The long lunch

19 February 2015 text and photos Sevda Semer
We aren't in a big hurry today. After a buisness meeting in the neighbourhood, we get a table at Talents restaurnat to tame our hunger. And now we're telling you all about it.

We come after a recommendation from friends who live nearby and eat here often. We choose a sunny table, open the menu and start a culinary badminton - passing the names of the dishes between ourselves like we're giving each other little bites of food. The taste is already on your tongue as you are pronouncing them: open ravioli with salmon Gravlax, Chuck tender steak with fettuccine and mushroom sauce, salmon trout with couscous, julienne of vegetables and sauce verde. Well, we have decided. Should we also take an Asian salad with sesame tofu and chicken? Yes, the table is large enough, and so is our appetite.

You learn to cook, so that you're not a slave of recipes; to buy fresh ingredients and know what to do with them. It's what we've learned from Julia Child and now we see it in the menu. Julia, by the way, is the chef who told hundreds of people that the most important thing is to love to eat (and to put more butter!). For us, these lessons are enough, but in the kitchen of Talents the requirements are just the beginning. Here are trained the talents of HRC Culinary Academy, who gain experience in the whole process - from preparing the menu with the help of a main chef (George Partenov) to serving.

We are on the other side of the dishes - on our table, the glasses of wine are served a bit before the food. We don't rush into it. We have enough time to let the flavor of the wine to fill us, before reaching for the salmon over ravioli with squid ink. The fish is amazingly tender, the sauce is mild and opens the way to the deep flavor of the pasta. There is a hidden surprise in the refreshing bites of salad with tofu and sesame that we can not unravel immediately - it turns out to be Chinese radish.

We know a guy who performs a little funny dance every time he tastes something super tasty. Unwillingly we do the same when we come to the crunchy crust of the trout, perfectly complemented by wine. (We have to say that nobody ever caught us drinking wine on Monday at noon... until now). Onto the next dish. In the culinary world there are many trends, but do you know what will never be out of fashion? One medium rare steak. Our is partnered with wild mushrooms. We exchange the plates until they are empty, and understand why it is important to eat several small meals rather than one large - after 20 bites our receptors get bored of the taste, but when we taste more and more things, we ignite them all over again. 

The only good finish of this symphony is coffee, cheesecake and the chocolate bomb Coffee Toffee. They serve them with a huge pearl of sorbet on top - it's so soft, as if only a few minutes ago it wasn't -15 degrees. We joke that this is not lunch, but spa. This Monday slowly starts feeling like a Saturday, although here the rhythm is the same as in every restaurant. The feeling of something special may have come from the spontaneity of the decision to eat really good food without reason. You need only a good company. And yes, Julia, a love for food.

Talents restaurant is at Peter Beron Str 9 and is open from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 22:00 (with a break from 15:00 to 16:00)
Reservations: 02 421 90 68,


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