Wine dinners are suddenly fashionable and one gets invited to a plethora of them. But one at Olio, the Italian restaurant at Novotel Juhu is special. Reason : one gets to sample food prepared and created by the culinary wizard Executive Chef Ranveer Brar. Add to that wines from Chateau de Parenchere. Need I say more?
And I wasn’t wrong at all. The evening was beautiful and the ambience at Olio even better- music, great company et al. Chateau de Parenchere blanc was the first wine we sipped. A refreshing fruity white. Just my type. With it was paired a goat cheese tikki with tamarind and dressed with a chickpea salad. The tamarind was too overpowering for me and somehow did not compliment the goat cheese tikki which was in any case too cheesy(no pun intended!) and heavy. A tad disappointing. But clearly, the best was yet to come.
Mushroom three ways could very well be the highlight of the evening. And it sure was. Mushroom tea, mushroom steak and mushroom risotto were a visual delight as were they on the palate. The textures and flavours blend perfectly well. The lure of a steak is always irresistible and this one, albeit made of mushrooms, was equally robust, smothered in a delectable sauce and did not let me down. The mushroom tea particularly caught my fancy as it was an interesting addition, I thought. An outstanding creation by Chef Brar. The full-bodied, Bordeaux superior with its spiciness, was a perfect match for this and they stood together cheek by jowl, complimenting each other and creating a riot of flavours in one’s mouth. The balance between the fruitiness and tannin in this wine, appealed to me.
The panna cotta with rose petal nougatine and fig chutney wowed my palate like never before. Artistically presented the delicate flavours teased my taste buds and the melt in the mouth panna cotta was sheer delight. The consistency though, I thought could have been a little more creamier and firm. A bit too runny. I loved the dash of fig chutney which added the right amount of gusto to the dish as did the tangy cherry sorbet. The Parenchere Rose served along was well structured and full bodied. A lot more intense than usual ones and offered a unique experience with its strawberry and raspberry aromas.
Being vegetarian for once was not a bad decision after all. considering Chef Ranveer’s versatility as a chef is evident in his vegetarian Italian fare too.