The second restaurant in my Foodiano.co.uk series, A Taste of Italy is an independent (you guessed it) Italian kitchen run by Paolo Cento that offers a variety of pizza and pastry dishes. Paolo picked up his skills working under a Sicilian master chef in Rome, and after moving to the UK is now treating the people of Cambridge to everything he knows.
I’m going to start with a disclaimer. Of all the takeaways I might choose to eat at, last on my list is pizza. I’m not sure why, but I just find it difficult to get excited about. Now I’ve got that out of the way… I selected Pizza Fungi and Gorgonzola, which was still very warm despite me being well outside of the catchment area for delivery.
I’m a big fan of blue cheese, and mushrooms. Gorgonzola is quite bitter all on its own, so I decided to remove a fair bit of the rocket to avoid overloading the flavour of the mushrooms. What I was left with was a delicious and light pizza, with a perfectly cooked Italian base. Packed full of flavour, I was glad I took away some of the rocket as it would have been a bit too much for me. My choice of topping got in the way of a satisfying cheese pull, but that is a small price to pay for the flavour.
For me, it is near impossible to differentiate yourself as a pizza restaurant. But I will say that this pizza was up there with some of the best Italian style pizza I’ve had. Thankfully, A Taste of Italy is about much much more than pizza…
With my pizza came a large selection of pastries, so large infact that I had to share them with friends and neighbours. Delivered neatly packaged in a big white box with a bow, the sweet smell of fresh pastries oozing out. It took quite a lot of self-control not to open the box before I’d even tried the pizza.
Taking the lid off, inside I found 16 perfectly formed pastries with all manner of delightful fillings. It felt almost criminal to bite into them, they were so pretty, but I found the strength. If anything they tasted better than they looked, a dangerous thing for a man like me, but for the greater good I stared down this challenge and tried one of everything.
These were comfortably the most delicious pastries I’ve eaten. The flakiest puff, the airiest choux, the lightest tarts. Filled with everything from cherry whipped cream, to fruit topped crema pasticcera. Every one of them exquisite, just the right amount of sweet, and light enough you don’t feel in the least bit bloated (even after several of them…)
Friends and neighbours had the following to say…
“Oooooooooooooh, where did you get these? So pretty!”
“Mate! They were insane!”
“I have to get some more, so f***ing delicious”
High praise indeed. Safe to say, if you fancy a pizza, you’re going to struggle to find a better desert to follow it. Or, if like me you’re not too fussed about the pizza, treat yourself to some of the best pastries around anyway. Fair warning… you’re likely to find yourself with a new addiction.
One thought on “A Taste of Italy 🇮🇹”
Paolo’s pizzas are superb (especially if you lived next door as we were lucky enough to for a couple of months) and his desserts, the pastries, tartufi and tiramisu are the best I’ve ever tasted.