Hey, Foodwala’s… Welcome to another tale of Alfie Foodwala
The Summer of 1963… I was a twinkle in Papa Foodwala’s eye yet it was an important year for me… how so you may ask incredulously, let me indulge myself and i will explain all.
It was the summer of 63 when Papa Foodwala saved up enough money from working 2 jobs, 7 days a week, 20 hours a day to open his first restaurant.
One evening he was returning from one of his jobs when he walked past the Fionda Oil Company in Gibson Street, as he walked past he spotted old Mr. Fionda sitting at his desk, so Papa Foodwala decided to pop in and say and pay his respects.
Mr. Fionda was the old school Italian gentlemen, who always wore a waistcoat, shirt, and tie and baggy corduroy trousers, Mr. Fionda started to ask what my dad was doing etc and the conversation turned to their mutual favorite subject…food.
The old man opened a box and offered my dad a freshly baked Cannoli, baked by none other than nonna Fionda that afternoon.
Eating the Cannoli Mr. Fionda regaled dad with tales of the motherland, the passion of the people, the love for their food, the history, the matriarchal mommas and nonnas.
Mr. Ali discovered that the Italians had so much in common with Pakistanis, they also were passionate people who loved to argue, who loved to eat and loved their mommas and held a grudge for a long time.
The unlikely friendship developed and eventually, Mr. Fionda decided to sell his shop to dad and the rest is history.
Another legendary Scottish Italian gentlemen who came to Scotland at the same time as for Fionda was Mr. Giovanazzi who opened the La Parmigiana restaurant on Great Western Road, This week we decided to visit his son’s restaurant, also a seasoned restauranteur in Hyndeland, Caffe Parma.
On this occasion, i was accompanied by Rarri and Bakree Foodwala’s, we visited on a Sunday afternoon and the restaurant was busy with late Sunday lunch crown, a mix of parents with tennis mad children and Hooray Henrietta’s who were braying and laughing a touch too loud, possibly well oiled with Prosecco.
we kicked off the proceeding with Focaccia Rosmarino, the focaccia was delicious and subtly crispy and topped with Italian cheese and rosemary, a promising start.
I opted for the Rissoto with Pan-seared King Prawns, the risotto is a dish that can only be cooked by a master as the tolerances are so fine, The perfect risotto should be al dente yet the consistency should be that when you wriggle the dish the risotto should move yet hold its consistency, In my opinion, the risotto was in the dry side and the rice was a tad north of al dente.
The Spaghetti with prawns was simple in its execution yet full of subtle flavour. Pellegrino Artusi, one of the great cookery writers, wrote that flavourings should not be detected; they should only be a gentle foil.
The Pizza was also simple, roasted peppers with sugo, pesto, and chicken, the crust was thin and crispy, however, the base was slightly soft and soggy, all in all it was pleasant.
In conclusion, Caffe Parma showed its pedigree, the food was delicious and fresh and the restaurant had a nice relaxed vibe to it, The service was a little distracted and laissez-faire, it would have bothered me if the other parts of the experience were careless.
All in all a pleasant Sunday afternoon with my Foodwalee daughters.
The Chicken is Halal