When I lived in Parma a few years ago, I was in foodie heaven. The fresh pastas, the Parma ham, the huge wheels of Parmesan; it was amazing. There was one dish in particular that I just could not get enough of: the piadina. Not to be confused with a wheat tortilla, a piadina is a thin Italian flatbread native to the Emilia-Romagna region (that which includes Parma), which can be stuffed with cheese, cold cuts, vegetables, you name it.
A number of months ago, I became very excited to see a restaurant called Piadina simply eatalian!, just off Hollywood Road, and knew there and then that I MUST try it. It has taken me a while to put this decision into practice, given the ridiculous number of other restaurants I have been trying in the interim, but I can happily say that I have now finally tried it.
Piadina is not really a restaurant, but a small, casual café with a tiny kitchen serving its namesake alongside a wide range of pastas and salads at pretty reasonable prices.
We started with an Insalata di Pollo, a delicious salad consisting of grilled chicken seasoned with Italian herbs, romaine lettuce, grated Parmesan and croutons, lightly dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I say it was delicious…the truth is that it was only eventually delicious, as the first time round we found a lump of mud amongst the lettuce leaves – that was definitely not on the menu description! Thankfully the staff were all immediately apologetic and replaced it with a new salad with properly washed leaves.
Forget the mud salad, however, as the real reason I was there was for the piadine. I have recently discovered that il Bel Paese across the road from my flat sells everything I need to make my favourite piadina (Parma ham, stracchino and rocket), so we chose to opt for something different, which came in the form of a Ricca, consisting of Parma ham, mozzarella, mushrooms and truffle pâté, a combination that worked perfectly. The flavour of the truffle was strong, but not overpowering, meaning the rich, salty flavours of the Parma ham were still very much there.
We also shared a Piccante (salami, mozzarella and rocket) as recommended by one of my loyal readers. The spicy salami contrasted perfectly with the mild, creamy mozzarella and the crunchy rocket was the cherry on top.
The best thing about Piadina’s piadine is that they are made fresh in-house every day, resulting in soft, floury, rustic bread that reminds me of Italy. It’s certainly not perfect, but for a soothing reminder that Parma isn’t as far as it seems, Piadina will definitely stay on my list of cheap, comforting eats.
Piadina simply eatalian!
G/F, 7 Hollywood Centre
223 Hollywood Road
Tel: +852 3572 0130