“I am in a happy place,” Kavita Sidhu says as we sit down to chat on a Sunday morning. With the sun in the background enhancing the radiance exuding from Malaysia’s foremost supermodel, it is hard to dispute the declaration, particularly since our interview with Kavita and her husband Roberto Guiati took place just a week after the couple were married.
“It was really lovely,” she tells us, “everyone enjoyed it.” Not surprisingly, the wedding made headlines. Kavita, who some would regard as Malaysia’s most beautiful, is a model, actress, producer, now fashion designer, famed for her striking good looks. When news of her nuptials hit newsstands, the public were taken by her husband who aptly lived up to every stereotype of Italian men – suave and debonair.
The couple have known each other for eight years, dated for four years and are partners, along with Kavita’s brother of the Italian restaurant Zenzero.
“I knew she was a public person but didn’t realise the magnitude,” Roberto says when I ask his first impression of Kavita. “I wasn’t scared or intimidated but I just tried to play it cool,” he adds with a laugh.
Roberto, who hails from Ferrara in Italy, made his way to Kuala Lumpur in 2008, when he began working for a Malaysian manufacturer in the oil and gas industry. Interestingly, his brother had also lived in Malaysia and had started several successful restaurants here, paving the way for him.
Thus when the idea of opening a restaurant came up while Roberto and Kavita were in Hong Kong with her brother, enjoying the ambience of the establishment they were dining in, he was pretty confident of being able to start something similar in KL.
“I thought it was do-able,” Roberto says. “I was close to my brother and got to know the industry. We put together a business plan and it took off quite quickly.”
Zenzero is now two years old and the possibility of opening another is being toyed with. While it will still be an Italian restaurant, it will showcase a different concept.
“It is going to be more casual, with more of a drinking scene for after dinner drinks, with food that is more approachable,” he explains.
The reason why the couple opted to open an Italian restaurant is a given. There is an authenticity to it, says Kavita, given Roberto’s heritage.
Get the March issue of Prestige for our exclusive interview and photo spread with Kavita Sidhu and Roberto Guaiti, where the newlyweds open up about their chase for success.