Update – this place is now called CULTO. “When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie – that’s amore!” Dean Martin’s song get’s in my head now and again. I remember it from the film, ‘Moonstruck’ with Nicolas Cage and Cher and ever since then, when the moon is big, I get the song in my head. Anyway, a couple of weekends ago it was definitely in my head, walking up to the Italian takeaway with the same name; ‘That’s Amore’.
I have never come across CULTO before, it’s been open for 9 months or so but since moving offices, I never walk up Steinbeck Road anymore. When I was invited to come and visit to try out their menu, I was plecently surprised to have such a great Italia takeaway around the corner from where I live.
CULTO is not like most takeaway’s, this is a place you actually want to sit and dine in. Considering it’s a small place, they have planned it well and decorated very homely, paying attention to details, and keeping it stylishly modern. But CULTO isn’t all about the interiors, they serve damn good food too and you can tell from their popularity. When I arrived at lunchtime, on a Sunday, it was fully packed, people eating in as well as people collecting and ringing to order for delivery. It was a great atmosphere, the guys serving and taking care of their customers. No one is leaving this place without a smile.
Now you probably wonder what I had to eat? As I knew I was going for lunch, having a two course meal I skipped breakfast, turning this visit into a brunch. The authentic menu offer is very extensive (starters, pizzas, pasta and more) and all ingredients are ordered in from Italy, making everything extra flavoursome.
For starters I had Arancini (for the first time) with cooked ham and mozzarella. I was lucky I hadn’t eaten anything prior to the visit as he portions are very generous, these four rice balls could easily have been shared between two. For those of you, like me, haven’t enojyed Arincini before, it’s similar to Croquetas, but with smooth rice filling instead. If you haven’t eaten either – please do! I love mozarella which made the decision between the two Arancini offerings easy and I wasn’t disappointed. Lovely crisp batter, just like I like it, and gorgeous filling with tiny cubes of ham and melted mozarella.
Considering what song I had in my head walking here, and pizza being the first dish I think of when hearing the word Italian, I probably should have ordered one as my main, but I didn’t. They look amazing but I was feeling a pasta on this particular day, and just had to go with my first instinct. After enough time to digest the starter, my Spaghetti Alla Carbonara arrived and it both looked and smelled lovely. I was offered parmesan, something I never turn down, and he sprinkled on more than I thought would be possible, without me asking. I love when I get more pasta than sauce, so it’s just enough not to make the food go dry and to no suprise, this dish was done to perfection.
Walking home, I was yet again humming ‘That’s Amore’ in my head, happy to have been invited and enjoyed a lovely Ialian meal. I had a great experience (I’m sure you can tell), so if you ever fancy an Italian takeaway, I urge you to visit this place!