Thursday, September 8, 2016

Homemade Pasta Countdown at AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe

Pasta party brought Fiona back to AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe. She was there for her fiance's birthday dinner. But today is all about pasta. Please follow Fiona and her pasta-venture and be prepared to droll over the delicious dishes.

Hi, this is Fiona.


Let's begin with two different kinds of cold pasta served as appetizer: Tiger Prawn Capellini with Gazpacho Sauce (red) and Japanese Mushroom Capellini with Japanese Radish Sauce (green). I have an internal conflict about which one I like better. But in the end, the sourness of gazpacho sauce, played with sweet and tender shrimp and fresh summer veggies win the battle.


Then just like magic, plates of homemade pasta appear on the table. Fortunately it's for sharing so I can try them all. I guess this is when insanity started to surrender to taste buds.


I spotted my favorite pasta right away, Nero Spaghettini with Ikura, which basically homemade squid ink spaghetti served with, salmon roe, green asparagus with cream and cheese sauce. It’s a photogenic black pasta and black is my favorite color. The taste is well-balanced. Smells a little fishy, as expected when you have salmon roe as part of the dish, but it’s not overwhelming. The green asparagus are crunchy, a perfect contrast to the soft pasta. I’m excited to see (and taste) more of their made-from-scratch pasta dishes.

Still from the favorite line, Gnocchi Pomodoro Mozzarella presents homemade gnocchi with tomatoes cherry and boconcini cheese. Gnocchi is complex as well as unique, and I rarely encounter the ones that are cooked right to my expectation. I’m secretly thrilled to see that the mozza is as large as the chewy Gnocchi. Plus the sauce is beyond words, all I can say is it gives the right balance between sour and juicy, with texture from tomato cherry.

The Japanese has a different favorite pick: Troffie arrabbiata. It’s basically a homemade thin pasta dish, with eggplant, cherry tomato, beef bacon or bacon. This one reminds me of Chinese noodles. With uneven shape, comes the extraordinary taste. I would love to add more bacon though, to give more crunchy texture. But this pasta is easy enough to munch, as I imagine eating Troffie pasta (the short, thin, twisted pasta from Liguria, Northern Italy, with pesto and Feta cheese.

Still with tomato sauce as its red thread, Maltagliati with chicken in tomato sauce is next on line. Homemade traditional Maltagliati served with tender juicy chicken and tomato sauce is another wow factor, thanks to its spices mix. This dish comes from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

Moving closer to the origin of Pasta, Garganelli veal ragout is a real popular dish in its home turf due to its robust flavors. At AW Kitchen, this delicacy is a mix of Garganelli pasta and horense spinach. Light enough for your stomach but still elegant for the table. Considering this to be my comfort food when I don’t feel like eating to my stomach’s full potential. 

Talking about stomach potential, I always spare some room for dessert. The sweet ending, as we like to call it, comes in a platter of choices: Profiterole, Japanese Mocha Pudding, and Crema Catalana.

Profiterole, better known as cream puff or Choux a la crème, is cream-filled French choux pastry ball. It’s actually something that I enjoy finishing. Then the soft Japanese Mocha Pudding is no doubt my favorite. I can finish this up to the last mocha flavor on the plate. Crema Catalana is cream brulee, a dessert I still have to learn to enjoy because of the rather bitter and burnt taste (but Ruth loves this so much, I can always pass this on to her). 


Seriously. Good. Homemade. Pasta. I don’t know how else I can emphasize that. Healthy food too, no preservatives. The only one I can “complain” about is I need more sauce haha. More tomato sauce pesto sauce, cod roe sauce, or simply wafu sauce. The seafood are tasty. I think it’ll be great to have a “make your own pasta combination” thing, so customers can mix and match the ingredients with the sauce and pasta.


We usually don’t do epilogue, but here is when another fun begins. I don’t go home empty handed because there are a package of bread from Ambroze, a European artisan bakery. Currently only available online. The bread is great, and surprisingly fits different toppings. I received Raisin Walnut Bread (whole wheat bread with raisin and walnut) dan Franken Bread (a classic bread with grainy crust). Both fits my healthy bread preference and Raisin Walnut Bread can easily match my sweet jams or almond butter. For Franken, I figured I can do poached egg and salmon with some ricotta cheese.

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