I Dreamt Of An Italian Christmas & It Came True



It’s time to begin feasting and it won’t stop till after Chinese New Year as we celebrate one joyous occasion after another. Our hotel F & B outlets offer such fine foods whether you are having lunch or dinner. There are all kinds of cuisine to choose from. At Saujana Hotel, you can choose to experience authentic Japanese fare at Kogetsu or a traditional Italian Christmas at Senja.

Italian food at Senja is something I always look forward to especially because I know it’s going to be superb thanks to the friendly Chef Filippo Giunta. I was invited to Senja’s Christmas Set Menu tasting last week. It’s a 5-course meal so it’s best to go there with a very empty stomach.


The 1st starter is Poached Egg with Port Wine, Pan Brioche and Fresh Black Truffle. How beautifully put together is this? The brioche was so soft, the perfect accompaniment to the poached egg. The sauce was exquisite, it is poured on to the poached egg by Chef Filippo once served to the table. Naturally, the fresh black truffle is pure luxury.


Ever since I lived in New Zealand for a few years, I have loved pumpkin soup. Chef Filippo’s version is Pumpkin Soup with Giralles Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Potato Gnocchi. This soup is creamy and rich without being too thick. I could have eaten more of the Goat Cheese Potato Gnocchi, love the taste of this goat cheese as it’s so creamy yet not salty.


If you’re used to the way spaghetti and other pasta are cooked at most Italian restaurants here, you will think that the spaghetti served at Senja is under-cooked but I like it this way as it has a firmness unlike what we taste when we eat noodles. This is Home Made Spaghetti with Wild Mushrooms, Artichoke and Black Truffle Cream. I wouldn’t mind having this as main course as the sauce wasn’t too rich, very palatable.


Whenever salmon is served, I always have high expectations. It’s my favourite fish and best when grilled as the skin will be so crispy and the flesh should have that melt-in-my-mouth effect. Chef Filippo’s Norwegian Salmon on a Bed of Crushed Potato and Crab Meat, Caramelized Fennel and Balsamic Reduction has to rank among the Top 3 salmon dishes I have ever tasted. The chunk of salmon is bigger than what the photo suggests. I savoured every bite. I cut it strip by strip so that I could have some skin with every mouthful. What more can I say? This main course is the best part of the meal. It made me want to have seconds!


The presentation of this Christmas Ice Parfait with Fresh Berries and Mandarin Orange Compote left me awestruck. The colours are so festive and appropriate for a Christmas meal. There are raisins and mixed fruits in the parfait which is fluffy and soft like air. The perfect dessert to end an Italian Christmas meal to remember forever.

Senja’s Christmas Set Menu is RM228++ per person. Other options in this set menu are:-

Baked Aubergine with Mozzarella Fondue and Basil

Langoustine Risotto with Italian Parsley and Lemon

Stuffed Turkey Breast, Baby Vegetables in Marjoram and Butter Sauce, Confit of Potato and Rosemary Sauce