EATINGOUT An anonymous Italian nona said – at a table with good friends and family you do not become old. Enjoy youthfulness and a great meal in a charming, old-world ambience
Make a reservation before you go to Mezzaluna, and ask specifically for a table for two by the big glass window that overlooks the hotel grounds. And when you are seated don’t be overwhelmed by the many glasses and forks arranged in ascending order of size, but pay attention and watch the warm light reflect in her eyes, soak in some deep red wine, sponge it with the soft foccacia, a dab of cilantro dip just to taste and believe that the light Italian notes play in the background just for you.
We spend sometime selecting wines, learning how to taste it, relish it and identify notes that are woody, spicy, sometimes fruity. Spin the liquid in the glass and watch the tears fall, search the heart of the wine to find answers and hold it to the light to decorate what you find with highlights of ruby, crimson or gold. And not to leave any stone unturned we sampled an assortment of cheese.
The meal begins with a portion of parma ham with melon – a combination that worked by pairing the sharp saltiness of the ham and the subtle, watered down sweetness of the melon. Some rocket leaves for the missing crunch, takes care of appetising and readies you for more.
For main course they brought me a pan seared garoupa wrapped in a sheer slice of Parma ham on pumpkin mash with boutique greens. The dish works on the above formula of coupling the right flavours – the tart Parma ham enfolds the garoupa that has its own soft, flaky texture but adapts and owns the zing of the ham as though it were its own.
The spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli comes with a robust tomato sauce, the sauce compliments the leafy spinach and the slight sweetness of the ricotta cheese, giving it the zest that would otherwise be missing entirely.
Tiramisu – the Italian dream – layers of cake and mascarpone cheese soaked in coffee, rum and a dark layer of sifted cocoa powder on the top. This exotic cake that has gained popularity but still so few get right is a risk I warned my hosts about. They were confident about it and with good reason, the cake was moist not wet, the coffee was strong not overpowering and the portion was just right, made for two.
Visit Mezzaluna at Mövenpick Hotel And Spa, 115 Gokula Extension, HMT Road, for reservations call 43001000.
CATHERINE RHEA ROY