Probably may sounds strange that in a web site talking of Asia, I am going to mention an Italian restaurant but, in recent times, we have seen growing dozens and dozens of international restaurants in our towns to the point that our eye has got used to them and our nose and our mouth begin to familiarize with smells and tastes different from ours.
Actually many Asians are attracted by the Italian kitchen that is rightly considered among the best in the world and I strongly agree with this statement, so let’s try to see this story from a different
point of view: do the Asians, and in particular Thais, like Italian food? The answer is in general yes. Then which one is the Italian specialty that they appreciate more?
I have been talking about this with Chef Umberto, the owner of Umberto’s, one of the most known restaurant in Krabi province that tells us the gastronomic tastes of Asians and kindly agrees to explain their favorite recipe and the measures he uses to make it unique and attractive for Asian palates.
“There are several Italian dishes that Asian people usually order – Umberto says – as Lasagna or, as we are in a sea place, tagliolini with prawns and fresh Cherry tomatoes, but the most required is our Spaghetti Seafood which can be served applying small differences accordingly with the nationalities: Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean prefer the normal recipe with no changes, while Thais, whose cuisine is notoriously more spicy, prefer to order it with much more garlic and chili”
All the ingredients are ready on the working table and, while he is preparing his Spaghetti Seafood, Umberto explains his procedure: “The basic and first rule is to have very fresh seafood and after a long search I have found a supplier that is giving me the goods I am looking for. Mussels, for example are coming directly from Australia and they are much tastier than the locals”. Automatically he pours the olive oil and adds garlic and parsley for a slightly frying then he adds the seafood: “seafood can be added together being the cooking time almost the same for all of them” Umberto says rising the flame “and they should be cooked for about 2 or 3 minutes with a high fire. Cooking speed is very important because squids, shrimps and shells should not be cooked for a long time”.
So it is: after a couple of minutes the chef add a good quantity of fresh chili, pours the white wine and let it evaporate still with an high flame. Finally is time to add the tomato sauce, previously prepared, and let the sauce cooks for another 2 or 3 minutes, now with a lower flame.
Contemporary he was cooking spaghetti in another pot and once they were ready, severely “al dente”, he dresses them with the ready sauce. A few shrimp heads as decoration, an addition of fresh parsley spread here and there and Spaghetti Seafood are ready to serve. The visual effect is spectacular, the smell is inviting and… believe me this dish is simply delicious… Buon appetito!!!