Perfect Tuscan Meals At Kempinski's Lucca



Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 03:38 GMT


Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 03:38 GMT

Lucca at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski offers hearty Tuscan meals as well as pizza and pasta perfect for light evening fare by the pool.

by Noha Mohammed

The Kempinski experience is all about service, and the dedicated staff really do know how to pamper guests. From the minute we were seated there was always someone rushing to our side whenever it looked like we needed anything, discreetly topping up our glasses of sparkling mineral water and enquiring if everything was to our liking.

royal maxim palace kempinski lucca review

We started with a special platter of antipasti created just for us to sample a little of the huge selection on offer. The antipasti section here runs on and on, featuring mouthwatering traditional options such as octopus with potato salad, sundried tomatoes and paprika (LE 85), the well-recommended Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna mayonnaise and fried capers, LE 125) and sardines with black olives, tomato confit and focaccia (LE 80). My partner and I loved the carpaccio with truffle oil (LE 105) and the slices of cheese (LE 150). If you want to make up your own platter, head for the antipasti counter (LE 110) where you can choose from bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, balsamic onions, artichoke, stuffed breaded olives and airdried beef.

Earlier on we had deliberated quite a while over which mains to choose, and after much explaining (and patience!) by Mohammed, the head waiter, I finally settled on the Beef Tagliata (LE 250). A favorite at Luccca is the ossobucco, but I am more inclined toward lean meat, which I was assured the beef tenderloin would be. And lean it was, perfectly cooked to order, the arugula and parmigiano in balsamic syrup playing wonderfully off the meat and accompanying potatoes.

My partner had been torn between the Gamberoni (king prawns in garlic butter, LE 280) and the Branzino In Guazzetto (seabass served with artichoke, potatoes and cherry tomatoes, LE 180), so the head waiter graciously suggested a combination of both. When the food arrived he rolled his sleeves up and tucked into the jumbo prawns which were oversized but tender and not at all mealy as large prawns sometimes are. The seabass was every seafood lover’s dream: soft, delicately seasoned and so fresh it tasted of the sea.

royal maxim palace kempinski lucca

Mohammed had advised us to wait until we’d started on our entrees before deciding on sides and once we saw the generous portions we understood why. But for those with heartier appetites there is a selection of pasta (not the de rigeur béchamel found on every iftar table!) and risotto. The restaurant also has a breezy alfresco dining area overlooking the pool, and if you’re in the mood for something lighter than beef or seafood, you can order from their exceptional pizzas. There’s everything from basic margherita (LE 90) to daring (and pricey!) Pizza Reale (LE 550), which boasts fancy toppings such as lobster, foie gras, wagyu beef, smoked duck breast, caviar and truffles. Wash down with a mocktail (LE 45) or flavored homemade ice tea (LE 30).

We couldn’t leave without sampling dessert, which I had been looking forward to all evening. You’ll find the panna cotta (LE 90) and sorbets (LE 90), a light and delightful change from syrup-laden basbussa and qatayef but I myself am very much a chocolate person. I ordered the Tartufo (LE 80), a layered trifle of chocolate, cream and hazelnut heaven. My partner opted for the Profiteroles alla Crema (LE 80), which were a runaway hit. The airy choux parcels were filled with fresh cream and arrived rolling in chocolate sauce — a decadent note on which to end a perfect meal.



Leave a Comment

Be Social