by Ngô Minh
Slow-cooked Australian beef and mashed potato. VNS Photo Ngô Minh
When I decided to stay at a resort by Long Beach, Cam Ranh Peninsula in the coastal province of Khánh Hòa, an Italian culinary experience was the last thing I expected. Actually, a seafood restaurant makes sense. So, I was surprised when I found La Casa Restaurant at Alma Resort.
Arriving at Long Beach at dusk, I thought a romantic dinner with Italian music was a good option. Moreover, my husband and I are fans of Italian cuisine, so we chose La Casa over Atlantis, the resort's seafood restaurant. It was a good choice and made a wonderful start to my trip.
Bruschetta is a must-try antipasto of Italian cuisine. It’s fun to enjoy this appetiser as you have to open your mouth as wide as you can to snap the whole piece.
Bruschetta combines olive bread, fresh tomatoes, Stracciatella cheese and basil leaves. VNS Photo Ngô Minh
It’s a simple dish but rich in flavour and beautiful in appearance. Simple is best. It’s easy to understand why it’s a signature dish of Italian cuisine.
I heard somewhere that bruschetta was born as a hymn to the Tricolour, the Italian flag. This seems reasonable as the main ingredients are basil, bread/cheese and tomatoes. The bruschetta at La Casa Restaurant was special, with Stracciatella cheese topped on a slice of crispy bread.
Then we ordered Caesar salad with chicken, romaine lettuce, croutons, Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese, and a fresh pizza baked in a brick oven.
Pizza -- a typical Italian dish loved by all -- is completely handcrafted from refined flour, fresh yeast and local spices in the style of exquisite Tuscan cuisine at La Casa restaurant. Photo courtesy of La Casa Restaurant
While we waited for the next, the waiter brought us some antipasti and a bottle of wine, a Chianti, as a culinary tour of Tuscany culinary.
The highlights of the meal were the beef dishes. I recommend grilled beef tenderloin with gravy, truffle mashed potato, porcini mushrooms, and slow-cooked Australian beef and mashed potato.
The steak was delicious as it’s made from the premium part of the tenderloin. The medium-rare serving retains moisture in the dish.
While the steak preserves its tenderness and flavour in light pink slabs, the slow-cooked beef is well-done and stays firm. The crazy-tender beef and rich sauce blew my mind. Being cooked for hours, it was also well-marinated. Both the fragrance and taste were wonderful.
For those who intend to visit Nha Trang this summer to enjoy the sun, sand and sea, I recommend La Casa Restaurant for a memorable experience.
The buzz and atmosphere of an Italian trattoria with evening meals served in true Tuscan style will provide a beautiful memory. The taste of the delicious dishes still lingers in my mind, from mouth-watering antipasti and fresh artisanal pasta to pizzas straight from the open kitchen and a wide range of other classic Italian dishes.
Dining in this sophisticated setting under the soft ambient lights or out on the patio with a glass of Chianti makes for the perfect culinary end to any day. VNS