Eating out at Favola, always reminds me of eating out in Venice.
With its moody weather, that’s almost always threatening rain, breath-taking ancient architecture, winding canals, and endless mysterious passageways, Venice was one of the places I loved most for great sightseeing and food, in Italy. This trip was almost a decade ago, but I will always remember relaxing with an espresso in Piazza San Marco, munching on a delicious slice of pizza and later, wandering off the beaten path to watch the people of the country go about their daily routine.
And at Favola, its Italian cuisine with its simple ingredients, enticing aromas, and fabulous flavors is what reminds me most about my time in Italy, the place where, once upon a time, I begin my gastronomic tour of Italian food.
Foccacia and ciabatta bread, grissini
At Favola, we start dinner with the breads. One of the highlights of eating at this restaurant happens to be, the amazingly well baked Foccacia and ciabatta breads.
These freshly baked breads of Focaccia, no doubt are a simple flat bread, but it is certainly a fine change of pace from regular bread. It’s also a wonderful base and a rather fine nibble food, especially when eaten with the luxurious truffle potato dip. If you don’t like truffle potato, at Favola the breads come with a mixed veggie & tomato confit or an Extra Virgin olive oil & aged balsamic dip as well.
This soft creamy mozzarella based cheese, served with shaved truffle, extra Virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was to die for.
The burratina was a terrific combination of spun paste cheese and a delicious cream filling, that once chilled, became solid butter. The texture can only be described as soft and pulpy inside, with a heart of semi-liquid. To the eye, it looked like a creamy, ivory coloured paste, more compact and yellow on the outside. The taste of the burratina, which has to be consumed in a short time, mainly depends on the “Stracciatella“ which should have the right balance between mozzarella and cream. Its aroma is a mixture between whipped cream and fresh mozzarella, it tastes delicious! We paired this with a medium bodied white wine served chilled and it was perfect!
This French Sauvignon Blanc, with which Marques de Riscal makes this varietal white wine, originally comes from the Loire Valley region. It was then introduced to Rueda, Spain, and we found it to be a rather fresh, white wine with a good medium-bodied mid palate. It was smooth and silky and showed a fantastic acidity that paired well with dishes like cheese and fish.
Garlic and Thyme Roasted Portobello Mushrooms
These gorgeous, baked nuggets of Garlic and Thyme Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Lombardy Taleggio cheese were like taking the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling – ricotta, spinach and Taleggio cheese, and nestling them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The portobello caps were huge and bursting with juices.. totally awesome stuff. This dish comes highly recommended.
Barbecue cod fish
This flaky, succulent cod fish that had been barbecued and served with Olive oil, basil, capers, pecorino and sun dried tomato dressing was another winner. Great one for the ladies watching their waists.
Back in the day, Marques de Riscal brought groundbreaking wine-making techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja, Spain. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines, widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja.
The Rioja Reserva 2007 Marques de Riscal is a classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polished and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, this red wine was the perfect pair for red meats and cheese. It got on famously with our next couple of courses – the pizza, the duck pasta, the wagyu risotto and the veal.
Seafood pizza in Venice is unlike pizza served anywhere else in the world. And at Favola, it is a close to the original as you will get. It is tastefully prepared with a generous topping of lobster, scallops, prawns, calamari and clams – often still in their shells! The shells open as the pizza bakes in the oven, releasing their sweet juices onto the crust and tomato sauce base.
Venetian pizza, like much of the pizza you will find in the north of Italy, has a very thin crust and makes an excellent single-course meal.. we ate this with great gusto.. throwing away that low carb diet we swore to have earlier this week. This pizza signaled a barrage of carbo heavy dishes which were about to rain down on our table like zephyrs.
Pasta con Anatra Affumicata
This next dish of home made tiaglatelle, smoked duck, chili, garlic flake, basil, Portobello mushrooms and fresh greens was delicious. We liked the fact that it had chili flakes and was actually spicy. No complaints here.
Risotto con Carne di Wagyu
Then came a super rich and creamy risotto, cooked al dente. This Risotto with sautéed Wagyu beef strips and Vincon wine (non alcoholic substitute) was pretty decadent. Creamy, fatty, rich and unctuous.. all the warning words that signal a long payback workout ahead of us. No matter.. tonight, we party!
Cotoletta di Vitello Piemontese
Then it was time for the heavy weights.. enter the proteins. A Massive 12oz / 340g Piemontese veal cutlet, gorgonzola pudding and panzanella salad, served with bread, tomato, onion, basil and olive oil, just brought out the carnivore in us. Short of howling at the moon and ripping the meat apart with our bare hands, we still managed to suck the thing dry – only the bone remained.
Then all too soon, it was time for dessert. This well thought out platter of almost every dessert under the sun (at Favola) was specially crafted so that we might enjoy all the different signature desserts of the restaurant.
The desserts served were, an Illy Coffee Inspired Tiramisu, a Budino di Cioccolata (warm chocolate pudding served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce), a Cassata , a Doppio Espresso Crostata and finally a Double Espresso Tart with fresh Chantilly cream.
When I asked the Chef, to explain to me what a Cassata was, he smirked and said, “this recipe was given to me by a friend, an Italian chef. He made me swear on a stack of ice cream that I would never reveal his recipe.” So, yes, if you were wondering what that was, I did not find the answer that night either!
I loved all the desserts but the one I liked best was the famous, quintessential ‘pick-me-up’ dessert, the tiramisu, made of sponge cake soaked in rich coffee, cocoa, amidst layers of sweet mascarpone cheese.. Many italian restaurants tussle over who has the best and the original recipe, but we feel that Favola comes close to the real deal.
With the SPG Card you get to enjoy further discounts at outlets such as Prime, Favola, Latest Recipe, Villa Danieli, Celestial Court, Essence, Prego, Splash, The Living Room, Five5enses and Qba Latin Grill & Bar as well as over 300 participating restaurants and bars in Asia Pacific.