A fantastic meal deal at E’Cucina – Turin, Italy

When I recently met up with some old University friends in Turin, we were always on the hunt for amazing meal deals. We are not in University anymore and we are all fairly happy in what we do and how we make a living, but money never seems to stick to either of us. Also I guess we made a decision early on to spend some good money on wine … we had clear priorities.

The night before we approached the task of finding a decent meal by wandering aimlessly through the city, but nothing really appealed. We had to rely on the travel apps to give us a hint and it worked out well. We decided to go with the same tactic again and made it to a place just a few street away from our accommodation. I had noticed it the day before as the lights looked like Flying Saucers. Otherwise it is rather bland from the outside and had no real signage. We stepped in and half of our group stepped out immediately again, as it was just too crowded. Always a good sign.

We put our names down on the waiting list and prayed that we would be able to get our orders in before 3pm, as that is the cut off time for the lunch service. That’s very typical for Italy as well as France. This placed closed at 3pm and re-opened at 8pm. When we originally looked up this eatery, the travel guide was claiming you would get an amazing 3 course meal for 10 Euros. Could this be true? The menu on the outside was only in Italian and were puzzling over it for a while, but then decided that it must be correct and that the portions must be rather small. After all, what can you get for 10 Euros?

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Thank God the waiter spoke some English! He talked us through the set menu as best as he could. The starter was not mentioned. It turned out to be some kind of risotto with bacon. As we had a Vegetarian with us, we requested something different for her. A few minutes later she got tomatoes with balsamic dressing. Not very fancy, but Emma said it was yummy. For the main, you could have either pasta with pesto or vegetables. Most of us opted for the pasta and were very happy with it. It was some strange kind of pasta (I looked it up: Strozzapreti), and it came with a huge dollop of some kind of cream cheese. Delicious. The vegetables option piled a large array of them on top of, what we think could have been a Cheese&spinach souffle … kind of thing. We are not sure, but Katie loved it. It also came with a side salad. And we got bread on the table as well. How the hell do Italians manage to stay so slim?

For dessert we could have either chocolate truffles or fruit. I enjoyed all the courses, and so did the rest, but the group was split over dessert. The chocolate truffle had coffee in it and was not of the usual smooth consistency. Most of us did not like them. Russ ate them all in the end. He also finished the fruit plates. No use in wasting good food. The meal came with water and a glass of red or white house wine, plus coffee at the end. The wine had the label of the restaurant on it and was just right for the meal. We were in food and wine heaven. I was considering bringing home a bottle of that wine, but we had only hand luggage. The cruelty of Ryanair knows no boundaries.

This is a restaurant is worth talking about. It’s gastro food on a budget. I hope gastro is the right word to use. It’s outstanding food for a great value. If you visit Turin … you absolutely MUST visit this place. The amount of food we got for our €10 seemed outrageous. None of the food was particularly creative, but it was done amazingly well. The travel Apps and guide books are going crazy about this restaurant and they all gave it a high ranking, so be aware that it is very popular. I think we only got in so quickly, because we turned up so close to 3pm. If you want to go in the evenings, I would always suggest to pre-book,as you may get turned down otherwise.

E’Cucina
via Bertloa 27/a, Torino
http://cesaremarretti.com/

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