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Thursday, July 30, 2009

O'Sarracino - The Day My Taste Buds Stood Still

I found myself in a snazzy little restaurant the other night that I feel I need to shout to you all about – O’Sarracino on Mt Eden Road, Auckland.

In Star Trek one has to step onto a transporter to be teleported from one place to another; but on Eden Terrace to go to authentic Italy all one need do is step through the doors of this fine establishment!

The walls are decorated with the autographed serviettes of previous patrons, swearing their culinary pleasure and everlasting allegiance... one customer impressed enough to include her number! It seems the dance of the dinner plate left an impression on more than a few hearts before my own entered the building...

Our starters saw our party of five sharing the Antipasto del Saracino; a mixed platter of casatiello, Naples style vegetable and seafood. I hogged the seafood. I scoffed down the marinated baby octopus and tender squid like it was chocolate, it appears cephalopods have a similar affect on my brain’s endorphin reflex.

The waitresses kept a respectful distance while we picked at the entre plate; they must have known that by the time we were finished the finger trays, we would change our intended order. If they did, they were right. I had eaten enough of our 8 legged friends to go for the King Prawns and Snapper for my main. I was like a shark swimming in a cloud of delicious blood by the time my real meal landed on the table...

The King prawns on my rectangular platter like plate were as big as my feet and as thick as my big toe; but don’t let me lose you in the analogy, it was like eating royalty, and after one taste I threw myself into devouring the entire kingdom!

Some would think it a draw back that the Prawns came fully clothed, complete with vacant crispy eyes and insectoid legs, but I find there is something rewarding about tearing the limbs from the thing you are about to eat with a fork. I imagine its how a hunter must feel at the end of a long hunt as he eats his prey. I also enjoyed the challenge of stripping the super shrimps of their shells; it’s rather like having a Rubrics’ Cube to play with while you eat, the reward for success being truly delectable!

The snapper that kept the royal family company, bathed in cherry tomato sauce and speckled with capers and olive... mama mia... Normally fish makes the contents of my stomach panic and seek an emergency evacuation, but this snapper’s life was certainly not wasted on my taste buds, and I am greatful for the day it was yanked out of its natural habitat and gave up its life so that I could write about how good it was to eat!

Unfortunately I’m kicking myself for not remembering the name of the wine. If you could see me right now I really am kicking myself, I have bruises to prove it. But seriously it was like a sweet but welcome punch in the face. Upon splashing the tongue the appeal was charming as it kicks you with warmth and pleasant bitterness before filing itself away in the quiver of your liver. I loved it.

Desert - Passionfruit sorbet. Refreshing without that creamy mucusy “I’m about to burst” feeling ice-cream leaves you with after a humongous meal. If passion fruit seeds really did sprout in your stomach and lead to an early death by leaves in the veins – I still would have enjoyed it!

While we dined and forgot every meal we had ever eaten before that night, it was easy to notice that the building must have once upon a time been a church with arched doors to the manager’s office and lavatory, perhaps the food was blessed. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if it were so!

I give this “ristorante” a 9 out of 10 for a stunning feast and another 9 for providing us with class while maintaining a family friendly atmosphere – we had our 7 week old daughter with us and the worst glance we received from the staff was a welcome smile as most of the waitresses had that “oh she’s so cute, I want one” glaze in their eyes!

I’m certainly eating there again... regrettably I’m not a cow and only have one stomach, so I’m emptying it now and preparing for next time....

To see the Menu for this yum factory visit their site www.osarracino.net

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