Written by Husen Fulhu
Hey fellas. I am upstairs at Taste of Italy, the newly opened restaurant on Keneree Magu, just by the Somerset. Yeah, it’s a pretty swanky place all right, boasting a super-clean look with whitewashed walls and nude cement floors. LED lights illuminate the restaurant but it’s not overly bright. And it’s roomy here, not many diners just yet but that may well change in the future.
I’m here for one thing. Yes, you guessed it. Pizza. Everything else is secondary. Yet as I wait, I can’t help but admire the waitstaff; they’re unbelievably attentive, reminding me of the service at well-run restaurants like Sala Thai. The water arrives quickly and my order is taken just as swiftly. I order a pizza with spicy beef salami, diced eggplant with basil, tomato and vegetables for an appetiser and a coconut ice cream + papaya + pineapple + almond milk smoothie.
From where I’m seated, I can see the large stone oven in which they bake the pizzas. With white mosaic tiles decorating the exterior and the restaurant’s name spelled across its bulge it adds a touch of playfulness to this otherwise serious-seeming place.
First to arrive is the smoothie. It’s really good, I can taste the papaya and pineapple, though coconut dominates the flavour profile. Moderately sweet, chances are pretty high that you’ll like this drink if you’re a fan of ‘Bounty’.
Next up, the diced eggplant. The eggplant is pleasantly firm and is amazing with the tangy tomato sauce that’s drizzled on top. Fresh basil adds that distinct herbal touch to the dish. It’s a great appetiser if you’re into this meaty vegetable, or even if you aren’t, I’d still recommend it without hesitation.
Finally, the pizza. You can tell right from the get-go that this isn’t any ordinary pie; it has a really fresh look, everything is in its right place, the cheese, the meat, and thankfully, there’s no sign of grease on this beauty. I tell you, it’s like gazing into your pretty spouse’s face after they’ve had a nice long bath.
I take a slice – it holds up well – and bite into it. The first thing I notice is the crust, it’s not like the limp stuff that usually comes your way in this city of ours. No. Even at first bite, you’re made aware that this pizza is quite obviously in a league of its own. That delectable crunch, that gorgeous fresh-baked flavour. It’s like hearing a pleasant song for the first time, one that seems eerily familiar despite its freshness. And the more you dig in, the more you find to love. The richness of the tomato sauce, the beautiful cheesiness of it, the crisp, spicy goodness of the salami. This, friends, is the real McCoy.
At the end of it, I’m convinced. Convinced that there’s nothing remotely like this in this city of ours. I think a real revolution is brewing, and it’s not led by Pizza Hut. The face of pizza in Male is about to change and you should definitely explore this offering by the wonderful crew at Taste of Italy. They know what they’re doing and what they’re doing is nothing short of magic.