I recently travelled in Sicily in Italy, and it feels very much like a dream to have experienced Corrado Assenza’s realm of Sicilian delights in Caffe Sicilia. You might have learnt about Caffe Sicilia from docuseries <Chef’s Table> on Netflix – at least, that is where I first encountered this café. If you haven’t yet, I really highly recommend you to watch it if you have time and interest to.
Before I strolled closer to the café, I couldn’t help but thinking how different the café would appear in reality compering to it on TV. I have no physical data but I would assume that Netflix would highly likely have a positive impact on bringing it more to publicity. I wouldn’t be flabbergasted, therefore, should Caffe Sicilia have changed its modest style as shown on the programme to a place where doors are plastered with marketing slogans, roof gilded with 24K gold, Corrado’s portrait enlarged to be used as wallpaper. Much to my surprise as well as admiration, the café is nevertheless retaining its very low-key persona with a simple and bold logo hanging on the wall next to the entrance. When I walked in, I saw the same counters, paper menus that have been flicked by untraceable amount of customers over the years, same basic tables and chairs, affordable prices to general public, friendly and quality staff. It is a silent yet extremely powerful way of presenting chef’s philosophy and the ethos of Caffe Sicilia, that one’s firm conviction should not be swerved by others’ judgement or time and certainly not playing to the gallery, and that quality food should be accessible to wider public. To me, being in Caffe Sicilia feels like reading a history book with the contents or stories that I’m familiar with. There is no exaggeration in the book but the sedimentary accretion of affection over the history. What I’ve learnt from the history book is at the same time also a journey of self-exploration. All the granita, cannoli, gelato, drinks etc I’ve tried in Caffe Sicilia are absolutely sensational. The sweetness of everything is just to the perfect level. Corrado certainly has done a smashing job to give “delights” a higher definition. Watch out – there are some pictures coming up 😀
What has made the trip to Caffe Sicilia even more memorable is that it was arranged to visit there on my birthday! As someone who has fairly sweet tooth and whose birthday has rarely been celebrated by own family in the last however many years haha, this really means a lot to me. Genuinely appreciate everything this amazing person has done for me 🙂
Some bonus photos here of the baroque city Noto! Enjoy and night night! Xx