Carpaccio

We equally loved the Vitello Tonnato (RM 64), appreciating the fine quality of the veal, which gave it a melt-in-the-mouth texture. This Piedmontese dish sees fine slices of veal brightened with a creamy, mayonnaise-like tuna sauce. The floral tang of the capers and the acidity of the tomatoes synergised fantastically with the meat and were complemented by pops of freshness from the basil caviar. 

Italian Food Kuala Lumpur
Vitello Tonnato

The Wagyu Beef Tartare (RM 78) is a true testament to the importance Chef Paolo Cola places on having the highest quality ingredients. Made with marble-7 wagyu beef, the meat has a lavish creaminess and rich buttery softness. This fine ingredient is honoured in its preparation, with mustard used to break up the richness of the beef and inventive deep-fried egg yolk in the centre that is still gooey in the middle – a technique the chef learnt from one of his first mentors in Italy. 

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Wagyu Beef Tartare

Fresh Pasta 

We were delighted with the Lobster and Burrata Ravioli (RM 94++), underlining the meticulous care placed into the homemade pasta by showcasing two colours intertwined in the same package. The dish tasted as impressive as it looked, with the lobster being fresh and well-seasoned and the pasta having just the right amount of thickness and bounce. Chef recently upgraded this dish from 30% lobster to 70%, keeping with his focus on providing customers with a premium experience.

Italian Food Kuala Lumpur
Lobster & Burrata Ravioli

Main Courses

There are plentiful options from both the land and the sea for mains at Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar. Tuna Tataki (RM 95++) is gorgeously presented, coated with black and white sesame seeds and laid in small cubes along the plate. The yellowfin tuna marinated with teriyaki sauce was bright and fresh. An additional sauce dropper allowed us to drizzle a little more of the marinade if we pleased. 

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Tuna Tataki

The Lamb Loin with Pistachio Crust (RM 128++) was another highlight. The lamb was coated in apricot juice for a slight tartness, and the pistachio crust finished off the meat with a nutty sweetness. The lamb itself was cooked to the perfect medium rare and the accompanying vegetables were tender and flavourful. 

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Lamb Loin with Pistachio Crust


We recommend concluding with the Tiramisu Sphere (RM 36++) as it sums up chef Paolo’s philosophy in a nut (chocolate) shell. Combining tradition with innovation, the firm chocolate shell reveals the smooth, decadent sweetness of the classic inside. The plating is spot-on showcasing creativity while respecting the original flavours of the well-loved recipe. It’s pretty much a reflection of the meal throughout; a menu built on strong foundations presented with care and panache that enhances rather than detracts from culinary heritage.

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Tiramisu Sphere
Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Tiramisu Sphere

Wine List at Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar

Zenero Restaurant’s drinks menu boasts a handful of classic and craft cocktails alongside a select wine list holding labels from regions renowned for quality viticulture and winemaking. 

Aperol Spritz (RM 44++) is popular globally (but especially in Europe) for a good reason. Served in a bowl wine glass over plenty of ice, Aperol is topped up with prosecco and garnished with a dehydrated orange slice. The vibrancy of the orange hue mimics the palate, which is refreshing, light and a great appetite opener.

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Aperol Spritz

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar’s wine list is unashamedly Italian. One of the wisest premises of pairing wine with food is to drink from the same region the food is from. So it makes perfect sense for an Italian restaurant to do this well. The list provides eight wines by the glass, a phenomenal selection for an independent restaurant. From a nicely balanced bubbly to a crisp chardonnay and a deeply aromatic and fruity Primitivo, there are plentiful options for matching across the entire menu.

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Solid Selection of Wine by the Glass
Zenzero Italian Restaurant Wine List
Zenzero Italian Restaurant Wine List

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL – Review 

Chef Paolo Cola’s new menu absolutely cannot be missed. It continues Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar’s tradition of fine Italian food with an infusion of fresh ingenuity. The quality of the ingredients, as well as the meticulous creativity of the dishes, makes the new menu truly shine, providing a satiating meal that will leave a lasting impression. 

Reasons to visit Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL: meet the new Italian chef, fresh premium ingredients, homemade pasta, quality wine selection, fantastic covered patio surrounded by greenery. 

book now

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL
Lot AG1 Amplewest@Menara 6 No, Jalan Puncak
50250 Kuala Lumpur
+603 2022 2899

Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar KL Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday, 12 pm – 12 am

Find more Italian restaurants in KL here and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in KL’s food and beverage scene here and here.


  1. The alfresco patio looks impressive. Good luck, all the best to the new kid in town!

  2. That scallop carpaccio looks absolutely inviting.

  3. Lobster a little pricy here.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  4. Love how they plated their food!

  5. How wonderfully presented!

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