Tue, 31 October 2023
Located in the busy Juffair district, Cucina Italiana is known for serving some of the most delicious Italian food in Bahrain. Edwin D’Souza indulges in an unforgettable gastronomic experience and shares his thoughts.
Walking into Cucina Italiana, you can’t help but take notice of its charming ambience. The restaurant offers authentic Italian delicacies and promises to transport guests to the vibrant streets of Italy, and I was a willing explorer.
To commence the culinary expedition, we were served freshly baked Focaccia, a flat leavened oven-baked Italian bread, accompanied by balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil. The bread was fluffy, with a subtle hint of rosemary, flawlessly complementing the tangy notes of the balsamic vinegar and the smooth richness of the olive oil.
Next, we were served a medley of authentic Italian starters. The Insalata di Cucina, a refreshing salad boasting a colourful array of fresh mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, beef bresaola, honey-mustard, balsamic reduction and shaved parmesan guarantees an elegant blend of protein and greens.
Moving on to the Arancini, these delightful rice balls were generously filled with savoury risotto and mozzarella, lending a creamy and indulgent burst of flavour with each bite combined with a light spicy tomato dip. The Polpette Napoli showcased Neapolitan-style tender meatballs in a rich basil tomato sauce — a delightful balance of hearty and tangy flavours.
You can’t go wrong with a classic Italian starter like the Bruschette e Spuntini, which is a harmonious combination of toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.
After the delicious appetisers, the main courses were off to a phenomenal start with the Angello Aristito con La Salsa di Brown. This prepared lamb rack was impressive in terms of flavour, texture and presentation too. We enjoyed its tenderness and harmonious pairing of spices. The brown sauce lent a rich complexity to the dish, elevating its sensory appeal.
Next, we devoured the Penne Alla Norma, featuring al dente penne in a flavoursome tomato sauce, enhanced with eggplant and ricotta cheese. This vegetarian pasta offered a delightful balance between the creaminess of the cheese and the hearty notes of the eggplant.
The Mediterranean-style Pesce Al Catoccio was a delectable sea bass dish which was expertly cooked in parchment paper, retaining its natural juices and flavours. The blend of fresh herbs, zesty lemon, and fragrant garlic created a symphony of flavours that perfectly complemented the delicate fish.
It wouldn’t be an Italian dinner without a quintessential pizza, the Pizza Bandiera in this case. This authentic Italian pizza featured a thin, crispy crust topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, exemplifying the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine.
To round off our culinary expedition, we indulged in an assortment of desserts crafted with finesse. The Virgin Tiramisu, a twist on the classic Italian dessert, delighted our palates with its feather-light layers of mascarpone cream and espresso-soaked ladyfingers. The Pannacotta, a silky-smooth Italian custard infused with vanilla, offered a delightful contrast of creamy texture and delicate sweetness.
Last but not least, the Torta Al Cioccolato Fondante mesmerises every chocolate enthusiast with its rich and velvety dark chocolate cake, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Each mouthful was a luxurious indulgence, leaving us satiated and satisfied.
By the end of the night, it was clear that Cucina Italiana offers a transportive dining experience, one delectable dish at a time. This is not the last you’ll see of us, Cucina!