Alvin Thomas indulges his passion for all things Italian by treating his taste buds to lunch at the funky Mediterranean eatery – Trattoria.
If you’re an ardent follower of Y, you would know of my love of all things Italian. However, I have to confess that I haven’t been keeping my word lately: I’ve not had anything Italian (food, mostly) for quite some time now. My last time at a proper Italian restaurant was in November last year! Surely, it was about time to bring a few things back in order.
So when I was the designated taste-tester for this week, I drew up a few places that I thought I could visit to end my three-month drought of not having had my favourite cuisine.
Thankfully, this time I wasn’t flying solo. Instead, I was accompanied by Taylor Glover – Y’s intern from Australia who has been working with us for the past two weeks.
From the list of restaurants that I had put forward, we quickly decided to head to Trattoria – a sister restaurant to Mamasan (a Chinese restaurant) that I had reviewed a while back.
One of the reasons we headed there was because Trattoria is placed in a secluded location (at the Al Assalah Towers in Azaiba), meaning it would most likely not be crowded, and we wouldn’t have to wait too long for our food.
Entering the restaurant, I realised that not much had changed since my last visit. Faux bricks cover most of the walls while incandescent lights light up the place. Overall, the décor is simple but tasteful. It’s like those restaurants featured in 1940s-period films (think Bicycle Thieves).
Our server – a very polite young lady – was quick to bring us our menus. The selection is every Italian food lover’s dream: it is jam-packed with a variety of dishes ranging from traditional Italian pane (breads), cornetti (croissants), tramezzini (sandwiches), pastas, ravioli, steaks and even pizzas.
But since we were in the mood for something simple, we found ourselves scouring through the menu for some meat pizzas and Pane All’aglio (traditional Italian garlic bread).
Soon, both of us decided to settle for the Fantasia pizza and a portion of Parmesan cheesy garlic bread. We also ordered a simple 7-Up-based lemon mocktail to start things off.
Our mocktail was the first to arrive, and it was served along with a side of mint and lemon. It was quite refreshing, to say the least. But since both of us were parched from the sun, we enjoyed the drink.
The garlic bread was the next to arrive. It had been freshly prepared and was served with plenty of cheese and finely chopped garlic cloves, which Taylor said she quite liked. Needless to say, it didn’t last too long on our plates.
Our pizza arrived in less than 10 minutes too, and we found ourselves gorging into it. To be honest, amidst all the hurry, we almost forgot to click pictures for the sake of the magazine – but thankfully, that was not to be.
The Fantasia pizza was generously garnished with Danish mozzarella (my favourite kind of cheese), turkey ham, black olives, mushrooms, asparagus and onions.
Taylor quickly pointed out that the pizza was scrumptious. She also commended the thin crust, which was very well-prepared.
I found the pizza to be quite delightful. The turkey was a tad on the smoky side but the asparagus (something I’d never fancied before) was growing on me, and I enjoyed the generous serving of mushrooms. Even the pizza slices were quite large; something I haven’t seen for quite a while at Italian restaurants across the capital.
Following our main course, we briskly ordered some pudding. Taylor opted for the chocolate cheesecake while I opted for the raspberry cheesecake.
Both arrived quickly, and were definitely freshly prepared. Taylor’s cheesecake had a soft cake base, and she said that it reminded her of chocolate mousse. But she still gave it the thumbs up and declared it to be “a wicked indulgence”.
I found my raspberry cheesecake to be marvellous too. It was doused in raspberry syrup, and the cheese was soft and fresh. There’s no doubt that this was one of the best cheesecakes I had tried in a while.
In all, our stop at Trattoria turned out to be quite successful. Not only did we find the food to be delightful, but also everything, from the overall aura to the polite waiters at the restaurant, bringing Trattoria on point.
Trattoria is definitely worth visiting, and without a doubt, it has to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the capital.
There’s no doubt that I’ll be heading there again soon.
Do you have a favourite restaurant that you’d like to see reviewed? Let Y know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Great food and quick service at affordable prices.