Being away for 12 days in Italy meant a long absence from my blog space. However, that also meant that I discovered lots of exciting things in Italy (Positano, Capri and Rome) to share with you. My journey started in Positano and ended in Rome. Rather than following a chronological path, I decided to write in no particular sequence... just whatever memory that came to my mind on a daily basis as I recount my amazing journey.
First up on the list is my last supper in Rome. After 10 days of pasta, risotto, pizza, I finally got tired of eating traditional Italian food. Too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing. For my last night in Rome, I wanted something that is not served out of a trattoria, but a cool dining spot frequented by the hip locals and cosmo jet set crowd. Number 2 on the "Fashionista" dining spot in my trusted LUXE City Guide is Antico Arco.
The journey to the restaurant is a scenic drive up Gianicolo, the hill somewhat similar to Mount Faber, if not higher. It is a lookout area where you can see Rome in its full glory.
Once inside this cosy restaurant, you will be greeted by a young and dynamic team. The sharp-as-a-razor maitre d' (pictured below) is friendly, knowledgeable and speaks good English. He also doubles up as the sommelier.
Now let's get to the food. Antico Arco is a must-visit if you are ever in Rome. If I do return (even though I didn't throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain), I will definitely dine there again as the cuisine is an innovative and delicious take on traditional Italian cooking. My recommendation is to have the "Tasting Menu", which is the degustation menu as we know it.
#1 Course : Octopus salad with sauteed potatoes caramelised with balsamic vinegar. The description sounds mouth-watering, and the taste was simply divine!
Amuse Bouche : Meatball on toast. A good start to my gastronomic journey. I usually hate meatballs but this was really yummy.
#2 Course : Crispy buffalo mozarella, salted tuna roe and confit tomatoes. This is my favourite dish of all. I have never tasted buffalo mozzarella in this state. The cripsy wrap on the outside and the warm cheese inside make this dish unforgettable.
#3 Course : Fresh tomato soup with ricotta cheese. I avoid tomatoes in general but I made an exception for this. The ricotta cheese made this tomato soup different from the usual offerings.
#4 Course : Risotto with scorpion fish and asparagus. It is difficult to find a bad risotto in Italy, as it is afterall a staple. However, using scorpion fish is an unusual take.
#5 Course : Amberjack fillet with caponata (eggplants and olive). By this time, I was so full. The servings for the tasting menu were not "Mickey Mouse" portions (as Lolo would usually say of small servings) but seemed to me to be normal serving portions.
#6 Course : Selection of cheeses. Am not a fan of cheese after a heavy meal, but loved the fact they served with fig and onion jams, and honey. Wish they do that here in Singapore too.
Dessert : For dessert, you get to choose your choice from the a la carte menu. Ain't it liberating to be given the choice to choose? I chose tiramisu. You won't believe it (neither do I)... but it is my first and only tiramisu in Italy. The maitre d' explained to me that their house tiramisu is special as it is made fresh individually daily, using fresh mascarpone cheese. This is the "lightest" tiramisu I ever had in my life.
Lolo choose the warm chocolate cake. It was divine but too rich for me after a full meal.
Remember this... when in Rome, do what the trendy Romans do... dine at Antico Arco!
Official Site: http://www.anticoarco.it/English/