Italia restaurant that is part of ‘The Park’ hotel at MG Road is hosting ‘Battle of Orange’ Italian Festival from 20Mar16 until 28Mar16. As part of this festival, the items that will be served with have some flavour of orange. Well, I was a bit surprised when I came to know about this but then I thought that it might be a good idea to have the citrus orange flavours into the dishes. Don’t we all try adding ‘lemon’ to get the tangy taste or to even cancel some of spicy flavour in many of dishes. On the same lines, something orange in the dish would have great effect.
We are all aware of the TOMATINA fest that happens in Europe. I guess this comes after watching the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ where they showed it full swing. Though none of us have been there, we could make out the way it is played. Just like that there is a similar ‘Battle of Orange’ in the ‘Northern Italian City of Ivrea’. In that they actually do throw orange between organized groups. It also happens to be the largest food fight in Italy.
On the lines of that, Chef Mohammed Baseer Ahmed has come up with a curated in the ‘Italia’ hotel where Orange has been infused in many of the dishes. And I was lucky to be part of the preview tasting event that happened few days back.
The Park hotel is quite popularly known for the I-Bar party place. Well, to give direction from the Chinnaswamy Stadium which come at the end of Museum Road. Drive straight across the MG Road until you cross 2 of the metro stations and come up to Trinity Circle Junction. Take left and you will find ‘The Park’ hotel to the left side. Infact, its diagonally opposite to the 1 MG Mall entrance.
The road is a 1 way to the only way to reach is via the MG Road side. But yes if you coming from the Ulsoor side you will cross the 1 MG Mall and take a right there. You will find the hotel to the left again.
As you enter inside ‘The Park’ entrance. Take an immediately left and walk down to the same lane that leads to ‘I-Bar’. ‘Italia’ restaurant comes to the right side.
It is one of the Italian restaurant that has got some of the neat looking ambiance. There isn’t any fancy colours but yes, the colour white has been used in plenty. I check with the management regarding the theme and they told that it is based on ‘THE GODFATHER’ theme. Few points to share.
- The walls to the left and right have some kind of special art creation which has got some horizontally placed bars, colour white in one side. Opposite end the same are setup vertically.
- There are mirror in the back of each of the bigger seating areas.
- Table for sure is setup exquisitely. The cutleries, glass and other items are arranged are very well setup for each of the tables.
- The backdrop is the pool where there are usually loads of parties happening in the hotel.
I would give full marks to the creativity and finish. The entire place has come out very well.
This is another very critical part of the experience.
And I already had a great feeling leading up to the same coz for the insight given to me regarding each of the food items.
Chef had made something really special and presented it in a Black Plate.
It contained thin layers of ‘Mozzarella Cheese’ that was rolled into a small arc. Along with that some orange flavours and piece of pear was served. Overall the taste was brilliant.
This was served as we were about to start getting ready to have some soup.
It contains various bread including the famous focaccia bread, soft bread, bread-sticks and some hard garlic breads. Taste for each other them was good and seemed quite fresh. I specifically loved the softer bread as it went along well with the soup as well.
Pomodoro arancione consommé
Pale orange-tomato cold broth flavoured with lemongrass and fresh ginger
Cold Tomato soup was served.
Basically it contained the tomato sauce and some herb spices. There were no other additional ingredients added.
The taste was quite natural and I really loved the same with the breads.
Arancio e mascarpone bruschetta
Orange flavoured mascarpone served on a slice of crispy garlic break
This was no ordinary garlic bread coz it had special cheese. And there was hint of orange on top of the cheese. The moment you would take the bite the cheese would fill the mouth and then the last flavours that ends up staying back is that of orange.
It was a starter that was start that was well made and I relished it.
Insalata di arance speziata
Slices of orange tossed with onion rings, olives, spicy mint flavoured vinaigrette
It is very essential to have something to change palette before heading for main course.
The salad contained the following ingredients – onions, basil, sweet lime pieces, black olive and some seasonings.
It was quite good to take a good salad that was made of fresh vegetables.
The non-veg variety of the dishes were pretty good. Some of them that were there included-
- Salmone con salsa di arance e finocchio – Pan sear salmon with orange fennel sauce
- Petto di pollo alla griglia con salsa di arancia e limone – Grillied chicken breast with orange, lemon and honey reduction
- Coniglio arresto con arancia e citronella riduzione – Oven roasted rabbit with orange and lemon grass reduction sauce
This is one of the favourite dishes in the Italian cuisine.
Chef had made some wonderful Penne Pasta that had the tomato sauce. And it contained small pieces of broccoli, probably some spring onion, seasoning and sauces.
The taste was pretty good and the penne was well cooked.
Among all the Italian dishes, this for sure is my favourite. The pizza we had was a simple cheese pizza that had a great soft base, not too thin but optimum.
And also tomato puree is added on the top layer of the pizza base so there isn’t any necessity to add ketch. But yes something very special that was done was that the top of the pizza had the orange flavour and if you could feel it, we can make it.
If you can some seasoning and chilli flakes, the taste just enhances very well.
Arancia aromatizzato tiramisu
Traditional tiramisu infused with orange flavour
A wonderfully presented dish that will causes any one to have a mouth water time before eating it.
The tiramisu was very well done and surely the orange flavour was quite obvious.
This is a desert which is quite heavy and sometimes might be hard for 1 to finish.
Tequila, grenadine, orange juice, triple sec
A great cocktail in which you can feel the orange and the tequila quite well. It did not have the traditional salt.
But instead a layer of brown sugar around the edge of the glass. The drink was quite good and I enjoyed it.
There were other that I ended up only taste, which included.
- Spices orange berry sangria – red wine, spices, cranberry and orange juice
- Mex in time – Tequila, ginger, grenadine, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda
- Eddy – juice gin, vermouth, orange
- Mandarin madras – Vodka, lemon juice, cranberry juice, orange juice
- Red run – Dark rum, grenadine, orange juice
I probably taste only the Mandarin madras. But surely these will into my list of drinks to be tried.
It was a truly wonderful experience spending an afternoon over lunch at Italia Restaurant. The food that was served were simply amazing. It was all the fun and exciting coz we were tasting the food before it even was going to be made public. The ambiance is something quite different and I really liked it. Overall I rate the ‘Italia’ restaurant a 4.0/5 for the great food and hospitality.
My rating for this place in other departments.
Food – 4.0/5
Ambiance – 4.0/5
Service – 4.0/5
Drinks – 4.0/5
Food for 2 would cost anywhere between INR2500-4000.
With following foodie friends – Naveen and Sudarshan.