If there is one cuisine I can have any time, anywhere, it is Italian. A cheese drenched and creamy dish with a glass of red wine – my my, the evening is set.
Artusi is a luxurious fine dine Italian restaurant located in One Horizon Centre. The decor is classical European with intricate chandeliers carrying mini candles hanging down from the top. The background music is mostly from Godfather and the paintings on the wall delicately beckon the art connoisseurs.
Artusi is well known for their authentic ingredients and freshly prepared hand made pasta. What could be more delightful than having Italian dishes straight from the kitchens of Italian moms!
Shrimp cocktail: Hats off to the presentation! The juicy shrimps lathered in pink cocktail sauce (Salsa Rosa), enveloped in a lettuce leaf and are served in a Martini glass. The sauce lends its creaminess and tanginess to the delicate shrimps.
Burrata: So heavenly creamy! This fresh cheese was served with a crunchy toasted bread, plump cherry tomatoes and basil pesto sauce – a very light yet fulfilling appetiser.
Torino di Pori: More cheese! The quiche or the cheese and leeks filled tart is creamy and has a crumbly texture. The Gorgonzola cheese adds more depth to this dish by lending its heavy buttery consistency.
Cappelletti with mushroom: The minute delicate pasta pockets are indeed a sight to marvel at. And when they are filled with cheese and served with juicy mushrooms – Mama Mia!
Paglia e Fieno: The finely prepared angel hair pasta – yellow and green colour – is artistically served in a tomato based creamy sauce with succulent mushrooms. The ensemble is very flavourful and slurpy.
Tiramisu: I never ever had a better version of Tiramisu! The mascarpone cheese is so light, fluffy, airy and creamy and the sponge layer soaked in brandy and coffee is pretty thin. Do not forget to try this dessert.
Cichhetti in Italian means “small bites” and is a regular favourite in the streets of Venice. Going by the same notion, Cichhetti by Mr. Beans is into serving calorie counted dishes which fulfil you but just in the right way with no overwhelmed belly. That way you are able to savour more dishes with no guilty pleasures.
Smoking Cranberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese dome: Cheese is smoked and infused with finely chopped garlic, jalapeños and olives and served with crunchy crackers, a spiced jam of raspberries & cranberries, sliced olives, jalapeños and green apple.
Cheddar & Chive Scones: Freshly baked English scones having a bitter flavour because of chives and served with the raspberries & cranberries spiced jam, butter and cream cheese. The scones have a soft yet crumbly texture.
Goth Aglio Olio in linguini: As if the magic of Aglio Olio was not enough that these guys prepared linguini in mushroom sauce. The flavour of the button, shiitake and porcini mushrooms is so enchanting and the pasta is super slurpy.
Coq Au Vin – Red Wine Chicken: Highly highly recommended! The juicy chicken legs and breast are served with crispy bacon strips, mashed potatoes and grilled baby onions, button mushrooms, beans and broccoli. The chicken is so tender that it readily comes off the bone and goes so well with the creamy mashed potatoes.
Vanilla & coconut panna cotta: First, the creamy yet smooth texture of this dessert will blow your mind. Second, the combination of vanilla and coconut is so mesmerising that you will want to savour this forever. Third, the tanginess of the strawberry sorbet goes compliments the panna cotta. Lastly the freshly baked meringues actually melt in your mouth.
Baked Jalapeno and Tobasco Chicken Wings: Never knew that the baked wings could be soft with the flesh coming off the bones so easily! But it seemed that the wings are dipped in tangy spices rather than getting imbibed in them. The texture is good, the flavour is average considering the presence of Tobasco sauce.
Chicken Lollies with beer dip: Again the texture if wonderful – soft insides and slightly chewy & crispy exterior. But again the flavour – the dips served were far too less in the quantity.
Italian Pizza: Thin crust with the optimum amount of cheese which is also of good quality is difficult to find these days. Add to it the lovely combination of tangy jalapenos and firm pepperoni which compliment each other so well – you will have a hard time letting go of the last bite. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Tomato, corn and roasted vegetables in spinach Lasagna sheets: The story about good quality cheese did not end with pizza, it had a second part in the mouth gasmic lasagne as well. The grilled French beans, bell peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes neatly enveloped in thin lasagne sheets and cheese on a bed of a rich red sauce is surely breath taking. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Sookha Mutton with Appam: Those who have tasted or are even aware of how Appams are will be highly disappointed with this dish. Appams are bowl shaped with minimal thickness whereas these resembled pancakes. The mutton was cooked well and had a lovely tenderness to it, but the presence of so many spices will overwhelm you.
Grilled sole with butter roast garlic and spicy vegetables: My favourite ensemble of all the time – grilled steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables in a heavenly sauce was perfectly replicated here. The sole has a light crustiness to it and the vegetables are juicy to the core. But the lemon butter garlic sauce is seductive! The presence of chopped garlic is so scintillating! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Home made Paan ice cream: Perfect ending to a perfect day. The ice cream has the right consistency and you actually feel like you are relishing Paan. The presence of organic Gulkand ups the game. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The food industry continues to develop at an exponential pace and this has resulted in a mushrooming of outlets which fail to deliver on quality. So when you visit a small café specialising in Italian cuisine which surprises you with their unusual menu and mouth watering dishes, you know that you will have a good time.
Most of their dishes have the prefix “turkey” associated with them and from what I understood, this word signifies bacon and their experimentation with it. I really hope I am correct.
Frickens: The kind of crumb fried chicken available these days does not even remotely impress me. So when I binged upon this juicy boneless chicken strip crumb fried and adorned in tangy sweet sauce and mayonnaise, my taste buds went in a food coma. The best part is that the crispy exterior does not separate even after being kept for 15-20 minutes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fries: I am really not a big fan of fries even if they have donned a swanky appearance these days – curlies, crinkles, wedges and like. The ones served here were curly fries and drenched in a heart warming mixture of melted cheddar cheese, chopped onions and jalapenos. The quality of cheese is so good that it does not solidify even after an hour of being kept in open. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Santorini pizza: Such colours! The vegetables – bell peppers and olives are not over grilled and present a crunchy texture associated with freshness. The cheese is not overwhelming and spreads very beautifully on the thin crust. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Turkey pizza: Finally my dream has turned into a reality! A pizza exclusively dedicated to bacon – ohhh man, such heaven! The quality of bacon is again top notch with the lovely crunch and firmness intact. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
A truffled affair: My love for spaghetti reached new heights when I relished the slurpy spaghetti served here. Served with chewy mushrooms and sautéed in truffle oil, mushroom pate and garlic cream, this was a gourmand’s delight. The characteristic subtle bitterness of the mushroom paste adds to the maelstrom of flavours to this dish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cheesecake tart: If you are slightly hungry, this cheesecake is enough to fill your belly. Dense and smooth cheese cake over a firm tart base and topped with fresh mint leaves and thick nutella syrup will definitely leave you in splits.
With time and tasting, I have developed a taste for authentic Italian and it is always a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant serving good dishes with the ingredients sourced from Italy. Like Italy, situated in the hustle bustle of the M block market, GK-1 is one of the those places which offer peace along with a host of lip smacking Italian dishes.
Grilled sausage salad: A raw salad with crunchy and smoked vegetables and perfectly grilled sausages can be your perfect brunch partner. The sausages are firm but tender, the smoked red bell pepper juicy and the spinach leaves fresh. Just douse this in the tangy mustard dip served and you are in for a roll! RECOMMENDED.
Amatriciano con Bacon: The slightly thick slurpy spaghetti prepared in a creamy and flavourful red sauce with sautéed bacon strips – please can I have this dish again? I am not a fan of red sauce but this one had me binge eat a whole portion. A balanced sauce does the trick I guess so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this.
Involtini di pollo with backed potatoes – chicken breast and ham roll: A perfect dish for a main course and a heavy one for that matter. The thick ham rolls are filled with a creamy mixture of spinach with the crunchy potato wedges completing the picture. RECOMMENDED.
Pancetta e scamorza pizza: The warm melting scamorza cheese flowing over a medium crust pizza adorned with a fresh tomato sauce topping and bacon strips is a dream come true for any non vegetarian pizza lover. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Veneta pizza: The fresh chicken sausage, mushrooms and onions topped with mozzarella and parmesan are good enough but the tomato sauce topping could have been more flavourful.
Capsicum Pizza: You will not want to eat this because it is so colourful and inviting! The reds, the yellows and the greens perfectly blend on the whites of the mozzarella cheese and their slightly smoky texture compliments the gooey cheese. RECOMMENDED
Grigliata Pizza: The smoked vegetables: mushrooms, zucchini and onions are flavourful but charred and you get a “burnt” kind of flavour here. This could have been more flavourful.
Panna Cotta: The set and smooth cream with subtle sweetness topped with the crunchy biscuit crumble – perfect climax. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Authentic cuisine seems to be the rage these days and when coupled with “organic” and “healthy”, the foodies are bound to get something different yet exciting.
Located in the bustling Select Citywalk, this little restaurant is bound to keep you hooked to their amazing menu. All their ingredients are freshly imported and organically produced. No extra flavours, condiments or preservatives in their dishes, only pure culinary skill and technique here.
Another note: They have a policy of serving the leftover food to the beggars and homeless people near Select Citywalk – applause for this initiative!
Summer is back Italian Basil: When “organic” is the word, you expect fresh ingredients in your beverage with no syrups or artificial flavours. Same goes for this one. A refreshing concoction of Italian basil leaves and oranges with no extra zing is as home made as it can get. The bitterness of basil cuts the tanginess of oranges and the subtle sweetness of the ensemble is there to suit everyone. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fresh Butter Garlic Prawns: This recipe is a local one from the famed Anjuna beach and does not disappoint you. The prawns are sourced from Cochin, so you get the authentic “prawn” flavour and are served with a green salad, butter based dip and French fries. The prawns are smoked to perfection with the shells intact with creamy and juicy insides but with a lesser amount of salt though. The citrus salad is amazing – spinach, lettuce and mustard leaves, yellow and red bell peppers and orange drizzled with light lemon vinaigrette. The crunchy leaves and vegetables coupled with the subtle tanginess of the dressing leave you asking for more.
Pro-tip: You have to eat the prawns with the salad so that the flavours are balanced.
Though I really wished that the “garlic” in this dish was more prominent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Norwegian smoked salmon and cream: Drool worthy to the core! The smooth fettucine is prepared in home made Tarragon sauce and cream with smoked salmon and topped with grated cheese – mouth watering combination? The salmon is very subtly smoked and is tender and compliments the pasta well. The menu mentions that this should be served with sautéed organic greens but I was served with buttered crunchy garlic bread. RECOMMENDED.
Cremino: Why did I taste this? A variation of our beloved Tiramisu, this is fashioned from Mascarpone cheese, Amaretto soaked in coffee and topped with cacoa dust and coffee flavoured cookies. Surprisingly the coffee is not bitter at all and is pleasant in taste with the cheese being so smooth and creamy that you can not stop once you start binging on this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Blueberry Cherry Smoothie: Organic blueberries and cherries freshly grinded in fresh chilled yoghurt with no extra sugar or flavours – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Waffles: Served with Nutella, cream, butter, Maple syrup, musk melon and kiwi slices – a perfect breakfast item. The waffles were not airy and crunchy and had gone soft and chewy probably due to the time spent in clicking the perfect picture but when eaten with Nutella and cream – BOMB! The texture was brittle and crumbly though. RECOMMENDED.
Food innovation is the current trend in the food industry and restaurants experimenting with fusion food are sure to attract customers time and again. Because combination dishes invite a loyal fan following and I am one of those people who love to explore new cuisines, even the blend of two or more.
The Chatter House has earned a fine reputation for experimenting with dishes and boy, they have succeeded in changing our palette preferences. Who could say no their Blue Cheese Naan or Port Wine with chocolate syrup?
For our Rock n Roll fans, this is the perfect place with the framed posters of The Beatles, Def Leppard, The Eagles and what not with a rivalling playlist is sure to seduce you.
Butter Chicken Spring Roll: Fusion food at its best! Who could have thought of combining the staple curry of Delhiites with the famed Oriental snack item? The spring roll has a light and flaky exterior with tender chicken pieces inside. The chicken is slightly drizzled with the smooth and creamy butter chicken gravy which is served separately and you have to dip your spring roll in the curry to enjoy this mouth watering decadence. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Garden in a bowl: Fresh vegetables – black olives, carrots, broccoli and cherry tomatoes along with roasted almonds served in a tangy and creamy yoghurt and eggplant based dressing and garnished with smoked olive dust – healthy as well as light. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Blue cheese Naan: This dish has been the most talked about snack item since the inception of this place. The chewy naan is redolent with the pungent flavour of blue cheese and chopped pineapple are adorned on its top so as to cut the sharpness of the cheese. Served with our very own Dal makhni which is ohh-so-creamy and we have a winner here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bacon Wrap Mac n Cheese: Why in the name of heaven did I binge on it? Because I can not stop craving it. The melt-in-the-mouth macaroni drenched in creamy and cheesy sauce and wrapped in a bacon strip which is smoked to perfection – bacon is crispy but not chewy and the mac n cheese is not too cheesy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mushroom Risotto: Subtlety defines this – smooth and not so creamy texture of the mushroom sauce with a topping of cherry tomatoes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fettucine Fungi De Basco: Their fettucine is prepared in house and when combined in the creamy white wine based sauce with the addition of mushroom ragout – we could not keep our hands off! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.