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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Da Noi


A mix of rave reviews and one personal recommendation had this place on the want to try list for quite some time. The arrival of an occasion and the feeling that there had been a long enough wait meant Da Noi's time had come!

Famed for its Sicilian home cooked fare, this is an intimate cosy affair. Set in a narrow, slightly worn building the diner can't help but have the feeling of being a guest in someone else’s home. In a way, you are. Da Noi is all about "the chef" and it's his home you enter. The menu, as you'd expect in someone else’s home, doesn't take long too read. There's a small set selection of traditional Sicilian and Sicilian inspired dishes to choose from or the all powerful degustation option whereby the chef cooks a range of small dishes based on the likes or dislikes of the diner.

Service is prompt with knowledgeable staff who take time to acquaint the first time visitor with the aforementioned menu options as well as providing a guide through the formidable, albeit pricey, genuine Italian wine selection. Although a bottle of Sicilian red was readily plucked from the pages without any assistance being required.

The food is simple, certainly not over elaborate. Ingredients are allowed to speak for themselves only gently accentuated to bring out their natural flavour. While many decry such fan fare free presentations as over priced it is sadly a dying skill that deserves its place at the modern day table.

The evenings degustation menu was no exception. A simple fresh oyster served neat, why tinker with that?, started off proceedings accompanied by smoked sea trout topped with a little olive oil, caviar and a sprig of basil. A selection of dressed vegetables followed; green beans, roasted red peppers, courgette and roasted pepper and delicious cannelloni bean with pancetta with fresh crusty bread to mop up the excess. The pasta course consisted of perfect al dente pasta accompanied with prawns and a delightful fresh tomato and olive oil sauce. The meat dish was goat shoulder, slow roasted, served with a little rib and a drizzle of Sicilian honey enough to cut the goat fat but not over sweeten.

The dessert platter was equally impressive and included panna cotta, a hazelnut chocolate cake slice, fresh passion fruit parfait (send the Italian name on a postcard to...), fresh fruit and of course an amaretti biscuit. Finished off with a strong Italian coffee and one very pleasant dining experience is complete.

A little pricey for an everyday dining experience but certainly worth a visit if the occasion allows.

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Scribe's Notes

This pitstop is where incoherent ramblings seem to have meaning, where things or events are thought of and assessed, where great things are documented and perhaps any not-so-good happenings are written down in attempt to be forgotten!

So from the diversely abstract to the intensely specific, it's off to making tracks, and it is here where it stops for a thought or two.

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