Fine dining at Favola: By Shana Kongmun

Looking for something special?

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, uniquely tasty.

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 al dente.

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.


Creamy prawn pasta

Pasta is always a good dish to prepare when entertaining. A central large bowl with the special pasta spoon can be used as a main course, or as an entree. You can substitute the prawns with crab or even a white meat fish. Do not overcook the prawns as it makes them rubbery.

Ingredients              Serves 4-6
Uncooked pasta             200 gm
Cooked small prawns     500 gm
Onion, chopped             1 small
Flour                             cup
Pepper                          tspn
Worcestershire sauce     1 tspn
Fresh parsley chopped     4 tbspns
Sliced mushrooms           100 gm
Parmesan cheese            4 tbspns
Butter                             2 tbspns
Minced garlic                  1 clove
Salt                               tspn
Milk                                2 cups
Swiss cheese shredded    60 gm

Cooking Methodd
Wash pasta, drain and then cook to al dente. Drain again, rinse in hot water and keep warm. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat, add onion and garlic; cook until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Add parsley, Swiss cheese and mushrooms; cook and stir until cheese melts. Stir in prawns; cook until thoroughly heated. Spoon over cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.