5 Sensi

Morgan Pasqual
Country: Italy
City: Malo (Vicenza)
Address: Salida Piovene Rocchette, en la autopista Valdasti
(+39) 445607976
Closed: Saturdays lunchtime and Sundays
Price: 60 €
Tasting menu:: 45-55 €

  • Rabbit and foie gras ravioli with wild herbs
  • Rabbit and foie gras ravioli with wild herbs
  • Lamb from Puglia with gnummarieddi
  • Lamb from Puglia with gnummarieddi

When a cuisine lover sits down to the table, they may be looking for pleasures beyond those of the palate.
Olfactory, visual, audio, even tactile sensations, exalted in the world of so-called “finger foods,” can amplify the pleasure of a multisensory experience. Since we are on the subject of the 5 Senses, someone came up with the idea to dedicate a restaurant to them, the “5 Sensi,” in Malo, in the heart of the Veneto region. Morgan Pasqual is a chef bursting with well-tempered creativity.
He has his feet firmly planted on the ground, knowing how to play with proposals, frequently changing them, touching on all the cardinal points of sensory gastronomy, starting with the deliciously flavored breads and biscuits (the sausage version is highly recommended), covered with an original “butter” made from Marche olive oil.

Among the starters, we adored the cured Spanish ham “Patanegra de Joselito”, though one mustn’t miss the “Scopeton” (smoked herring) either. Gastronomic memory connects with the polenta, appearing here in various preparations, of which the most resolved is accompanied by eggs and asparagus.
There is an entertaining “jam session” in which indulgence conquers the palate with a succession of well balanced smoked and salted products. The brilliant touch consists of using the humble herring, sliced thinly, as if it were a noble, cured tuna mojama.

Pastas and Soups prevail among the first courses. We discovered a unifying link between the smoked products and a delicious onion Soup they served, with peas and fondue. The potato Cream with escargots constitutes a resolved combination between the vegetable and animal world. The rabbit and foie gras Ravioli with wild herbs were particularly delectable. Even more entertaining is that they recommend eating them with a spoon.

This is, after the wise application of the smoked aftertastes, the second comforting and innovative characteristic of this chef (replete with a name fit for a pirate–Morgan–perhaps harking back to his Friulian origins in northeastern Italy). Here, the spoon is a prized member of the cutlery family, praised for its ability to pick up all the nuances that a dish has to offer.

The presence of Fish on the menu is eclectic, largely dependent on market availability, not to mention the fact that the region is so closely connected to its meat dishes. Among the beef preparations, the fassona piemontese prevails, along with an unusual “Picadillo” of the diaphragm as well as other, more traditional pieces. The lamb is quite interesting, prepared with complex originality. For example, the exceptional Gnummarieddi: small morsels of roast lamb, very much based on southern Italian traditions.

On a side note, another smashing success of Morgan, the pirate chef, is his marriage to a southern lady, something that has inspired his cuisine to be dressed and seasoned with different herbs and spices than what one would expect from the region… warm Mediterranean perfumes.

The pleasure continues as we reach the Dessert section. In an interpretation of one of the classics of Italian desserts, such as the pistachios or the tiramisu, we find original and exquisite proposals, among them the “Horizontal Tiramisu”, with a mascarpone ice cream that does much to awaken the sixth sense, that of memory.

The Wine List is short, but compiled with precision. Something rather unusual is the excellent selection of artisanal beers, of which Morgan is an expert, as well as numerous oils, representative of all the olive-growing regions of Italy, presented on a separate cart.

The Ambience is casual, but well looked after. The Service offers a positive synergy with everything that comes out of the kitchen. However, regardless of the excellent level attained, “5 Sensi” is still a work in progress.
Aptly named, 5 Sensi points to the philosophy of a chef with a distinct personality, presented to the client in an entertaining, delicate way, expressing itself through the dishes… nuances and spoons included.