The Eurail pass allows you to traverse 21 countries in Europe, each with a strong culinary tradition of its own. Naturally then, as I enter the Eurail restaurant—named after the pass —at Golf Course Road, I hope to savour some of the wonderful tastes that the European continent offers. “We serve Europe on a plate,” reassures young and enthusiastic management professional-turned-restaurateur Aditi Goel, adding to the anticipation. And I begin a journey in this spacious and ornately plush restaurant which has been meticulously designed by her.
My first stop is the amuse bouche, a small, daintily plated potato croquette with strawberry compote. Though the dish could be construed by the uninitiated to be a small alu tikki with strawberry jam, it does have a palate tingling appeal. A handsome bread platter follows, further adorning my table, well laden as it already is with fine glassware and cutlery. Four home baked breads—pesto roll, whole wheat roll, raisin bread and crispy knackebrot —served with good quality olive oil and oregano make for delicious bites through the rest of my meal.
Station two is the Provencal sounding bocconcini berry salad (Rs 450); a disappointment. The arugula leaves are overgrown, and their rich texture and peppery taste have gone fibrous and the flavours bitter. The dressing is a weak vinaigrette with too much olive oil and too little seasoning. The bocconcini is not fresh. The strawberries, caper berries and asparagus are sufficiently succulent, but unable to lift this salad out its ordinariness.
For the main course I have ordered a grilled chicken cacciatore (Rs 625). Cacciatore, meaning hunter in Italian, is a classic Italian sauce cooked the rustic way. What’s on my plate is roasted chicken on the bone with an adapted sauce of roasted tomatoes, olives and bell peppers, with flavoured couscous and baked potatoes on the side. It is a tasty dish, though the chicken is a tad overcooked and dry. The perfectly prepared couscous, I make a note, is amongst the best I have had in some time.
The final destination arrives, all dressed up and attractive. It’s an Anglo-Italian duet—carrot cake and tiramisu (Rs 450). The tiramisu is light and ricotta creamy, and the oh-so-English carrot cake (voted as United Kingdom’s favourite cake in a Radio Times 2011 survey) is a pleasant mouthful, reminiscent of mom’s gajar halwa.
Now in its third month of operation, Eurail is Gurgaon’s first truly European restaurant. Its menu boasts variety and a fine collection of wines and single malts. I am sure that the food will settle into being consistently good over time. So whenever you do feel like having some Hungarian goulash or authentic Portuguese vinha d’alhos, you would know which way to go.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.0, Ambiance: 4.0, Service: 3.0| Overall: 3.0
Eurail Address: Parsavnath Exotica Complex, Near Hotel Ibis, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon| Phone: 0124 4928600
Cuisine: European | Timings: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM | Meal for two: Rs 2000
This review first appeared in Friday Gurgaon