Tag Archives: oliveoil

Pizza in the Metro

Bandra is abuzz with activity again on the culinary front, as international  Neapolitan pizzeria chain, Pizza Metro Pizza, has opened on Ambedkar Road. It is not just another Pizzeria for sure. It is different. Some more Italian food for us in Mumbai.

As you step inside, this cheerful, vibrant eatery, it’s easy to forget you are in suburban Mumbai. Copper fixtures hanging on the wall, the mural sketch of an Italian market place, bright floor tiles, complete the picture.

The international brand owner Chef Diego Palladino brings with him the Italian love through his original metre long pizzas. Mumbaikars are going to love these, but at a whooping cost. The pizzas are not only served with chilly oil & Parmesan cheese but their chefs are flown down from Italy as well. So much for an authentic experience.

We started with a salad, cherry tomatoes, rocket & parmesan, which was light and fresh. Pretty basic and ordinary, actually. The metre long Pizza arrived next and completely bowled us over. Well presented too. Mozzarella, gorgonzola and salame. A terrific trio. The Cheese like Parmesan, goat cheese & Mozzarella are used in the pizzas, we were told. Panna, another pizza with ham, mushrooms, salame, mozzarella and cream is sinful and luscious in its flavours. The freshness of the ingredients is evident and enhances the taste of the food. The dough is made fresh each day from the finest wheat, hand-stretched and cooked on the stone of a wood burning oven. Somehow one does not miss chicken in the Pizza menu, which is a typical Italian tradition. Oodles of beef, pork and seafood toppings tantalise your palate.

Metre long pizza - Pizza Metro Pizza copy

Although we decided to skip the pastas, there are a wide array of those on the menu- both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Fresh tagliolini, with cream and sage, cognac flambé in parmesan wheel sounds exotic and is a special inclusion in the Mumbai menu.

The tiramisu was pure decadence but unfortunately they had run out of the other desserts so we could not sample those.

The service can be stepped up a bit. The young Italian chefs are warm and friendly and it is a delight to watch them a work. The food is undoubtedly of exceptional quality.

It’s a great place to visit with family and friends, especially on the weekend, but one that you need to plan. Not an impulse visit kind. It definitely burns a hole in your pocket. College kids are going to steer clear from this one. But if you are a Napoletana pizza lover, you can’t resist this.

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Inventive cooking built firmly on the classics : Arola at JW Marriott,Mumbai

The city is abuzz with culinary excitement. JW Marriott Mumbai has partnered with two star Michelin Chef Sergi Arola to bring ‘the’ Arola brand to India. Mumbai sure has reason to be proud.

Arola opened its doors over the weekend and offers guests the exclusive flavours of authentic Catalan cuisine. Speaking at the launch, Thomas Guss, General Manager, JW Marriott Mumbai said, “ JW Marriott Mumbai has earned an iconic status over the years in Mumbai and has always been at the forefront of culinary excellence. We aim to continue providing an upscale dining experience. Superlative service in a lifestyle environment that is the hallmark of a memorable time, will make Arola, restaurant and bar, one of Mumbai’s gastronomic landmarks.”

I was fortunate enough to dine with the twice Michelin Star Chef Sergi Arola. He is a delight to be with. Knowledgeable ofcourse, he prefers to simplify cuisine and hates complex stuff. That to his mind, is the real challenge. He likes to be contemporary in the kitchen but without doing away with being traditional. Suave and charming, he draws you into converstaion with convival ease and listening to him speak English, it is hard to believe that he has never learnt the language. He is tired with frenetic activity of the last few days, yet, he is charm and politeness personified, painstakingly explaining each dish and how it is should be eaten.

This culinary maestro loves music, tomatoes, and tandoor. Not neccessarily in that order. Naan is his favourite bread, the world over and he is eagerly waiting to visit Kashmir. A great traveller, he has an insatiable curioisty about people, places and ofcourse food.

A definitive proponent of Spanish heritage, Sergi will delight guests in Mumbai with gourmet Spanish cuisine. A chef who weaves stories of his homeland into his food, he is the proud owner of six celebrated restaurants around the world bringing the first ever outlet to Asia here in India.

He gushes, “India is on the brink of a culinary revolution. I am very excited about bringing the Arola experience to India. The menu will include specially selected mix of all the popular dishes from Arola restaurants all over the world, while also creating signature items for Mumbai. The aim is to surprise the Indian audience with eclectic European cuisine designed especially for their increasingly discerning palate. JW Marriott Mumbai with its location and hospitality philosophy is the perfect fit for an Arola experience”.

The meal with Chef Sergi was a gastronomical journey par excellence. We were offered food in the unique culinary concept called ‘Pica Pica’ – a style of dining where a variety of creative dishes are served on a platter for all to share. The food was presented on small beautiful ceramic, glass and stone plates.  I sampled signature preparations by Chef Sergi Arola. Patatas bravas (“Bravas de AROLA”, deep fried potatoes filled with a spicy tomato sauce and topped with aioli), Sardinas (Marinated fillets, with “Huevas de Arenque”, tomato and toasted bread), Tomates Maduros (Served as a salad, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, marinated tuna and black Alentejo olives) and Gambas (Prawns sautéed with garlic, chili and parsley). The meal was perfect. However, I realised that I did not have a palate for the Spanish rice- the Lobster rice which was served. The rice was semi-cooked (meant to be that way) but definitely not something I or maybe many Indians enjoy. The flavour ofcourse was unparalleled. His cooking is delicate, precise and yet, exploding with flavour.

I am told there are over 30 varieties of Gin on offer at the Bar. Gin is surely back in fashion.

Chef Manuel Oliveira Seller – Chef de Cuisine will oversee the restaurant operations that will ensure a seamless blend of the ambience and experience that “Arola” stands for. A key aspect of the restaurant is contemporary lounge music with distinctive Spanish and Latin influences. Open All days Seating Capacity – 12 bar seating, 3 live counter seating, 20 al fresco, 48 restaurant seating. Dining in Mumbai, I assure you will never be the same again.