"Stop singing, we're in public!" Mr NQN hushes me quickly.
"But we're in the corner" I answer him, confused.
"People don't sing aloud in public" he says firmly.
"I do" I replied to much eye rolling.
I looked across the table and my parents didn't seem the slightest bit bothered that I am singing. In fact they're probably used to it. We are at Bei Amici (meaning "beautiful friends") in Darling Point for my mother's birthday. She had left choosing the restaurant up to me and I thought that this little Swiss Italian restaurant would tickle her fancy. With husband and wife couple Swiss born chef Felix Rutz and his Australian born wife Leigh Cholakos who runs the floor, it's a small restaurant that has a strong local following. Prices are not inexpensive as befits the suburb in which it is located although on Mondays, there is a 3 course meal for $33. On this Saturday night, we order everything to share because like singing in public, that's the way that we like to do things in my family.
Bread and olives
House made duck liver pate with bresaola $20
We start with the chicken liver pate which comes out on a wooden board as a soft, creamy smooth spread. It comes with a generous amount of melba toast and some cranberry relish and walnuts. To the side is house made bresaola which is a nice addition to the creamy pate.
Seared scallops and bonito $25
There were four scallops to this serve and the pairing with radish and bonito fish underneath the scallop is given more flavour through the salty samphire which is an edible succulent.
Fig and ox heart tomato salad $22
I never realised what different tastes my father and I have until we get to this dish. I love tomatoes whereas he left the tomato behind on this dish. The salad is a sweet with heirloom tomatoes, black figs and honey baked caramelised garlic cloves as well as crunchy croutons.
Local calamari $22
The calamari has a bit of chew to it and it is paired with fregola, currants, pistachios and other nubbly, nutty sweet bits. On top are shavings of ricotta salata, a salty firm ricotta which gives it an additional savoury flavour against the sweetness of the currants.
Home made pappardelle with ragu of suckling pig $32
All of the pasta is house made and this comes as thick ribbons of pasta paired with tomatoes, chunks of suckling pig and cheese. My mother is particularly smitten with this dish and it's gone in a few bites. Serving sizes for mains are on the smaller side, they're not enormous although they're probably more in line with the serving sizes that we should probably eat.
Angel hair pasta with Alaskan King Crab $33
The angel hair pasta is thin and delicate and having made this type of pasta at home, I admire how it doesn't clump together. There is a tomato and chilli based crab sauce with little pieces of crab and the occasional chunk of leg or claw meat. Mr NQN wasn't a big fan of the Sicilian olives finding them too strong for the dish (although I didn't get one in my portion).
The spatchcock was a special and it ended up being one of the more substantial dishes. There were six pieces of spatchcock on the bone and this was served with grilled white nectarines and a salad with fresh flavours from lemon, thyme and parsley and a slightly creamy dressing.
Scallopini of biodynamic veal $34
The veal scallopini was my father's favourite. The tender, thin fillets of veal were paired with beluga lentils, buffalo mozzarella, pancetta and a tomato basil dressing.
Chocolate mess $18
The chocolate mess came with a range of textures and flavours-there was a base of milk and dark chocolate mousse, chunks of chocolate and pieces of honeycomb which made digging into it fun and like a treasure hunt.
Two scoops of ice cream $10
We liked the sound of the lychee and prosecco sorbet so we chose that. However, this was missing and instead we got a mango sorbet which tasted like mango and orange. There was also a blackberry and frozen yogurt which was a slightly tart confection.
Lychee and prosecco sorbet
After we asked them about the lychee and prosecco sorbet, they apologised and brought out two scoops of it. I like the refreshing aspect of this sorbet although Mr NQN thought that this was too strong in Prosecco (no such complaints from me!).
And a lovely little gift for my mum as I mentioned that it was her birthday was this little fruit and nut cake housed in a Swiss themed tin! The "torta di pane" is originally from the area of Ticino, an Italian speaking part of Switzerland and is made out of leftover bread, dried fruit, nut, chocolate and spices. The tins themselves were from the Leigh and Felix's last trip to Switzerland.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have similar food preferences to your parents? And do you ever sing in public?
2B Mona Rd, Darling Point NSW 2027, Australia
Tel:+61 2 9328 0305