La Dolce Vita

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  Ravioli at the Green House Restaurant, the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa

We started our holiday in style in Da Nang last week by going to Green House restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa.

Green House serves traditional Vietnamese as well as Italian foods.

There is something in common between the two cuisines: freshness and range of natural flavors. Besides, most dishes do not involve much marinating or cooking.

The restaurant, with its typical contemporary decor, has a lot of space and a terrace overlooking Son Tra Peninsula. We chose a table shaped like a boat under palm trees.

Watching the sun going down, we met with executive chef Frederik Farina, a southern Italian who worked for 12 years in Hyatt's kitchens in the US and Thailand.

At first I was a bit disappointed when I looked at the menu. I had hoped to order for spaghetti with squid ink but could not see it.

Farina said the restaurant serves authentic but simple Italian dishes, and the staff needs some time to learn how to make more complicated dishes.

He said he uses local ingredients as far as possible. He had met a cheese producer in Da Lat and makes some dishes (like tomato salad) using Da Lat cheese.

Chef Frederik Farina at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa's Green House Restaurant

On his suggestion, we ordered tuna, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, lemon, olive oil salad (VND210,000); minestrone, pesto (VND75,000); pizza four cheeses (VND185,000); ravioli spinach, mascarpone, tomato sauce (VND200,000); and tiramisu (VND155,000).

Farina went inside and brought to our table different kinds of fresh spaghetti and said he would cook a special dish for us: seafood, fresh spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, young onion, white wine (VND260,000).

While we waited for the food, I went inside and watched the chef cooking in the open kitchen in the middle of the indoor area of the spacious restaurant.

And then the food arrived. The portions were big enough for three people. Luckily I had ordered dishes with a lot of vegetables.

For some reasons the dishes bespoke sincerity and passion. They came loaded with flavors that went well with each other.

The tuna salad and vegetable soup had the light and fresh taste of spring vegetables.

I was a bit worried about eating pizza for dinner. But when it was served, we forget about the calorie count as the warm cheese melted on our tongues.

Ravioli spinach, mascarpone, tomato sauce was also special, but the highlight was the fresh spaghetti with seafood.

Though I could not get spaghetti with squid ink, I had no reason to complain.

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