Just off Anhe Road in a quiet alleyway, sits this adorable little restaurant. Looking like it wouldn’t be amiss in a side street in Rome or Venice, Divino’s is your home away from home if you’re an Italian looking for some authentically Italian cuisine.
The typical oven-baked flatbread – Focaccia – is a staple throughout Italy. It’s light and airy, it’s usually spiked with rosemary, and has a light yeast flavour. Splash a little extra virgin olive oil on your plate, then slowly pour in a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and dip away until your heart’s content. I did. I smiled.
I don’t necessarily think of Italy when I think of meatballs, but why not? I seem to remember watching an Italian chef cooking on TV fairly recently (what else is there to watch when BBC Lifestyle on MOD plays Michela and Masterchef constantly?), saying that traditionally Italians like to use half pork, half beef mix in their meatballs. Either way, these were delicious. The tomato sauce they were served in was delicious, and the meatballs were excellent.
I may be no meatball connoisseur (or, in fact, a connoisseur of nothing, just a willing and happy eater of almost anything – celery and green ‘squeaky’ beans aside), but I have to say that these were damn fine. They were salty, they were fatty, they weren’t dry in any way, and they popped with flavour with each mouthful. Definitely order these.
It looks like a board full of salami and cheese, but underneath you’ll find a mixed leaf salad, too! The meats were great, and the flaking of cheese on top was delicious, too. But, I always go nuts for a salad in Taipei (as I find a good salad is very difficult to come by – recommendations, please).
Money. That’s what this pappardelle dish was. Beefy, tomatoey, salty, rich and delicious sauce. But, the real star with the home-made pappardelle that Divino is well-known for. Al-dente is the word of the night here, and I could’ve topped off a second bowl of it.
A Classic Italian pasta dish if ever there was one – Carbonara. I recently watch the late Antonio Carluccio make an incredible looking Carbonara – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AAdKl1UYZs and was inspired to try it at home. But, I haven’t done that yet. So, I came to Divino instead 🙂 Anyway, this dish was great. It was creamy in texture, there was plenty of meat without being too much, and the pasta was cooked to perfection. My only wish is that it was slightly less salty. I feel like it was over-seasoned in part due to the saltiness of the pork and the salty sauce, too. But, I gladly finished the plate.
It may just be a crime to eat an Italian meal without finishing with a Tiramisu and an espresso. I’d hate to be labelled a criminal, so I gladly obliged. I regret nothing. It was delicious. It seemed to be made with coffee liquor, and the cream balanced well with it. Delicious. I will be back!