Last Saturday morning was a lazy lump routine for me. I woke up after a royal ten hour long sleep post the finale of my Rajasthan Road Trip. Meanwhile, Facebook’s notification messages had been making all familiar noises on my phone which I was so trying to ignore but eventually succumbed to. I was heavily notified.
I logged in to Facebook with an intention of sharing my photos from Day 5 of my Rajasthan Road trip with the world and also messaged the link to Pawan Soni for posting on Indian Food Freak (something Pawan helped me very kindly with, all the way through the trip). It was then that Pawan very graciously invited me for lunch at Spaghetti Kitchen. The occasion was an invited review for Spaghetti Kitchen’s recently launched menu.
As I entered the precincts of Spaghetti Kitchen (my maiden visit) I was first wowed by the vastness of the restaurant and then by its chic interiors. I also noticed that despite the Sunday afternoon mercury was hovering around 43 degrees, the restaurant was almost packed to its brim with people of all shapes, sizes and age patronizing it.
I found my way to the Chef’s table and after exchanging pleasantries with Pawan Soni and Chef Bill Marchetti settled down on the finest table in the restaurant. The drinks as ordered by other members of the table had been served while I requested for some cold water to be chased by an Iced Lemon Tea.
It turned out to be an afternoon to remember where sharing included a pot full of laughs, a bowl loaded with anecdotes, a box full of experiences and the most important of it all, lots of plates loaded with “Food” – the unifying factor. Chef Bill Marchetti himself had taken charge and was actively ordering the fare from the new menu. To keep us busy and distracted till the food arrived, he had arranged for an assorted bread basket accompanied with basil butter that made its rounds around the table.
The food service started with Grilled Pork Chops that were served with wholesome Mustard and Onion gravy. The chops were well done; but being a medium-rare beef guy, I found then to be a bit dry on the inside. Nevertheless, they were a delightful mouthful. The chops were served cleanly off the bone as slices, so I was a bit taken when I caught a couple of boney splinters, but given the taste that did not warrant to be a cause for a complaint. In parallel, we were served the Tabouleh Salad which was absolutely crunchy and fresh. My iced lemon tea was served around the time we finished with pork chops and was balanced enough for me to forget the Gurgaon heat and feel refreshed.
Almost immediately to follow the pork chops and tabouleh salad was Spaghetti Bettina – a beefy and green leafy spaghetti preparation. The dish surely lived up to its name and was done nicely. Though, somewhere a small bit of my foodie mind still thinks it needed more beef to balance the carbohydrates.
As the fresh plates were laid upon Chef Marchetti’s instructions, another round of dishes was brought in. The Crab Meat Ravioli and the Chilka Lake Chargrilled Prawns offered just the right kind of visual delight while on the plate and even a better feast for the palate when consumed. I was a bit sceptical about the crab meat ravioli. The delicate meat of crab, if handled carelessly tends to get overcooked easily, turns mashy and loses all it has to offer. But, this was definitely not the case here. The first bite into the seriously soft ravioli surprised me since I could actually taste the crab meat. The big sized Chilka prawns were grilled just right and offered a perfectly spiced feel for the taste buds. The ravioli and the prawns had surely hit their home run with me.
Plates changed again to make way for the Risottos. This classic dish was done in two separate ways – with chicken and with seafood. I personally have not been a huge fan of risotto ever. However, after tasting these two dishes I can state with conviction that if the salt quotient is controlled, it may offer people like me a case in point to convert. I think the real secret is to strike a balance between the salt contributed by butter, parmesan cheese and the salt added for seasoning. Once the chef gets the proportions right and risottos will become a complete no brainer.
Next to be plated was Veal Escallops with lemon sauce which was served with semolina gnocchi. While the gnocchi was soft and moist to the point of being fragile, it offered a very delicate flavour. The veal escallops were well cooked and the lemon sauce complemented them well.
For dessert we had a double bill of Crepes with Mixed wild Berry Sauce and Mango gelato and an extended helping of Crème Brûlée. The crepes looked simple and non pretentious and mango gelato tasted creamy and fine. However, the crepes had a hidden agenda. This I discovered much to my child like delight when I cut through them. Sitting there, in a hidden fold was a layer of cream and sultanas in plentiful. The mix of flavours of the cream, sultanas & wild berries offered a lot of character to otherwise plain crepes. So much so, the double bill made the Crème Brûlée seemed like a poor distant cousin who perhaps didn’t find much favour with us.
Post the scrumptious meal, our hosts were kind enough to offer us some espresso. The full bodied double shot coffee eventually brought about a fulfilling end to the long afternoon. All in all it was a brilliant Sunday afternoon with fabulous food, great people and a perfect ending.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Drinks: 3.0| Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 4.0
Cuisine: Italian| Meal for Two: Rs 1500 (Without alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 12.30pm–11.30pm
Address: Spaghetti Kitchen, Plot No. 27 & 28, City Centre, Sector 29, Gurgaon| Phone: 0124-4049720
– Sumit Malhotra