What food or foods would you think about when you think of Italy? Would it be cheese? Or prosciutto? How about pizza and pasta? Perhaps Prosecco or Limecello for the alcohol lovers? How could we forget about TRUFFLES!!!!
Alright, I’ll be honest, I did not think about truffles when I was in Italy… I always thought truffle was the delicacy of France, but not until my local friend in Italy showed me to this cute little local restaurant near Centrale Station in Milan – Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori. It is about a 15 minutes walk from the station, or alternatively, you could catch the metro to Isola station, and the restaurant is 7 minutes away.
We’ve got a reservation at 6pm for an early dinner, and waited for about 5 minutes for the table to get ready. When I walked inside the restaurant, I was quite surprised, as the restaurant was already almost full at this time. I was told that it is very difficult to have seats for walk-in, so better make a reservation before you go.
My friend and I sat down, and the waiter who served us was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the menu. We told him that we want to have some truffle dishes, and he suggested us to try both the black and white truffle so we could compare the taste. At the end, we ordered Beef Tartar with Black Truffle (€12), Fresh Noodles with White Truffle (€18), and the Milano famous dish Veal Marrowbone with Polenta(€14).
The Beef Tartar arrived first as an entree, and oh my, I was so surprised when the dish arrived with the huge amount of fresh truffle on top of the minced beef! We were advised to mix the minced beef with the raw egg yolk and truffles and eat together. I’ve also tried a piece of the truffle by itself, the texture was somewhat like raw mushroom, except with a extremely strong smell of gas/petroleum. The meat tasted fresh and tender, and together with the egg yolk and truffle, it was very delicious. The portion was so big that it didn’t felt like an entree at all!
Later on, the fresh noodles with white truffle and veal marrowbone with polenta arrived as our main dish. Again, I was surprised with the amount of white truffle on the dish! The fresh noodles’ texture was a bit chewy, and unlike dry pasta, it’s got a bit more body and flavour to it. However, the sauce of the pasta was to the lighter side, it doesn’t really have much flavor to it, but then I guess that’s to bring out the rich aroma of the white truffle.
The veal marrowbone with polenta, also called the Ossobuco in Italian, is a signature Milanese dish especially popular during the winter. It is the part of the leg of veal cut into think slices across the bone, and being cooked and braised for a long time, so that the meat is extremely tender, and the best part of the dish, is the bone marrow inside the bone, absorbing the rich taste of the veal and the sauce, matches greatly with the mild taste of the polenta. This dish here is very tender and is a highly recommended dish.
Overall, the dinning experience at the Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori was great, not only the staffs were super friendly and the food was amazing, the whole atmosphere of this place was just great! It is a great place if you want to dine like a local, at a great price!
NOTE: Remember to make a reservation before you go, as this place tends to get crowded most of the time.