|This is the whole restaurant. Hardly any more room for big group of diners.|
Notice the ingenious way of placing a shelf above the table to place the wine decanter and glasses.
It was Venice, Italy. Many years ago.
We had a whole day on the islands. The best time you could have in Venice is to walk and walk and walk. Enjoy the people, the canals, the loudness of it all. The romance, the scent and the pretty scenery. It was merely shopping and eating. What else would you do in a place that is so colorful and vibrant? Just be merry. To read more about my feelings about Venice, click here.
Then, we stumbled upon an adorable restaurant (I can't remember the name of the restaurant, I tried, something Osteria ...). From its front facade, it was so small, so narrow that when we walked through the door and entered, we looked and discovered to our amazement, the interior walls were just as wide as the size of the door. Right at the rear, which is not to far ahead, was the counter and the kitchen. The tables were made for only 2 diners. A small group would have crowded the place and filled it to its brim.
And yet, we found to our delights, the most inviting food ever. That was the first time I tasted Polenta, a cornmeal mush, a traditional Italian food, even older than pasta. It actually looks like our nasi hempit, or ketupat. But the polenta we had at this restaurant was soft and smooth. Other polenta that I had after that experience, was a bit coarse and bland.
The next first taste I had at the restaurant was the risotto with squid ink. I never knew that we can eat squid ink. The way they cooked it then was so good, I looked out for this dish when I am back in KL. For many years, KL restaurants didn't have such dish with squid ink. Then, later I found that they have squid ink spaghetti. But that was different from risotto.
The most memorable has to be its tiramisu. It was out of this world. I have never tasted so "pure" a tiramisu I could drown in its rum or was it cognac? After that, no tiramisu has come close to that intoxicating taste I had in Venice.
I do believe that taste is also influenced by the atmosphere and the ambiance at the time of dining. This feeling permeates into the food, may it be polenta, squid ink risotto or tiramisu, and this exquisite thoughts had made the food so delicious it edged into my DNA. After all these years, I remember ...
I think, even if I were now sitting in the same restaurant, ordered the same dishes, it would not taste the same as they were 10 years ago!
|Polenta, Bruschetta, fried mushroom and something else. Oh yes, those glasses are wine - for lunch.|
|Risotto in squid ink|