A friend of mine was in town recently for
the Cricket Sixes and asked me for a recommendation of a
really nice restaurant. He wanted to dress up in nice
clothes, take a nice lady to an excellent meal in nice
surroundings. “I want to have a nice meal, in a nice place,
with a nice companion” was how he phrased it. Unfortunately
for him, Favola at the Le Meridien had not yet re-opened
with their new re-structured menu.
I was fortunate to be invited to partake
in their newest menu offerings a few days later. Alas, too
late for my friend. Where he ended up, I am not sure, but he
didn’t have much to rave about.
Favola at Le Meridien however, would have
been something to rave about. The new menu features their
newest product on offer; pressed yoghurt which is creamier
than mozzarella and yet still delicious.
Executive Chef Gustavo Mauralli has
designed new dishes around this locally made product. First
there was a Caprese salad with a Favola twist; instead of
the usual mozzarella, the thick, creamy yet not too rich
pressed yoghurt complemented the tomato puree, fresh basil
and avocado ice cream. The pressed yoghurt was very tasty
and made an old standby, albeit a delicious standby,
This was followed by Fritto misto di
pesce, deep fried seafood served with a tasty green sauce
then a delicious risotto made with porcini mushrooms. Cooked
in a mushroom stock as well, the risotto was delicious for
both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, with the rice nicely
The main course of roasted duck breast
with a cherry merlot reduction was rich, tasty, and not too
oily. Duck can be difficult to do well, but this was very
tasty and moist.
Finally, the meal finished off with more
pressed yoghurt, this time pressed cow’s milk yoghurt
instead of water buffalo yoghurt as wiht the Insalata
caprese alla Favola. It was served with pears poached in
rosemary syrup. The pears were not overly cooked, firm but
tender to eat and the pressed yoghurt was, again, rich and
creamy without being overwhelmingly sweet.
The ambiance in the 2nd
floor restaurant is elegant but relaxed and would have
afforded my friend a perfect location to take his date for
the evening. Next year, if he is feeling so inclined, I will
be sure to recommend Favola to him.