This April, let the Mediterranean and its varied cuisine indulge your taste buds.


As the warm weather speaks of beach and surf, so does the food at Soaltee, with the additional Mediterranean a la carte dinner menu at Alfresco. Although typically serving Italian cuisine, the restaurant has branched out to temporarily include other Mediterranean fares such as Moroccan, Greek, Spanish, and Lebanese in its elegantly cosy domain.


 

Stepping into Alfresco is akin to entering a rustic lodge: with corncobs and dried goods serving as the decor. Within, the chef has chosen a sampling of the menu for our taste and perusal.


On the surface, the first course appears to be some form of tomato soup, until its very long name is announced: Shrimp and Millet Greek Saganaki Soup. A single spoonful proves that it is anything but simple. The millet lends a grainy texture to the otherwise smooth soup, and its anise liquor flavoring adds a tangy kick. The accompanying shrimp is fresh and well cooked, giving the soup a little meat.


Garlic bread follows, toasted crisp. It is served with garlic and eggplant pastes, both of which complement the existing garlic flavor without overpowering the basic taste of the toast, which clears the palate rather well for the main course.


The Tagine of Lamb Chop is a traditional Moroccan dish, served with peas, zucchini and pasta. The meat is cooked just right, and the sauce of red wine, lamb juice and lentils compliments the salty sweet lamb. The rich taste is balanced out by the sides, which are a tad vinegary.


No meal is complete without dessert, for which the chef chose to serve up an Italian Tiramisu and Cream Caramel Medley. Made with marzipan cheese and sponge, the cocoa-powder dusted cream of the tiramisu melts in your mouth, leaving a liquor-y aftertaste. When paired with the equally soft caramel pudding, it becomes a concoction capable of appeasing any sweet tooth.


Those, of course, aren’t the only dishes. Salads such as the Borani Chogondar Rock Leaves Salad, as well as Dolmades, are also available. A notable choice is the Mediterranean Salad. A fresh lettuce salad with boiled eggs, celery, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes, it is dressed Mediterranean style: with salt, pepper, olive oil, feta cheese and yogurt. The dish is served with garlic dip created by blending roasted garlic with olive oil and herbs for seasoning — garlic and olive oil being the pillars of Mediterranean cuisine.


The mains are also varied. Goat and lamb meat is common to the region, but so is seafood. From Monaco skewers, to Mediterranean Salmon, to Chicken Gyros — the menu has quite the variety to cater to the patron’s preferred choice of meat.


The array of choices is not unexpected: the Mediterranean includes many countries and spans different cultures and styles of food. An indulgence, perhaps, but if you feel the need for a respite, partaking from this menu could be something to consider. The Mediterranean menu has been available (7 pm onwards) at Soaltee Crowne Plaza’s Alfresco since 18 April, and is expected to continue for the next fortnight. Meals include a complimentary glass of Carlsberg beer.