The monsoons are fast approaching in Bengaluru, but it is still summer in Italy and for a short period of time we can escape the reality in Alba. The Italian Summer menu, on till the 6th of June, will transport you to the sunny Italian countryside with light and refreshing flavors to tingle your tastebuds. Chef Maroune Rahali has crafted a delectable spread with fantastic summer produce that makes this festival a definite addition to plans this week.
In a country that places a lot of importance on seasonal cooking, the summer menu makes use of produce that is abundant in the season like asparagus, lemons, basil, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Chef Rahali has curated a traditional menu of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci with stunning results. Take a friend along and dive headlong into this summer fling.
Taking you on a photo tour of our lovely meal, course by course.
Antipasti : First Course
Gaspaccio di pomodorini pachino crostone di sapori e salsa al aglio: A well-made Gazpacho is a perfect summer treat. Raw vegetables, especially tomatoes form the base for this refreshing cold soup. The Alba version made with pachino cherry tomatoes was tangy and silky. A focaccia crouton served as the base for some vegetable tartare flavoured with light garlic sauce.
Astice tiepido alla catalane: Lobsters spell luxury and rightly so. This salad of warm lobster with crisp vegetables does complete justice to the word. Everyone at the table was raving about the creamy lemon dressing that lightly coated the plump lobster meat making it a star dish.
Insalata di asparagi grigliati, salmone affumicato in casa: Salmon smoked in-house with apple wood – delicious. When this is served with grilled asparagus and dressed with sesame seeds – it becomes irresistible. While sesame seeds are not traditionally used in Italian cooking, Chef Rahali draws his inspiration from Japan for this dish. The five different types of sesame seeds come in different colours and sizes and if you have a refined enough palate, you can even discern variances in their taste.
Insalata estiva: A delicious medley of summer fruits and vegetables in a raspberry and sum-dried tomato vinaigrette with feta cheese. It made such a pretty picture and the addition of our very own mango to the dish made it even more special.
Primi: Main course with a focus on Pasta
Ravioli ripieni di patate e broccoli salsa di pomodorini e basilico: A bi-colour ravioli stuffed with potato and broccoli served with a cherry tomato emulsion sauce. The stuffing was just delicious and various colours on the plate just added to the revelry.
Tagliolini pasta gamberetti, crema di zucchina al basilica: I would go back in a heatbeat to eat this again. A freshly-made, silky taglioni pasta was coated with a prawn and basil-zucchini sauce and served with plump grilled prawns. The semi-dried cherry tomatoes and basil just added to the overall appeal. A stellar pasta course that had me begging for more. (Blog Feature Picture)
Secondi: Main course with a focus on Meats
Tonno grigliato su insalata di finocchio: Grilled Tuna walks the fine line between seafood and a hearty meat course. Here the Tuna was seared pink and served with a fennel salad dressed with a red capsicum sauce for a mellow burn.
Agnello al Caffe mousseline di patate verdurine estive: I was excited about this course because many years ago I had eaten coffee marinated venison and it blew my mind. This lamb loin marinated with coffee however did not live up to the mark. I blame the quality of the lamb, but unfortunately getting good local lamb loin is difficult and most of the expats prefer the exported variety. The lamb was served with potato mousseline and summer vegetables.
Melone marinato, gelatina al limone e menta, granita di anguria: Desserts were as fresh as a summer day! The flawless watermelon granita was served with lemon mint jelly and marinated melon spheres.
Carpaccio di ananas al basilico con zucchero di canna e lime: The Basil, cane sugar and fresh lime sorbet was complimented with perfect slices of Pineapple carpaccio. The pineapple was cut so beautifully that it looked like French lace. Apparently the hotel uses a device to measure the concentration of sugar in the fruits, so that they use the perfectly ripe ones with optimum sweetness. How cool is that!
The Summer menu is all things bright, light and beautiful. I definitely recommend a meal before the festival comes to an end on the 6th of June. For reservations contact Rajiv – +91 7760468802
Level 1, JW Mariott Bengaluru,
Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore 560001.
Phone : 91 7259400900
Cost : INR 3000++ for a meal for two with alcohol
Parking : Valet