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September 13, 2009

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Italian buffet delights extend into dinner

THE tastes, sounds and rich culinary culture of Italy are showcased at Favola Italian Restaurant through a new dinner buffet packed full of the best of the country's produce.

Imported antipasti, fresh salads and homemade pastas compete for a diner's attention in a mouth-watering display of Italy's rich culinary tradition celebrated every Tuesday and Friday nights at Le Royal Meridien's Favola Italian Restaurant.

With sweeping views over neighboring People's Park and Italian music helping to set the atmosphere, Favola's aims to provide an authentic Italian dining experience.

Located on level 8, it has long attracted diners with its range of fresh Italian cuisine, sumptuous lunch time buffet and traditional Italian-style pizzas.

Pizza chef

Its latest addition is the Absolutely Italian Buffet Dinner which is an extensive array of tantalizing offerings designed by Favola's champion pizza chef Francesco Sanna.

As well as providing his expertise to make Pizza Al Metro, a giant half-meter pizza that he slices and serves at the table, Sanna has also cast a careful eye over the offerings on the buffet.

For just 220 yuan (US$32.33) diners can have their fill of imported cheeses and meats, fresh salads and dry and fresh pastas, cooked to order in front of diners with their choice of ingredients and sauces.

There is both a dry and a fresh pasta station, with the homemade pastas offered including farfalle, pappardelle and squid's ink tagliolini.

For those seeking value, they need look no further than the range of baked pastas and traditional hot dishes that are prepared for the buffet.

Using traditional recipes, Sanna has created a selection of six different traditional baked pasta dishes ranging from a delicately layered eggplant parmigiana, light and fluffy gnocchi with four cheese sauce and ravioli with sage and butter.

The baked pasta offerings are rounded out with a traditional cannelloni filled with ricotta and the timeless classic lasagna with tomato sauce.

"We want to give people simple, classic Italian dishes from different regions," Sanna said.

Originally from Sardinia, Sanna is best known for his pizza-making skills and he regularly holds cooking classes where people can learn the secrets of making a great dough.

He also teaches participants how to combine toppings and flavors to make a range of classic Italian pizzas.

Customers at the evening buffet can try a range of pizzas, including the traditional Magherita, a vegetarian offering and a range including spicy salami. All are prepared fresh and cooked in Favola's wood-fired oven.

Diners can also sample a range of authentic imported Italian cheeses that starts with the classic 35-kilogram parmesan as well as diavolino, roman pecorino, asiago, aged cacciotta and a fresh ricotta served with roquette leaves. Desserts include a range of fresh fruits and Italian-style ice creams.

The 110-seat restaurant offers a range of eating experiences, including three private dining areas and an exclusive wine cellar diner. It has an extensive wine list, including a broad range of Italian wines.

Address: Level 8, Le Royal Meridien, 789 Nanjing Rd E

Tel: 3318-9999 ext 7778


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