Foodie Diaries

2013 has not been good to me so far. What with mom’s surgery and the ever-increasing stress of work, time seems to be flying by, and yet, crawling. Nothing significantly good seems to be happening. I have some tentative plans happening for the hols, but nothing’s confirmed yet and things are looking dicey on the travel front, which makes me cranky and mean. Travel is my drug, do not wean me away from it! :(

As I’m not going anywhere, all I can do is look through my pictures of past trips and reminisce, to feel a bit better. Of course, I look through the Italy pics most as they are the most recent. Just looking through these pictures makes me wanna go back to Italy! Unfortunately, I really didn’t do justice to the food when I went there this time, but now that I’m back in Dubai, I’m eating (and cooking) Italian food a lot and wishing I’d had a better appetite while in Italy!



When I first tried bruschetta (in Dxb somewhere), I didn’t like it very much. “Tomatoes on bread?! No thank you!” I used to turn away and make barf-faces. I also used to pronounce it brus-shetta. I am less ignorant now! Not only do I know that it’s pronounced brus-ketta, I have also come to appreciate the simplicity of freshly chopped tomatoes on warm bread with a drizzle of olive oil.  Of course, I have Italy to thank for this change of heart! I’m not sure how they did it, but it was the best bruschetta I ever had! Maybe they put pot on their tomatoes instead of basil! :P

freshly made pasta with lamb ragout and deep-fried artichokes

freshly made pasta with lamb ragout and deep-fried artichokes

Fresh pasta in itself is delicious and I’d have been happy with a simple aglio e oilio, but this dish was something else! I’d never tried fried artichokes before. It was crunchy and delicious and added a lovely dimension to the smooth pasta and melt-in-the-mouth lamb ragout.

The restaurant is an elusive lil place about 5 mins away from the Spanish steps. The Palatium sits very inconspicuously in a corner and we actually missed it and only found it on our way back, while walking dejectedly at not having found the place!

Best. lasagna. EVER!!

Best. lasagna. EVER!!


Rome, being a tourist hot spot,  is filled with restaurants and cafes selling you substandard food which will leave you disheartened and think Italian food is overrated. This is why we (and when I say “we” I really mean my friend R, cos I did no research at all :P) did our research on where to go beforehand so we wouldn’t be disappointed. But the problem with these lovely places is that they’re all hard to find! Rome has a numbering system for their establishments which, if you try to follow, will lead you around in circles. It took us almost an hour to find this elusive lil place called Trattoria Luzzi, and we were famished and ridiculously late for lunch by the time we found the place. But I had the best, most succulent lasagna there and their tiramisu was to DIE for, so having lunch at 5pm didn’t seem so bad (in retrospect!).

Btw, you know what’s weird about Italians? Their hot chocolate…. is pure hot chocolate!!! 



Now while I love my chocolate, I cannot pour pure melted chocolate down my throat without gagging! No, really! There IS such a thing as too much chocolate! Unless you’re Italian I guess!

I have a lot more pictures (please check the album on this post), but I’ve got a sudden craving for chocolate (wonder why! :P). So until next time… Ciao!

26 thoughts on “Foodie Diaries

  1. suthewriter says:

    When I was a kid and read about hot chocolate in books, I thought it was really pure melted chocolate. So imagine my surprise, (and disappointment), when I actually got to taste it and realized what it really was. Very happy to have learned from you that there are places in this world that serve ‘hot chocolate’. :D Is it really not as good as it sounds?

    • Sanjana says:

      Funny things we used to think of as kids no? I remember being fascinated by Turkish Delight when I first read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. But I’m pretty sure The Witch had spiked it with something more irresistible cos the sweet itself is nothing to write home about! :P

      And yeah, I didn’t like the hot chocolate, neither did my friends who tried it. Maybe cos we’re used to the regular hot chocolate with milk? When I got back to dxb and spoke to some others about it, there was ONE guy who said he loved it. He must’ve been Italian in another life! :P

  2. hAAthi says:

    OMG dude, I JUST put this David Lebovitz book, that I am currently reading, down. And I just ended a chapter on how he thinks the typical Parisian Le Chocolat Chaud (pure hot chocolate) is overrated and that theres nothing nice or palatable about dunking liquified chocolate down your gullet. This is so uncanny! Whatsapping you an image right away!!

    • Sanjana says:

      theeere you go! Another at-heart Italian! :)
      and yeah, the food is pretty much all-carbs. But they walk around a LOT in Italy (we did too, when we went) and I actually ended up losing weight while there!

        • Sanjana says:

          With all that crazy trekking and diving you do, don’t tell me you gain weight! You’re svelte and tan, like you’ve just gotten back from a holiday, which you’re always going on anyway!

          • swatimital says:

            lol… thanks for the compliment. In reality, the tan only lasts a day before the cold wind and snow turns the skin dry and red :( I am trying to do a low carb-high protein diet to improve my health. It does wonders!

            • Sanjana says:

              I’ve started jogging again in earnest! I’ve got my friend on whatsapp who is my “exercise buddy”, though she’s in a different country. We motivate each other to keep going. It’s working out pretty well so far. :)

  3. nmaha says:

    I am dying of imagined hunger now. Seriously, how can you say you didn’t do justice to the food there? You seem to have tried all the good stuff. I love pure hot chocolate, we make it at home, though the techie and V gag when I ask them if they want to share :-(

  4. Stutee Nag says:

    Every time I go through ur food posts, I am left with this sudden urge to lay my hands on whatever that is there in the picture right that second … even hot chocolate…and this does not happen to me even when I am going through a proper cookery-blog.. you know a blog whose sole existence is to make you crave for those pretentious little delicacies.. how do you do it? Even though I find it very comfortable and interesting at the same time to follow the way you portray things in all your posts —-but – It’s your food posts that get stuck in my head always and refuse to leave…
    Anyway bye I have got to go and eat sumthing really yum now.. I don’t know what but will tell you for sure.. lol

    • Sanjana says:

      lol! I’m flattered you feel that way! I guess it’s cos I’m such a foodie! :D
      Find yourself some nice warm bread and chop up some tomatoes and garlic, mix it in a little extra virgin olive oil with salt, and have yourself a treat! :D

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