Haute Chocolates and a Bottomless Pot
LA FOLIE, MUMBAI
Bringing a unique French experience to Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda is La Folie, the ‘luxury boutique patisserie’, offering haute pastries, macarons and chocolates. Partner and executive chef, Sanjana Patel displays impeccable antecedents. She trained at premier French culinary school, Ecole Gregoire Ferrandi, following which she did her Masters in Pâtisserie Arts while working as an assistant chef at Ecole Internationale de Pâtisserie Olivier Bajard, France. She worked under some of the most respected names in France; including Pierre Hermé – the Picasso of Pastry; master pâtissier Emmanuel Ryon of Café Pouchkine, chocolatier Jean-Charles Rochoux, Christopher Michalak and Camille Lasecq at Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice respectively.
The young chef encourages you to ‘indulge in decadence’. She assures that nothing is what it seems – classics are redefined and original creations combine taste influences from around the world. Do not be surprised then if, lurking among your desserts, you discover unusual hints of flavours like lemongrass, basil, pistachio and paan with rose gulkand.
USP: A sense of discovery and unusual flavours and combinations.
CAVALLI CAFFÈ, DELHI
Located on the ground floor of DLF Emporio, Vasant Kunj, Cavalli Caffè is situated right next to the Roberto Cavalli boutique, bringing high fashion and good food to the capital’s stylish brigade. The city now joins the ranks of the most elegant and sophisticated cities worldwide where Roberto Cavalli’s passion for sensuality and elegance are reflected in the combinations of luxurious interiors, fine materials and iconic prints. The interiors find their roots in the historical Cavalli Caffè Giacosa, located in Via Tornabuoni in Florence, an antique shop founded in 1815, which was a meeting place for a refined and noble Florentine clientele, which Roberto Cavalli brought back to life, preserving the elegance of the setting.
The new menu offers a selection of international favourites and gourmet dishes defined by exclusive quality and prepared by chefs who believe in combining natural flavours and ingredients to create sophisticated specialties. And then, there is some that you can take away, from chocolate gift boxes and Cavalli Red Wine, Cavalli Premium Italian Vodka and Grappa. Available in 11 delicious flavours of walnut, peanuts, dark gianduja, coconut and vanilla, crunchy almond praline, coffee, cinnamon, gianduja, almonds and hazelnuts, mint, chili pepper, the chocolates aim to truly exude the Roberto Cavalli experience.
DÉCOR: An intimate and classic setting, sheer luxury that adjusts to every occasion from the ladies who lunch to a celebratory meal. Decorated with unique elements created personally by Roberto Cavalli.
FIO COOKHOUSE & BAR, DELHI
In a quiet corner of the otherwise-bustling business district of Nehru Place, Fio is seamlessly divided into a lounge and bar area as well as a restaurant section. Both are cleverly wrapped by a wall-to-wall library that transfers from a liquor cabinetry to a culinary library and eventually into a food cabinetry. A pebbled patio with an alfresco dining area paves the way for an interior that is café-like during the day and transforms into a soulful space at night – ideal for that much-needed cuppa as you watch the world go by or for an elaborate meal.
The cuisine offers a selection from Italian as well as Indian menus. Go on an Italian gourmet trail with the Fio special salads and soups or au gratins and casseroles. Fresh homemade breads and pastas add to the pleasure of a comforting meal. Choose from favourites like olive crusted rawas, roasted hunter chicken and ananas glazed pork chops. For those who crave spicy fare, the Indian kitchen offers in-house curries, frontier kebabs and a choice of chargrilled and pan grilled meats. Savour dishes like Pondicherry prawns, kalonji paneer, Grand Trunk mutton curry and mutton nalli pulao, while the chefs swing by your table to take note of your preferences.
ATMOSPHERE: From moody, sedate and intriguing to relaxed and cheerful all with a modern international appeal.
Bengaluru got its own Michelin starred brand with the opening of Yauatcha, located in the bustling heart of the city, at 1 MG Road Mall. Yauatcha is a contemporary dim sum tea house that opened in London in 2004 and received a Michelin star within the year. The restaurant is a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese teahouse.
The 150-seat restaurant offers an all-day dining experience with dim sums, wok preparations, macaroons and petit gateaux. A haven indeed for foodies in the Garden City who will experience Michelin starred standards of food and service for the first time.
SPECIALTY: Macaroons in a variety of flavours and hues. Perfect for ladies who lunch, to enjoy an afternoon at leisure over dim sum and a great selection of teas.
Housed in Mumbai’s World Trade Centre at Cuffe Parade, the city’s favourite restaurant, Flamboyante, has reopened with a whole new look. Clad in white and blue, the restaurant boasts a skylight that lets the sunshine in, imparting an open air feeling while being fully covered. To add to the charms of the refurbished space, is the new Lounge, done up in contrasting vibrant hues with purple, pink and teal with a bar that serves up eclectic cocktails like the Spider Bite and The Mint Julep being the most exotic of them all, as well as an interesting menu of world teas, like the bottomless pot of green, and coffees.
The restaurant has retained the favourites on its menu, ranging from dim sums to khowsuey, from kababs to dum biryanis, with pizza forming an integral part of the culinary journey created in its three kitchens. Founder and MD Amrish Arora is known for his hearty, wholesome food, albeit with trademark twists, and he aims to offer many new culinary concepts to have his regulars keep coming back for more.
COMING UP SOON: A late night buffet for party animals, new dishes to augment the restaurant’s popular culinary line-up.
It is almost as if Pune is on a mission to upgrade its dining to keep refined palates from looking outside. On the quieter side of Dhole Patil Road is the spacious Mezzuna. Now this place has two vibes to it – uppity, yet casual. Its entrance is a dainty arch built with a trellis of ivy. The intentional rocky ground is tastefully swamped with white sofas and chic canopies to match. The summer heat is not even a concern, because an inundation of plants boxing it away from the city keeps it cool. But if the dry, balmy weather isn’t exactly exciting, the seating inside is comfortable too. It’s mostly round booths for five to six people and a couple of tables that can be joined to accommodate a larger party. Giving it a homely feel is a huge screen on one side of its bricked walls painted white, and the other side holds appliances and organic foodstuff for sale.
While their shelves are indulgent enough, their menu is equally rich. The mushroom in basil with balsamic is an invention of pure debauchery. What with a crispy pasta base, cheese tossed with the fungus and playful hints of paprika. And if the palate wishes for a ‘sometimes-sweet-sometimes-salty’, the orange chicken should just about do it. It’s not an unknown to the culinary world, but to get that flavour just right can be a task. But the absolute burst of flavours is their tiramezzu in red. The coffee, mascarpone cheese and berry compote somehow manage to step forth each time you chew.
SUCCESS ELEMENT: They care enough to use quality ingredients, most quintessential to the region from where they were bought. Forget about picking a wine, let the server suggest something because he will know best.