Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rome - To Eat 24th-25thAug2013 (Vinando, Giolitti, Spiriti and frme, La Franschetta Panineria by Zero Cafe)

Rome - To Stay
Rome - To Do
Rome - To Eat 
Rome - To Eat

<Click here to see ABBATRAVEL facebook page>

Voted 90 of 5330 restaurant on TripAdvisor.
Ordered On:


Never had anchovies on your pizza before? You should give it a try! It'll give that unique saltiness only anchovies can give.

Day1 at VinandoOrdered On:

Capricciosa 10(Pictured Left)
(Tomato, mozzarella mushroom and Parma ham)

Buffalo e pachino
10(Pictured Right)

(Buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes)
*Very light subtle accents from the buffalo cheese. Absolutely delectable
and distinctively different from the other cheese pizza we had ordered reviewed below*

Funghi 8(Pictured Left)
(Tomato,mozzarella and mushrooms)

*To standard. Balance of flavors were all there and enjoyable. Who can say no to mushrooms.*
Quattro formaggi
10(Pictured Right)
(Four cheese)
* Great, good quality cheeses used, far from thick artificial cheese flavors from a can. 
If you're not a fan of blue cheese, one may want to stay clear of this pizza.
It's not overtly strong but it gives a light to medium undertone of distinctive blue cheese flavors. Not for everyone.*

Asparagus Pasta (Pictured Left)
*Another recommendation by the staff. Perhaps the asparagus undertones were really subtle. Nothing outstanding.* 
Prawn Cabonara with Egg 14 (Pictured Center)*Originally one was ordered to share, but it was such a hit with everyone that another two more on the first day.
Not only that, on the second day, due to closed options for dinner, everyone returned for another round. With many ordering an individual portion this time. Cream mixed with egg, which looked very similar to chili crab sauce.
Prawn flavor shown true and  as with its orders piled up, obviously a hit with everyone.*
Orecchiette al Cesanese e chipotle di Tropea 10
(Pictured Right)
(Fresh pasta with red wine onions in cheese basket)
*Best described as flavors very similar to Red Wine Chicken Mee Sua (Noodle) dish*
Total - Aprox 130 non inclusive of tip. Fed 9.
Day 2 at Vinando
Back here again due to three other alternatives, all were found To be closed on our day of visit. No objections from within the group, and a quick an easy decision.
 Polpette Di Melanzane 10
(Pictured Left)
(Eggplants balls fried)

*Though not elegantly presented, the deep fry and oozing cheese from its interior,
more than made up for it. It's preparation is reminiscent of a Japanese croquette.*

Carpaccio Di spigots aglio agrumi
(Pictured Center)

(Sea bass carpaccio with citrus sauce)

*Really good. The citrus dressing wasn't so strong that it 'cooked' the fish with its acid. Drizzled with quality olive oil and what I believe to be roasted Szechuan pepper corns really added texture, that slight buzz and great subtle flavor.*

Degustazione affettati nostrani 13
(Pictured Right)

(Mixed Salami)

*To standard*

Ababa chino Alla scottadito 16 (Pictured Left) 
(Grilled pieces of lamb)
*Similar to the fried lamb dish pictured right, not much meat on the bone. Fatty and oily*
Petto d'Amatra con patate croccanti 16 (Pictured Center) 
(Duck breast with fried potato)
*Meat was relatively dry, with little to no caramelization, skin side. Nothing to scream about.*
Costolette di Agnello cipollotti e tartufo nero 15 (pictured Left)

(Lamb cutlets with onions and black truffle)

*A deep fry on the cutlets. Sweet onions were pleasant but black truffle non existent or completely overwhelmed by the lamb.
There wasn't a lot of meat on the bone either.*

Prawn Cabonara with Egg 14 (Round2 and individual portions this time! Not pictured)

Asparagus and clam pasta 11 (Pictured Left)

*The asparagus aspect of it gave a very subtle light sweetness. The clams were fresh and relatively generous in the cooking.*

Gnoki in cream sauce with crispy bacon and black truffle oil (Pictured Right)

*A very, heavy and starchy dish. Truffle flavor was non existent but crispy bacon was a pass.*

194 non inclusive of tip. Fed 10

Overall a great place located in a quaint location, with good food, great service and company. The staff who waited on us, remembered our orders of two sparkling and two natural waters the next day when we visited for dinner. Thankfully it was near the pickup point, cause from settling the bill at 2015hrs, everyone made a brisk walk to becoming a run, for the shuttle bus which departed promptly at 2030hrs for Sheraton.

Although bread served table side was cold and old, the food, atmosphere, service and 'private room', more than made up for that. 

When in Italy, I feel it's better to always stick to their antipastos, pastas and pizzas. Have yet to try mains which are a home run.
Click here for ABBA location of Vinando (located 450m from drop off/pick up point)


Ordered On:
09 and 10Oct2016

Rice - Yeap that's right. Rice Flavor! Interesting. Its creamy and you have bits of rice in it!
Coconut -
Nice but cannot meet Thai standards.

Masala Custard - This one's got alcohol in it and fans of rum would love it.
Pear -
Sweet and refreshing!
(The winner with fantastic chunks in it.)
Peach -
Its got lovely fruit bits and lovely!
(More sugar than melon. Melon flavor itself is very light)

Ordered On: 
*I loved this refreshing flavor as well. None of that artificial milk based creamy flavor but all natural flavors. They even had chocolate chip bit to replicate watermelon seeds!*
* You've got fruit chunks in it as well!*
*It like having the drink itself. Not overly boozy but distinctively baileys*
*Amazing. you taste the coconut and it comes with coconut shaving bits!*
Black Cherry
*Ok only.*
Ordered On:
 *Its like drinking the actual bubbly. Amazing!*

*Incredibly light and refreshing. Non-creamy variety.
A sorbet of sorts that isn't overly sour or too watery. It's like eating the real fruit.*


*Tart and a great paring to combat the summer heat.*

Pick pomelo

*How they pull it off I have no clue. Down to the slight bitterness that you taste near the pulp foam and the delicate sweetness from the pomelo. It's all there!*

And Other flavors

All of them were good regardless. Creamy, smooth, sweet and mind blowingly good.

By far the best Ice-Cream I've had so far. The closest would be chain GROM also found in Milan, with one located just at the end of the same street. However, it is second to this by its sheer flavor selection alone and perhaps slight edge in flavor profile.

To purchase, one needs to pay up at the counter the scoop sizes they want, before proceeding to the counter with receipt and order request. Scoops start from double scoop at 2.50 and upward

For sit down dining, it's extra service charge and they serve up ice-cream in a fancy cup with extra trimmings. They don't allow, cone eaters to take seats within the premises.

Good service. While being Instagramed, a fully loaded ice-cream cone fell victim to the pavement. Staff at Giolitti who saw the travesty and gave a fresh new cone instantly.
Click here for ABBA details on Giolitti

Spiriti & Forme
Located near Trevi Fountain

Rated 157 out of 5330 on trip advisor

Ordered On:25thAug2013

Tortelli di ricotta romana in salsa Di pistachio 10

(Home made ravioli with ricotta cheese with pistachos sauce)

*A unique concept with the faint sweetness and crunch coming from the pistachios*

Fiori di zucca al forno con ricottina di pecora 10

(Zucchini flowers with fresh ricotta cheese)

*Said to be in season during the summer, this classic paring had always been seen on Ironchef programming but I've never tried it before. Bottom line, pretty to look at, but taste wise, the ricotta cheese seems to overwhelm the subtle sweetness from the Zucchini Flowers, mostly derived from the stem.*

Papparedelle Al ragu Bianco Di coniglio 10

(Large noodles with white ragu of rabbit)

Prosciutto e melone 15

(Ham and melon)

Total 64, Fed 4 non inclusive of tip.

Also tried tiramisu and creme brûlée from the girls table.
No pictures as desserts were already half eaten.


*Good balance of sweet and bitter from the strong coffee. Biscuit base wasn't soft as
with most Tiramisus I've had. It left a light flaky crunch, hiding pockets of coffee. Delectable.*

Creme Brûlée

*A sugary molten crust over a very shallow and sweet curd.
Felt that it was too little curd for the dish but the girls enjoyed it thoroughly.*

All in all, a nice bistro with good selection on the menu. Located in between streets, this hard to read sign was easily missed as we walked round the block only to discover it was right at then entrance of the side alley. Down side was that this place could not accommodate our big group of 9 and needed us to be split up into two tables.
Click here for ABBA location of Spiriti & Forme, Vicolo Scavolino 63, Rome, Italy (Trevi) Located near Trevi Fountain.

La Franschetta Panineria by Zero Cafe

(Located near Vatican City)

Carved roasted pork with three choices of sides to choose.
- Roasted potatoes
- Zucchini
- Tomatoes
- Spinach

- Mushrooms

- Artichokes
*Nothing outstanding. Sides were nice and simple, but the pork itself was simply carved strips of a Sunday Roast.*

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara 7 (Pictured Left)

(Spaghetti Cabonara style)
*By far the worst Pasta I've ever had. Fresh pasta is a lot more starchy.  The truth of the matter is a starchy, yellow mess, with fatty pork lard and over dose of cream. Horrid.*

Focaccia Prosciuttto Di Parma, mozzarella, rucola pizza 8(Pictured Center)
*Looks good, but pizza is really salty.*

 Risotto ai fungi Porcini 7 (Pictured Right)
(Risotto with porcini mushrooms)
*I personally do not have a bench mark or an accurate idea of what good risotto should be, but the mushroom flavor didn't shine through. Each spoonful was a starchy and texturally like boiled barley.*

Total €98.50. Non-inclusive of tip. Fed 10
The only reason this place won over other eateries was that it had the space to accommodate all of us, and more importantly, air conditioning to give us some reprieve from the sun. Don't bother about the food over here. Though in Italy, it does not guarantee that pasta and pizzas are a sure win.

Even though the air-conditioning was a welcome, the power cut out at least four times during our lunching.

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