Monthly Archives: July 2013

Passable Pizza and Past(a) Imperfect

Not another Pizza and pasta joint in Mumbai! That was my first reaction when I heard about Ristorante Prego. And that too Prego. I was a bit confused as Prego is my favourite fun-dining place at the Westin Mumbai Garden City. Yes,  this newly opened Italian eatery serves typical Italian fare, but a lot more than that too.

The decor is bright and chic and the ambience cheerful. Being able to look at the busy street outside, helps. It gives you the feel of being on a High street abroad. After being comfortably seated, we settled for a Virgin Mojito and Iced tea. The soups and salads,  sounded pretty interesting, but we decided to skip those and plunge into our main course. The appetizers section too is quite exhaustive. There is something for every taste-bud.

Our drinks arrived after a long time and the pasta and risotto even later. Papardelle grilled chicken Alfredo Pasta was what my friend tried, while I opted for the Confit chicken Risotto. The pasta was a bit overcooked, while my Risotto was a wee bit too insipid and pasty in texture. We were disappointed. The Prego classics like grilled chicken lasagne and spinach& ricotta cheese cannelloni might have been a better bet. Maybe next time!

Pasta at RISTORANTE PREGO

The menu offers a fairly wide array of thin crust pizzas, both vegetarian and non vegetarian to choose from. Chorizo & marinated rocket leaves & chillies, I thought was quite innovative.  Espresso crème brulee, tiramisu are the popular desserts but failed to entice us.

For those of you, who are bored of pizza and pasta, there are a lot of interesting sandwiches and paninis. A good idea for office- goers in Nariman Point.  What’s more there is something for kids too, in terms of the Kids special menu section.

Prego seemed busy for lunch on a weekday and is apparently open for dinner too. The food is passable, but not spectacular. Robust Italian flavours are clearly missing. It appears to be more of an Italian joint, dishing out quick stuff for people who are not too particular about textures & flavours. And the service could be expedited a bit.

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Lush flavours of the Far East : Umame

Umame has somehow always intrigued me and I have been waiting for an opportunity to sample the Pan Asian cuisine here. What better time than the week-long Times City Gourmet Week I thought, so I hopped along for a lunch.

Umame’ which means the fifth flavour, a savoury taste derived from glutamates, is an apt name for this restaurant. As the name suggests, this flavour is different from the other four well-known flavours of sweet-sour-hot and salty, Umame the restaurant too, is distinct.

The spacious seating struck me as soon as we entered. The dark wood floorings, textured charcoal-coloured ceiling and a gleaming black marble bar are majestic and appealing. The Al-fresco area that overlooks the Oval Maidan is the highlight.

The set menu for the week is by no means limited. It offers something for every palate.  The Chicken Tinola soup which I tried was soothing. A clear soup, its subtle flavours teased my taste buds and the succulent pieces of chicken were delicious. My friend’s Vietnamese Tamarind soup of tender chicken was equally a surprise. It was not too spicy like normal hot n sour soups, and yet, replete with flavours. Vegetarians may opt for Roasted Pepper and tomato cappuccino or a Tom yum with tofu and straw mushrooms. Quite innovative I thought.

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My pepper crusted Alaskan cod with balsamic teriyaki glaze, served on a bed of sticky rice and greens was an absolute treat. Grilled to perfection, the teriyaki flavour complimented the cod and the bland sticky rice paired extremely well with it.  The flavours exploded in my mouth, yet, were not overpowering.

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The Thai style barbecued chicken which my friend selected, was served with steamed rice. It had the right amount of Thai flavours and was delightful, but not extraordinary. Vegetarians need not despair. Thai Green palace curry, Cottage cheese and water chestnuts steaks in Korean sesame sauce sound equally exotic.

What do I say about the dessert- My sweet mistake? It is pure indulgence and the best I have sampled in a long time. That is a mistake I’d love to repeat. Chocolatey with a soft, creamy texture, it simply melt in my mouth. and the presentation too was outstanding.

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For lunch, there are no appetizers, but for dinner, you have a vast array to choose from. Chicken sui mai, Dumpling of prawn n chive, barbecued cottage cheese and many more.

At Rs 1000 plus taxes for lunch per head and Rs 1200 plus taxes for dinner, dining at Umame is a steal. Undoubtedly, value-for-money. The team of Chefs, Dilshad and Farrokh Khambata can take a bow. Umame is a great fine dining place sans any pretense. The service however is a bit slow and the staff, a trifle confused.

Overall, a memorable dining experience. Be sure to go there this week, if you have not already and for regulars, once is not enough!

 

 

Potato Chicken : Recipe

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Ingredients:

2 frozen Chicken breasts

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 cup cream

1/2  cup chicken stock

1/4 cup green peas

3 potatoes

2 chopped onions

1 cup veg stock

salt n pepper to taste

cheese is optional

parsley to garnish

Method:

Thaw chicken breasts and place them in a dish. Brush with soy sauce, salt n pepper. Pour the chicken stock n cream over these. Cook in microwave for about 8 minutes.  Turn both sides. Keep aside. Boil green peas and keep separately.

Meanwhile, peel and slice potatoes. Along with chopped onions, place them in a dish and pour veg stock and cook in micro for about 8 minutes. Add salt n pepper to taste. Arrange nicely on a dish with chicken breasts and peas and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve hot.

This is a quick dish and a complete meal too. One of my favourites.