The gal said WOW at Don Alfonso’s caprese, served at the Marrakech outpost of Sorrento’s famous Don Alfonso 1860 restaurant. L’Italien Par Don Alfonso – at La Mamounia, where else? – is unique.
You get a large white Bernardaud plate bearing a white bowl in a silver cloche, a small white jug and a big green crispbread. The white bowl holds your high-high buffalo mozzarella soufflé, which the server skilfully cuts open with a spoon.
The jug holds fresh tomato sauce, which the said server deftly pours into the soufflé. Hey presto, red, white and green, in a wow presentation offering maximum taste.
Of course there is taste all around. Take the ambience, by designer Jacques Garcia – fast becoming a girl’s favourite. Overhead are octagonal champagne-coloured silk lampshades. Bankettes are aubergine-coloured, as are water glasses (on champagne table linens).
Soft music wafts through from the live 1930s band in the adjacent bar. Alfonso Iaccarino has two Italian chefs cooking here. You started by dipping home-made focaccia bites in his dark green olive oil. After the caprese soufflé you might choose his signature spaghetti, with fresh tomatoes.
In fact, to be honest, Spaghetti Don Alfonso is a duplicate of the equally-divine Spaghetti Elizabeth Taylor at Splendido in Portofino. Whatever you have eaten along the way, you should definitely finish your L’Italien meal with Don Alfonso’s own-label limoncello, made with an astounding 27 lemons per litre of water (industry standard is only five lemons, apparently). One learns something every day.