All posts tagged: Italian

Freakshakes and Pizzas @ Ministry of Pizza (5th Block Koramangala)

It’s like Kormangala is blessed (or cursed) to churn out new restaurants and cafes every week. The latest to be birthed in 5th Block, is Ministry of Pizza. A bright and sunny ambience combined with a live pizza station and light-on-the-pocket prices makes this a perfect addition to the area. If you get tired of waiting for a table at the ‘other pizza joint’ that’s popular with teeny boppers and offers unlimited Pizza – head on over to MOP. You’ll get a more relaxed experience at the same price!

Family Affair – The Sunday Brunch @ Movenpick Spa & Hotel (BEL Circle)

The Sunday Brunch at the Movenpick Hotel & Spa, turned out to be the first Brunch of 2016 for me. I’ve been taking French classes over the weekend and it pretty much consumes the best part of the day. May 1st was declared a class holiday and I used that opportune moment to take a break and catch up with my friends over lots of food and drink. The newly launched brunch menu by Chef Rayomund promised over 250 different dishes. I was probably not going to sample each and every one of them, but it was encouraging to know I’d have a smorgasbord of delicacies to indulge in.

Shaking things up – Smokehouse Deli’s New Menu (Indiranagar)

My sister and her husband are the biggest fans of Smokehouse Deli. They love the food, the ambiance and the fact that SHD always has some fun weekend offer on drinks 😉 Every chance they get, they run there for a couple of drinks and grub. I like the place myself, but haven’t exhausted the menu like they have! So this post is dedicated to them – they’ll be happy to know that Smokehouse Deli has launched a new menu. If my change-averse sister is reading this – relax … they still retain some of the old favorites.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Let’s face it – porcini mushrooms are expensive. It’s not something that finds its way into my grocery list AT ALL. But there are odd days (when the salary account has been credited) that one is inclined to feel generous. So I picked up a teeny tiny bottle of it for half a thousand rupees. When coming up with an idea to use it judiciously – a Porcini Mushroom Risotto was a no brainer. The mushrooms would lend themselves nicely to being slowly rehydrated while cooking the risotto and the flavor and color would permeate the stock. And to be fair, just half a cup of Porcini mushrooms is more than enough to make that risotto praise worthy. Cooking risotto is like barbequing something – you have to hang around. The stock has to be poured in ladle by ladle while the rice absorbs the liquid and gets plump. And you need to use your intuition and your tasting spoon to know when it’s ready. Lucky for you, I use a fail-safe risotto recipe that …

Easy Grilled Chicken with Pasta

The grill pan is one of my favorite kitchen treasures. It lets me (almost) replicate the look and taste of an outside grill, right on my stove-top. I’m all for shortcuts and making life easier, so you well know how this fits into my lifestyle 😉 Another thing that makes life easier is ready-made sauces – for the life of me, I can’t imagine slow simmering some BBQ sauce over 12-14 hours! I have better things to do, like read a juicy cookbook or go grocery shopping for exciting ingredients! Now, there’s two kinds of grocery shopping I indulge in. The first one is running to the local kirana store (doubles up as exercise) for curry leaves or a loaf of bread and the second is where I make a huge list and plan an exciting day at a large and well stocked supermarket. (yes, I’m sad like that). Foodhall @ 1MG Road, has been a regular haunt to pick up all things interesting – wasabi paste…check, gnocchi…check, tarragon vinegar…check, Ras-El-Hanout…check, an elephant…check (ok, just …

Terrariums and other Surprises @ Ottimo (ITC Gardenia, Bangalore)

It looks like every five star hotel worth its salt, needs to have an Italian restaurant to cater to our new found love of Italian cuisine. You can’t blame them after all, the Indians have taken with gusto to pasta as if it were dal chawal! Ottimo (which means excellent in Italian) has steered away from the carb-heavy renditions of Italian cuisine and bravely presented a lighter fare with emphasis on nutrition and fresh ingredients. Chef Vittorio Grecco has also indulged his love for molecular gastronomy here and his experience in Michelin starred restaurants across Italy has helped him nudge us towards trying something which looks unfamiliar, but in the end is an excellent tribute to the flavors of Italy. Ottimostands in place of the erstwhile West View Grill and has an air of relaxed luxury. The restaurant itself wraps around the main kitchen which displays a row of terrariums (Micro gardens within their own eco-system, sitting pretty within glass containers). While I am not personally a fan of velvet sofas (this one has a …

Marinara Sauce – My way

Have you ever had something that you knew was perfect your way? No matter what the textbooks, teachers, experts or even old aunties claimed? Well in my case, many things fall in this category including this Marinara sauce. Now this is not blind faith – it’s a belief system that has evolved over many painstaking trial and error sessions. It is also a result of the fact that international recipes sometimes call for ingredients that are not readily available here. Or plain and simple – you try to make the best of the ingredients that ARE available to you! If that means cutting open a packet of Dabur Tomato Puree in the final stages and finishing the sauce with some Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce – then so be it! The final results are a fantastically chunky sauce with a robust tomato and garlic flavor. Dress it with some good quality olive oil and you’ve beaten the store bought sauces 10-1. With odds like this, ‘my way’ seems a lot more comfortable than the highway …

DELIZIOSO – Italian Food Festival @ Bene, Sheraton Bangalore

I was invited by the Sheraton for a preview of their Italian Food Festival – ‘Delizioso’ last Friday. Their signature Italian restaurant Bene, was playing host to celebrity Chef Enrico Fiorentini from 9th -18th Nov. (That’s the duration of the festival by the way!). Last year Bene did a Truffles festival, but this year because of the weather in Italy (No good rains), availability of good quality truffles was a dicey affair. Hence they decided to showcase ‘Lombardy’ cuisine. Now when we say Italian food, the two things that immediately spring to mind are Pasta and Pizza. But that’s not all Italian food, is about. (Same as Indian cuisine is not equal to Garlic Naan and Chicken Tikka Masala!). Milan is the major city of the Lombard region and is bordered by Switzerland to the north. Lombardy cuisine primarily consists of hearty fare with rice being a foundation. (South Indians rejoice!). Apart from being famous for its fashion, gastronomically the region is associated with Risotto. Now does Risotto ‘Milan’ese, ring a bell?  Dairy products also …