Italian food. Errr..... I am not partial to Italian. I mean sure, I love pizza and pasta but those are the localized versions and besides, surely dinner at A'Roma Dinings is more than just pizza and pasta. Just the thought of Parmesan and Grana Padano cheese, I already pening....
I was not looking forwards to the dinner party (I mean the food, not the company). My partner lagi worse. He is very Ah Pek. How to eat Italian? wahahaha... So we had this conversation.
Yup, earlier in the week, we had planned on revisiting Madam Leow, a place more up our alley.
As evening approached, visions of Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio enthusiastically grating pecorino over freshly cooked pasta played in my mind. "Dis pasta is ah FUN-TAS-TIK and you MUST grate dah PECORINO. You MUST!"
We were a little bit late and as we stepped inside we noted how popular this restaurant is as it was almost full house. As soon as we sat down, we looked at the menu (the one I downloaded in advance apparently was not updated) and I had already decided on pasta for me and my partner.
However our gracious host decided that we should not order the same thing and since my partner is a rice man (hah..hah...) a risotto was decided for him.
The first thing that came to the table was a complimentary starter (two sets since there were six of us) of crispy flatbread with a tomato based dip. I'm sorry I don't know the proper name of this dish (and the ones to come).
I'm afraid the bread was not crispy already (masuk angin hah..hah...) perhaps due to storage issues.
Another starter of bread with pate and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar mix. This one I liked, the pate tasted a little bit like luncheon meat.
This is Arancini, something familiar simply because I always see this on TV. I know that it is deep fried rice balls that are stuffed with among other things, cheese and the parmesan shavings on top of each rice ball made me very afraid.
Three Arancini, shared among six people, so each of us had one half each. Surprisingly it was very good. I liked this Arancini a lot. Too bad I only had so little of it.
This is something that needs no introduction - deep fried calamari. Yes, I love this and again had too little of it.
And now the mains.
This is the something Saltimbocca (usually it's veal but not sure about this one). I wish I had known about this dish. I would have ordered it because it was delicious. As with what I deem a trend in eating, everyone had a little bit from each other's plate, I will share my thoughts on this later.
This is another dish that I would have gone for. The salmon was perfectly executed and was just so darn good.
It was not bad and fortunately, the cheese was only offered right after serving and it was a big no thank you from me. I didn't have much as it was shared with others.
This rissotto with osso buco was for my partner. Quite honestly, I dislike rissotto immensely. Our host mistook veal (osso buco is cross cut veal shank) for lamb and my lahling does not eat beef (for those not familiar, veal is the meat of calves).
And so my lahling quickly offered me his dish (because I love beef) and suggested that he eat whatever that was left of my pasta.
So I had to eat this. The veal was all right, very tender. But I am sorry, it was a pain eating the risotto. My partner took over to finish the risotto and agreed with me that the cheese in the risotto was quite strong.
At the end of the meal, the birthday person was served with a slice of Tiramisu.
At the end of the evening, although I was full (thanks in part to my heavy lunch and dessert), I was left wanting.
Eating a little bit here and a little bit there from each other's plates is just not my thing. I am very territorial when it comes to food and I must have my main meal all to myself. I don't mind sharing starters and desserts but mains, I must have my own.
But whatever it is, many thanks to our hosts for the Italian experience!