Pane e Tulipani

I’m still alive and this blog is too!  Well, barely. I’m sorry that I haven’t posted here in a while, Uni has picked up pace and I’m scrambling to keep up. One mid-sem polished and done, so this is my mini hiatus until the next mid-sem hits in less than 2 weeks. But before then, let’s talk about food!

This is another little adventure on one of my mum’s handy vouchers. The deal is a shared antipasto platter, one main each and a complementary glass of house red/white  for $29. Below I’ve listed down their normal price for each dish.

We visited on a crisp Wednesday evening, so it was unsurprising that the suburban restaurant was almost empty. The dining room is big and spacious, with uniquely shaped wood-carved tables. A huge blackboard laden with today’s specials covered one entire wall of the restaurant. Greeted by a cheerful, bubbly waitress, we quickly settled down to peruse through the menu in search for a main dish that tickled our fancies. Mum and I actually ended up picking the same dish (telepathic mum and daughter right here)! However, in order to try out more variety we decided to pick another dish and share both.

Antipasto platter for two ($25)

Antipasto platter for two ($25)

Our platter arrived theatrically on a heavy wooden board, however the theatrics ended there. Don’t get me wrong, the board was laden with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, salami, mortadella, smoked ham, marinated artichoke hearts and olives but it was just the quality of the products that failed to wow me. The mozzarella was not creamy enough and the quality of the selection of meat was nothing I couldn’t easily buy from the supermarket deli. I guess, the generosity in quantity makes this antipasto platter acceptable. The focaccia was fresh, but I would have preferred if it had revisited the oven for a bit of warmth.

Linguine pasta with prawns, cherry tomato, garlic and chili ($21)

Linguine pasta with prawns, cherry tomato, garlic and chili ($21)

This is also a mediocre dish. It certainly does not taste bad, but it tastes similar to what I would whip up quickly for a weekday dinner. The pasta was under-cooked, so it made my mouth do a little extra workout. I was expecting to taste the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, pungency of the garlic and the little bit of kick provided from the chili. But I got none of that. Though, once again, this is a very generous serve and even more generous with the number of prawns in it.

So we had mediocre and mediocre again, by now, I was a little dubious of the quality of the dish that mum and I both had our eyes on. But, I needn’t worry, because this was our saving grace.

Homemade cavatelli pasta with duck ragu ($21)

Homemade cavatelli pasta with duck ragu ($21)

Okay, I know this dish looks unappetising, but sometimes looks can be deceiving (pardon the cliche). When this dish arrived, steaming hot, at the table, I could smell the rich aromas of the duck ragu and I couldn’t wait to dig in. The cavatelli was cooked to a perfect al-dente, which made it the idyllic vehicle to carry the meaty ragu.  The sweetness of the tomatoes, richness of the duck and the depth of the stock it was cooked in made me smile in content. It was like being wrapped up in a big, warm hug. Even as I got full, I found myself continuously going back forkful after forkful. Happiness.

Even though we got some mediocre dishes that night, but I will definitely be back for that duck ragu pasta and I will be more than happy to pay full price for it.

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