- Web Desk
- 54 Minutes ago
Review: does Funghi deliver an authentic Italian taste in Islamabad?
- Web Desk
- Sep 18, 2023
The Islamabad food scene is constantly evolving, and the latest addition to this culinary landscape is Funghi by Rustic. This new eatery brings the flavors of authentic Italian cuisine to the heart of Islamabad. Currently, in its soft launch phase, Funghi by Rustic offers a glimpse of what’s to come, with a promise of a full menu launch soon.
The driving question for any restaurant review is whether its customers would return for another visit. Here is our detailed experience of the restaurant.
LOCATION AND AMBIANCE
The restaurant is conveniently located in Sector E7, Shaheen Market but suffers from a consuming parking issue. The interiors of Funghi are minimalistic, serving almost 40 people at a time. The restaurant has options of indoor seating and makes for a good space to sit outdoors during pleasant weather. The restaurant is ideal for a group of six people and not suitable for large crowds.
The soft launch menu has six pasta options, including aglio e olio, prawn carbonara, meatballs and spaghetti, pesto fettuccini, cacio e pepe, and lamb pappardelle. It has three specials: chicken Malpensa, ribeye steak, and gnocchi. The menu has three desserts: tiramisu, vanilla panna cotta, and pistachio ricotta crepes. There is also a variety of hot and cold beverages to choose from. Overall, the menu is holistic and seems to cater primarily to pasta lovers with options for chicken and beef enthusiasts. The full menu will also feature pizzas, focaccia sandwiches, beef stew, and risotto. There will also be a cheese cart for table-side service.
Our order included bruschetta, pesto fettuccini, tortellini, and ravioli, finished off with a tiramisu for dessert.
EXPERIENCE AND TASTE
The order arrived quickly and staggered, as we requested.
From the Antipasti section of the menu, a must-have is the bruschetta. Crispy bread, cherry tomatoes topped with house ricotta and basil transport you to the streets of Italy. The meticulous attention to the eat-ability of the dish deserves a standing ovation. Each bite delivers complete flavor and offers a variety of textures. The serving has five pieces of bruschetta, making it a great antipasto platter for sharing and setting the tone for the remaining courses.
Next up, the fettuccini pasta. The fettuccini pasta is a pesto lover’s dream, topped with house burrata, seasoned with pistachios, pine nuts, and cracked peppercorn. The pasta itself had a sturdy bite reminiscent of true Italian pasta. The pesto sauce was just enough to coat the ribbons of fettuccini without becoming an overwhelming soup-blob. The pine nuts and pistachio are a genius addition to the dish as it lends tones of sweetness and crunchiness adding a much-needed texture that offers relief from the softness of the dish. It is safe to say that everything on this plate came together seamlessly.
The ravioli, not yet launched on the soft menu, is a great option for those who are marinara fans. This tangy option is stuffed with ricotta and spinach with the perfect pasta to filling ratio. Meanwhile, the tortellini (another option not yet launched), had a perfect shape and pasta bite to it, served with garlic butter sauce and topped with shards of truffle and parmesan.
Two standout beverages from the menu are the basil lemonade that will keep you coming back to Funghi and the berry mojito that puts all other mojitos in Islamabad to shame.
Finally, for dessert, the options may be limited but the proof is indeed in the tiramisu. This luxurious dessert is one of three in their current menu. True to Italian sensibilities, the tiramisu exudes espresso flavor with delectable mascarpone cream filling over fresh ladyfingers. The dessert shows impeccable restraint in its sweetness level, allowing each layer of the tiramisu to speak for itself.
On average, a full meal including appetizers, mains, drinks, and dessert will set you back PKR 4500 per head, depending on your order. While dining at Funghi might feel a bit towards the steep side, it is worth the pretty penny. This is especially true when you consider their homemade cheeses, the craftsmanship in their pasta dishes, and the overall dining experience.
An authentic Italian experience is one that gets a nod from an Italian citizen who religiously wants the food to taste of Italy. While I am not from Italy, as a traveller and lifestyle journalist, I found Funghi to be the missing link in the Islamabad food scene that offers a much-needed authentic Italian experience and shows immense respect for Italian cuisine.
Can’t wait to try the full menu when it launches next week!