Three main ingredients. No fancy cooking techniques. Absolute perfection.
Chunky pieces of asparagus had been griddled so that they were soft, nicely darkened here and there and packed with flavour.
An egg had been poached precisely so that it spilled its golden yolk on the plate at the merest touch of my fork.
And, on top, floated a generous number of discs of Italian white truffle, bringing their nutty, earthy flavours to the plate.
Playing a minor role beneath was a little slick of melted cheese adding further savoury notes and a little refreshing lactic acidity.
Here was a dish illustrating that simplicity isn’t the enemy of luxury but its best friend – allowing stars to shine brightly.
Cards on table, Laghi’s Deli is among my favourite places to eat and I was a little apprehensive at this week’s launch of a new menu, fearful that change isn’t always a good thing.
But recently-appointed head chef Giuseppe Sabino has, as they say, nailed it.
Old favourites such as the cheese and charcuterie boards and Birmingham’s finest carbonara and bolognese pasta dishes remain.
But there are additions which, despite being a little more ambitious, retain Laghi’s core values of serving authentic Italian food created with the best ingredients.
Alongside me my wife ate a very fine mixed salad packed with colour and texture.
Opposite one son ate a light and flavoursome pumpkin cake with gooey taleggio fondue and admirably crisp speck, the other accurately fried squid.
The main course to which I progressed was not among the prettiest platefuls of food I’ve scoffed – as evidenced by my photograph – but, bloody heck, it was good.
A large globe of veal cheek had been cooked slowly so that it was marvellously tender and the fat content had been converted into something resembling runny jelly.
It was glazed with a sauce heady with herby, meaty and smoked garlic notes.
Below sat mashed spuds that had been cleverly and deftly enlivened by lemon to cut through the richness of the sauce and meat.
My older lad Murray chose the same dish and was equally impressed.
Lynn and Ewan went old skool and stuck to tagliatelle bolognese – which, here, is a respectful and skilfully cooked iteration of a classic.
Portions were generous and none of us could find space for dessert, which is a pity because I’m sure they would have been very fine indeed.
The place was buzzing on the evening we visited, but service remained charming and attentive throughout our meal.
In the two years since its opening, Laghi’s Deli has won many admirers and I suspect that none will be in the least disappointed by its latest evolution.
It’s a place run with a genuine passion for great food and drink and an absolute compulsion to leave customers smiling.
Which was certainly the facial expression I wore as I left.
Need to know
Our meal for four, with good wine, cost 120.
There are veggie options on the menu.
There’s also a selection of pizzas.
The Italian wine list is a treat.
Children are welcome.
Laghi’s operates a cafe menu during the day.
Islington Row, Five Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1LD. 0121 455 0660.