Drive down ECR for a taste of flavourful Florentine cuisine

Think Florence and you think of the majestic Il Duomo, river Arno and the bridges across it, vivid market stalls, classic trattorias and great food. If flying all the way there seems a bit much then perhaps driving down ECR for a Florence-like getaway could well be an option. Firenze by Kipling on ECR attempts to recreate Florentine cuisine.

Italian delight

There are photographs of the popular sights of the Italian city and there’s the whiff of coffee and cream. Pretty pink walls, golden lights and cutesy curtains form the interiors with large glass windows offering a view of the green lawns outside. It’s quite like dining at a friend’s warm cottage. The bread basket is set on our table and we demolish till the last crumb within minutes. The menu isn’t extensive so we don’t waste a lot of time deciding, but we do waste a lot of time waiting for it to arrive.

Kipling Speciale pizza, Risotto ala Milanese and Gnocchi de patate mascarpone cheese finally arrive. After which the waiters disappear. We call for them... silence, we try again... silence, and then we walk around the room and step outside. The rigmarole continues for a good few minutes till we walk back to the table looking valiant. All this for some water.

Starting off with the steaming hot Gnocchi de patate only lets the expectations soar. Potato gnocchi with a handful of toasted hazelnuts in creamy ricotta and lightly flavoured with sage, it’s perfect and could well compete with the best Italian restaurants. Next, we enjoy the deliciously crafted pizza in respectful silence that good food deserves. Topped with spinach, roasted garlic and mascarpone cheese, this is truly delightful.

The food is good thus far but the taste slips a wee bit with the risotto. Even with strands of saffron, tiny chunks of chicken and cherry tomatoes, this dish is bland and has nothing to write home about.

The food, however, gets back on track with the dessert that’s a hit. Lee desatino, sinful dark chocolate cake with milk chocolate sauce is just about right to finish our meal on a high note.

(Firenze by Kipling is located at 16, L Jey Avenue, Akkarai, ECR. For details, call 24530219)