By Fatima Gorezi
In recent years, Qerreti has become the most favorite destination of foreign visitors and tourists for the elaborate, creative and traditional cuisine offered in restaurants that start near the sea and up to those built in rural areas. Although it is a small village, the same cannot be said of fish restaurants. Their number is considerable and each one with its uniqueness has been able to create a unique profile that continues to attract attention.
Ervis Kaja has been the manager of "Aromë Deti" for five years, a bar-restaurant located near the Adriatic coast in Qerret.
The basis of the cuisine is Italian, but there is no lack of imagination and creativity of chefs.
You will try the best dishes as while you will have the opportunity to enjoy the panorama of a coastline that is quite sought after in recent years.
How did your journey in the hotel and service industry start?
My experience in this field before taking over has been small. I am dealing with management in general, but not in hotel and tourism. I have worked for 6 years in the penitentiary system of prisons. My job has always been about communication and people and looking to do such a job I found the opportunity and the courage to do a job beyond my background and today I got and I get the courage to say that in 5 years I I managed to do it well. But for me it was new and I think success is evident.
How do you see the situation, in terms of infrastructure and service in hotel and tourism in Albania and mainly here on the Adriatic coast?
Unfortunately the last season is not the best and the reason is obvious. The presence of this new virus is not something to be easily swallowed. We are down to earth and realistic as we think we may not have the same attendance as years ago. I think that this year will be difficult not only for our business, but for the whole business, because it is known in Albania that summer coastal tourism is the most important for us. Hotels have the greatest difficulty. We are a restaurant and to some extent we have a basic clientele.
When you say clientele, do you have a preferred clientele? Is the clientele local, foreign?
Considering this season we have been frequented by local 100% clientele, but we have also had foreign clientele in the past years as we have some hotels with very good service. But most of our clientele are local clientele, of course the Central region; Durrës, Tirana, Elbasan.
I find the situation with Covid-19 unusual, but the business will survive, I see a positive, albeit challenging, future. We will also survive prey because we are not a seasonal business, but spread throughout the period of the year.
Do you frequent during the winter?
The days of the week are mostly quiet, while the weekends more intense. We always organize something, in the sense of small events, family, birthdays, but the basis remains the weekend where the coast offers all those pleasures where beyond the walk people enjoy something good. Our restaurant is one of the most frequented, I modestly say this (Laughs).
From the name "Seafood" it seems that the basis of your cuisine is water, what are your most special dishes?
We are a fish-based restaurant and our target is a medium-high clientele, which always requires something special and delicious. The cuisine is Italian, both the quality and the way of cooking the fish is special and I can not deny that it gives us an advantage in the region. We also use pizza, which for families with children is something alternative.
Since the first winter we thought of doing something different than fish, but we were afraid of going out of our nature, identity and what characterizes us. Around the county there are small restaurants with meat-based dishes, ground.
What is your most typical and favorite dish among customers?
We identify with a ‘seafood flavor’ antipasto dish. It has in its composition a mixture of cold and cold. In the cold we make sea bass carp and sailor salmon, while in the cold we make fish meat, crab meat, shrimp meat.
All this constitutes that special antipasto we make in the seafood flavor logo. First preference, after antipasto we make very good risotto and very good pastries. We also make very good fish pans. When customers want to preserve that typical seafood flavor we leave it in salt and this is the most traditional way of cooking. But different pans, with vegetables, potatoes, are all we do very well. Always keeping the base of the fish, we make the product that relates more to the season. For example, when it is truffle time we make primo pasta with truffle, when it is mushroom time we make mushroom pasta.
2020 as we said has been a difficult year. What is the strategy and plans of "Aroma Deti" during the end of the year and the beginning of next year?
Thanks for the question. Very soon for our customers who hardly come in winter, we have taken a step towards our service, as we are preparing a second restaurant under our logo in Tirana. The kitchen continues to be the same, but also innovative in terms of new things that our customer is curious and expects from us. This serves very well the challenge that we have for so many years to provide this quality service, this good food and above all to offer this satisfaction to our customers that keeps us under pressure in the positive word of mouth and makes us innovative and in search of the best.
How is an evening at the Carts? Why do people have to come to the Carts?
I spoke of a very good food and service, but I forgot a very important detail, that here the evenings are in the musical rhythms of the piano bar. Even during the summer but also in the winter we bring quiet music, in the background, a live piano. The same will be in the restaurant we are opening in Tirana.