The long forgotten ancient Roman ports has triggered interest in a restaurateur who named his outlet Porto Romano.
“The name,” said Eddie Wong, “is catchy and significant.”
Wong once visited a place in Albania by the same name and upon doing some research discovered it used to be a port.
When he decided to venture into the food and beverage business, it didn't take him long to find a name for his restaurant as Porto Romano was the obvious choice.
Purple dominates the outlet’s interior.“This outlet carries on that legacy of amalgamation of the various flavours of the Mediterranean.
“You will smell it in the thin crust pizzas, savour it in our thick pasta sauces and see it in our colourful minestrone soup,” he said.
A signature Porto Romano item is listed in each section, divided into Appetisers, Soups, Pastas, Pizzas and Main Course.
Italian food is popular on the menu but there is equal emphasis on Greek and Spanish flavours.
The Pizza Corner's Pizza Calzone was a handsome serving with the half moon pizza, closely resembling the local curry puff.
Chef Idriz Hoxha uses a generous mix of mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms and turkey ham for the filling.
“The combination of cheesy mozzarella with the sweet sour tomato, spongy mushroom and turkey ham makes the filling hearty,” Idriz said.
Wong added that the Cabbage Rolls with rice, minced beef and herbs rolled into pickled cabbage has caught on with diners.
The cabbage, Idriz said, was pickled in vinegar, olive oil and black pepper for three days to give it its desired taste and crunch.
Idriz said minced beef was used for the filling but the meat can be substituted with minced chicken or lamb.
This dish can be taken as a main course or shared as an appetiser.
(Clockwise from left) Salmon Carpaccio, Porto Romano Seafood Combo and Cream of Mushroom Soup.The menu offers a range of seafood items and the Porto Romano Salad with a mixture of seafood mix of squids, clams, mussels, fish slices and prawns is recommended by the chef.
He said the seafood items were marinated in herbs, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and served on a bed of crispy lettuce.
The Cabbage Rolls is popular with diners.
To make the Cream of Mushroom Soup distinct, the chef uses three types of mushrooms – grey oyster, fresh button and shitake.
Purple is the theme colour at Porto Romano as it was the royal colour back in ancient Roman days.
As such, purple fabric adorns one side of the entrance while purple orchids decorate each table.
A variety of shells at the bar, counter and on the walls give an impression of the seas.
The shells also come in handy as a serving dish as seen in the Porto Romano Seafood Combo, which is grilled seafood served in a giant clamshell.
Originally published in The Star
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