One would not associate the celebration of pasta witha place like Pizza hut, which is synonymous with pizzas, but that is just what it was. The in house head chef of Pizza Hut Chef Arjyo and his counterpart from Barilla, Chef Luca conducted an interactive and innovative pasta workshop. Barilla is the world’s leading pasta maker with over 300 varieties of pasta, out of which we only get 13 in India. The whole experience was an informative one as well, especially for pasta lovers who enjoy making pasta as much as relishing it.
The studio setting made the experience more intimate. Information from the chef’s tips and tricks etc. from his previous experience gave more information about the chefs rather than the actual dishes. Amidst the regular dose of over-sweet beverages, the appetizers were a mixed bag with the non-veg platter giving a far superior experience compared to the vegetarian one.Have to hand it to Pizza hut for making crisp chicken tortillas which are hard to find and saucy chicken skewers. Interestingly the sipping dessert of cheesecake turned out to be less sweet than the diabetic lemon and lime cooler.
Moving on to the mains, the dishes that stood out were the very authentic and very Italian, warm spaghetti and prawn salad and the Sicilian vegetable caponata. Chef Luca, who came all the way from Parma, Italy to mesmerize us with his food, prepared all this.
The warm spaghetti salad comes from the northern region of Italy was rustic yet packing a punch. The prawns were not flame cooked but were just marinated in lemon and oregano, combined with the warm Barilla spaghetti and toasted bread crumbs, capers and the special Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. The veg caponata was a burst of flavour with, an offset of sweet and salty. The eggplant crisps, toasted pine nuts and the raisins elevated the dish to whole another level. Each bite was a dance of texture and flavour, the softness of the penne, the melt in mouth caponata, the sweet raisins, the crunch of the crisps, the smoothness of the ricotta and salty pine nuts.
The Red’o’ White pasta served next was essentially fusilli pasta with Indian style red sauce and a dollop of cream on top. The classic lasagna bolognaise was the Indianised version of the original.
The all time favourite pan pizzas were a bit disappointing, as there was nothing thin or crisp about the crust. Even the toppings were nothing to rave about .Normally, I love the crust at Pizza Hut as it has just the right amount of salt and air but this time I think the staff concentrated more on the pastas rather than the pizzas, which are their bestsellers.
With new restaurants and cuisines cropping up everyday in our city, I do believe that taste of the Indian foodie is becoming more mature and refined. I also hope the heavenly preparations by Luca would be stay for a long time on the Pizza Hut’s menu.
The experience leaves me wondering – why do we introduce the concept of curry in every dish when all it requires is a drizzle of a simple sauce. I’m awaiting the day when I can savor the same delectable taste of simple pasta dishes that Luca whipped up, provided it is served in a restaurant in India. He made it look so simple.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.0 | Ambience: 3.0 | Service: 3.0 | Overall: 3.0
Address: Pizza Hut , Ambience mall , Vasant Kunj , New Delhi
– Pavleen Gujral