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Posts Tagged ‘Udine’

The Osteria al Cappello in Udine is really popular with the locals but also with tourists coming to Udine from nearby Austria.

Yes, it’s true as other reiviews have said that the owners are not particulalry polite but I think it really just boils down to being a bit snappy and if you give as good as you get the service is fine.

Inside it’s pretty dark and I’m not sure I’d recommend it unless you like that mountain restaurant style. As it was a boiling hot summer day we stood outside where some long tall tables are set up and used the little window for service.

I was obviously immediately taken by the fact that dogs were welcome and provided with little bowls of fresh water as well as encouraged to come and ask for a drink at the bar ūüėČ

 Even the glasses are decorated with paw-prints as well as the trademark hat.


Bruschettas and a drink are a very popular lunchtime option in Udine. You can accompany this with a spritz which in Friuli is basically just fizzy wine with water, unlike Veneto where a spritz is almost always an Aperol spritz here you do have to specify.


Osteria al Cappello

Atmosphere: Stick to the outside for a drink and aperitif Friuli-style

Food: Choice of bruschettas prepared at your choice for a quick lunch

Dinner for two: Expect to spend 10 euro for 2 people. The wine and water spritz is only 1.10 EUR

Would we go back? Yes, with Ezzie


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On the last Saturday of the Far East Film Festival in Udine we also witnessed and took part in a series of outdoor events. We also viewed the film Mitsuko Delivers, but more on that in another post.

Saturday the 28th April was also apparently world Tai Chi day and the classes that gave a demonstration on the green were certainly blessed with a beautifully sunny day.

Local schools performed Tai Chi and Qi Gong in the park in the morning and afternoon.


In the afternoon in Piazza Matteotti (the main square) a giant Mah Jong game was set out. I still haven’t properly sat down to read the rules but I really must give it a go soon.

Some tables were set out in the shade for origami sessions aptly named ‘Far East Folds’. This attracted lots of families, but it was cute to see that people could just drop in and out of activities without any pressure.

And an I-Ching reader also told fortunes free. Unfortunately the only thing I could clearly see lying ahead of us was a long queue in the sun so we gave up on that one!


A lmost forgot the gritty Bijing flickers photographic exhibition. We felt this really showed the underground urban nature of Beijing life which we sensed  although we know it so little.

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Tucked away in an alley just a stones throw from the Piazza Duomo in Udine this little gem of a restaurant was a lovely surprise.

I usually do my homework before travelling but this time I was too busy with work and Far East Film Festival events to really sink my teeth into the Udine restaurant scene so we pretty much chanced on this one. The bonus is that although we hadn’t booked, and it’s a very popular venue, we not only managed to get a table but we were shown to the outside terrace which is absolutely lovely. Exactly the way Italy is envisaged by rom com writers, but actually much harder to come by in reality.

View of the lamp lighting the entrance and candle-lit terrace upstairs

A table on the terrace

 

¬†I definitely recommend the Tagliere with a degustazione of cheese in the middle. You’ll get some slices of soppressa salami, cured ham and lard which i found difficult to escape in Udine and kept cropping up ¬†on tartines and bruschettas everywhere threatening me with sky-high cholesterol.

We selected a tagliata di manzo with grilled vegetables and typical Friuli pasta called Cjarsons.

The tagliata served with polenta and roast vegetables including a large  shoot of radicchio

The Cjarsons were rather special. If you like sweetish fillings like pumpkin or almonds in your pasta then this is ideal for you.  They can contain all sorts of ingredients from chocolate to spinach to grappa. Of these we know they had some ricotta, cinnamon and mint and were served with ricotta.

Cjarsons alla Carnica



This wine, Ronco dei tassi, was delicious a bit like a passito but not so sickening sweet, in fact it was nice and dry. The only negative was that it was seriously strong for a white wine and we were quite drunk by the end of the bottle.

To add to the lovely experience we were offered chocolate, cantucci biscuits and an amaro (we chose local Nonino) a nice gesture that restauranteurs are getting out of the habit of.



Atmosphere: Sorry to be schmaltzy but really romantic

Food: Delicius without being pretentious, good quality ingredients with a local touch

Price: Dinner for two with wine c.a.70 EUR

Would we go back? We’re always on the hunt for new places, but this one is a keeper

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Probably the highlight of our touch-n-go trip to Udine and the Far East Film Festival, Theodora Hurustiati’s lesson on Indonesian cooking was really interesting, useful and fun.

Like many of the events at the Far East Film Festival it was free, an element which is not to be overlooked when the objective is to get more visibility for a niche product or interest (such as Asian film and food in Italy).

Anyway the discovery of the month for me is Theodora an Indonesian chef living in Italy whose blog (puracucina) I sincerely suggest you visit for inspiration. She embraces the need-for-speed of modern living that makes Nigella appealing to your average woman, but manages to show you that speed need not make asian food (usually rather lengthy to prepare) an absolute no-no.

We were shown how to prepare three dishes:

Nasi Kuning (yellow rice)

Urap (coconut vegetables)

Rendang (coconut beef stew)

Because I am really lazy and not a plagiarist I’m attaching the hand outs that Theodora gave us to this post so you can read the whole recipe. I will just comment the pics and add anything that may not have been written down.

As usual it’s all in the preparation also keeping all your ingredients under your nose is great if you are a bit forgetful

Theodora slicing the ginger for Nasi Kuning

Adding laurel leaves and keffir lime leaves to the yellow rice for tanginess

Voilà!

I always feel a bit more at home when I see a rice cooker in the room.. To make nasi goreng you add one part water and one part coconut milk (instead of just water) to the rice and add salt.

Fresh lemongrass shoots and ginger for Rendang

Preparation of the urap sauce 

Adding coconut milk to the sauce for the runner beans ( think maybe sugar peas would be crispier?). Remember to just  very lightly cook those or you risk losing all the texture along with the green goodness!

The wax nut which you can replace with almonds or cashews for extra texture


This is what your rendang stew should look like three hours after you’ve put it on. I agre with Theodora that a juicy stew is tastier and helps all the flavours mingle on the plate.


Tamarind syrup


Plating up…

The finished product!

An absolutely mouth-watering tangy and coconutty dish. Can’t wait to have a go myself. Thanks Theodora!

      

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We’ve been looking forward to this event for a year (when I discovered that a sleepy town just off the Eastern Italian border is home to one of the biggest Asian film festivals in Europe-fancy that!) and finally, this evening we’re driving up.

Image

On Saturday we plan to savour the very¬†last¬†day of the festival with it’s Indonesian cookery class, mahjong classes, origami lessons, World Tai Chi day demonstrations and films (We’ll be watching Japanese movie ‘Mitsuko delivers’ for sure!)

So will be blogging from Udine!

Here is the link to the whole calendar:

http://issuu.com/tuckerfilm/docs/programmasala_feff14?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

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