Making nonna proud

Salvia's afternoon snack set recalls the warm tradition of Italian family get-togethers

Salvia's La Merenda afternoon tea depicts a cosy and comforting affair enjoyed by Italian families.

In Italy, merenda is a light meal between lunch and dinner. The afternoon snack is usually prepared by a loving nonna who never compromises when it comes to feeding her children. Thus the word merenda represents not just a snack time but also a cosy and comforting affair that shapes up every Italian's childhood memory.

At Salvia, the Italian osteria of Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel, a new afternoon tea concept, dubbed La Merenda, was recently launched to depict the warm and sumptuous gastronomic tradition.

Crafted up by Italian head chef Roberto Parentela, the fare comprises 14 savoury and sweet items plus the choice of free-flow coffee, tea or soda.

The meal (1,590 baht per two persons), portraying the experience that's usually enjoyed alongside family, is presented in a sharing style amid the restaurant's homey setting.

And unlike those whimsical eye-candy delicacies offered at a typical afternoon tea place, Salvia's rendition is created to indulge your taste buds and stomach and not just your camera.

The crispy baked ravioli with lemon ricotta and oregano.

The selection of dolci.

Seafood salad with celery, olives and salsa verde.

Seafood salad with celery, olives and salsa verde.

The homey setting of Salvia Osteria.

Parentela's selection of sharable savoury items include assorted seafood salad with celery, olives and salsa verde; crispy baked ravioli with lemon ricotta and oregano; Sicilian-style yellowfin tuna tartare with capers and pine nuts; plum-marinated cherry tomatoes with stracciatella buffalo milk cheese and basil; baked fig in balsamic vinegar with grana Padano cream; porcini mushroom puff pastry; and an assortment of mortadella, coppa, Norcia ham, Parmesan and cheese fritters.

Of the dolce repertoire, items on offer are an olive oil financier cake with pistachio and orange; hazelnut praline cake; brioches soaked with limoncello and garnished with fresh berries (Neapolitan-styled rum baba cake); classic tiramisu; and Bönet alla Piemontese chocolate custard with almond cookies. By the way, Parentela is from Piedmont.

Gelato and sorbet are also featured in his list of sweets. Options include pistachio ice cream with roasted nuts; yoghurt ice cream with Amarena cherry; and blood orange-campari sorbet. A piping hot pot of specially-concocted orange and pink grapefruit infused herbal tea is also included in the set.

For beverages, guests choose from a nice selection of coffee, tea and Italian soda.

House-blended cocktails such as peach jasmine spritz with Cocchi Americano; Rosa Earl Grey spritz with strawberry; Lambrusco spritz with vermouth; Aperol Spritz; Bellini; Mimosa; and Italian bitter punch are also available at 290 baht per drink.

Salvia's La Merenda Italiana afternoon tea is served daily from 2.30-5pm. The restaurant is located on M Level, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Ratchadamri Road. For more information and reservations, call 02-254-1234 or email bangkok.bangh@hyatt.com.

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