About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lunch at S’Apposentu di Casa Puddu

Roberto Prenzo is reputedly the best chef in Sardinia (or as the Italians call it Sardegna). His restaurant is located in the little town of Siddi. I was looking forward to meeting him and tasting his food but I was not sure whether my expectations were too high. There have been many times previously when I looked forward to a great meal by a great chef, and sometimes come away feeling very disappointed.

Roberto Prenzo - the Maestro

This town is so small that we could hardly locate it in the map. That goes to show how obscure it is. When our group arrived in town with a big bus, we had trouble finding the restaurant. Pietro had to enlist the help of one of the local residents who was kind enough to walk with us to our destination.

The house not only houses a restaurant but a cooking school. There were stacks of culinary books and cultural books littered across a long table in a foyer and along the stairs leading to the cooking school. There were also some interesting art pieces hanging throughout the house.

Roberto Prenzo was a humble and gentle man. He showed us his wine cellar where he stored his cheese to mature and age accordingly. There was one cheese wrapped with mint leaves and when I smelt it, it was completely infused with the mint fragrance. That cheese would have been quite delicious.  The cheeses made by Roberto are mainly pecorino.

The lunch started with 2 types of amuse bouche. The first was home made ricotta cheese and the second was pork neck ball.
Home made ricotta cheese

Pork neck ball

Then we had the Shrimp rice cream with herbs, almond and lemon skin garnished with a rose petal. Note that the rice is grown at his farm/villa. The texture of the rice cream was akin to the Chinese rice congee but much smoother and creamier. The crunchiness of the almonds perfectly offset the rice cream’s smoothness. It was quite a lovely blend of textures.

Shrimp rice cream

Then we had a traditional Sardinian dish but modernised by Roberto’s creativity. His term is 'it is a re-visitation of a traditional dish'. It was Bread crumbed egg with tomato sauce. Now I know it sounds simple, but it really wasn’t. The egg was perfectly cooked and when I cut into the egg, the yolk broke perfectly. It was a delicious dish.

Bread crumbed egg

With yolk broken - yummy!

The next course was a Seafood soup with zicchi bread and aromatic herbs. The fish was tender and succulent and the flavours of the soup very subtle.

Seafood soup

The next course was Liquid ravioli with a cream of pecorino cheese. My interpretation of this is to call it ‘deconstructed ravioli’. This means the ravioli filling was outside of the pasta. It was beautiful; the cream of pecorino was so smooth and worked perfectly with the ravioli.

Liquid ravioli

We were then served with suckling pig cooked in smoked myrtle leaves with baby potatoes and rosemary. The brush stroke was made from cherry. All I will say is that the pork was absolutely melt in your mouth and just delicious!

Suckling pig

So, after all that, we had an absolutely marvelous dessert. It was Cherry soup with fruit and vegetable salad and Grappa ice cream. The combination of the crunchiness of the apples, carrots, celery, with slivers of almond worked beautifully with the cherry soup and the excellent grappa ice cream. Who would have thought these combinations would work so brilliantly???? I could have had another bowl of this. It was just divine! Sorry, I know I am waxing lyrical but I can’t help myself. I don’t think there was a single person at the table who did not love this dessert.

Cherry soup with granita ice cream

Somehow we found some space to have coffee, which was served with plates of mini profiteroles, chocolate truffle, almond biscuits, candied jelly and brownies. These were also delicious. Seriously, this man can do no wrong!

I would like to add that throughout our meal, Roberto Prenzo was pouring us wine and describing each dish as they were served. I was suitably impressed at his keenness to connect with his guests.

So was it worth the journey of two hours to this little town in the middle of nowhere? Absolutely positively ‘yes’. I felt like I had made a culinary pilgrimage to meet and savour Roberto Prenzo’s creative genius!

Thanks to Maeve and Pietro for finding us this delightful restaurant! What an experience and one I don't think I will ever forget. It was one of the best meals I have enjoyed.


Edwina said...

What a fabulous experience - you would never have found that restaurant on your own!

Kin Yuen said...

Cherry soup with fruit and vegetable salad and Grappa ice cream - what an idea!