Like all average bongs, Italian food means pizza and pasta to me, and tha too, pizza from Dominos or Pizza Hut. It’s not that we’ve not been exposed to proper Italian food, but the lack of an Italian fine dining restaurant had made it difficult. So, this time, when I was invited for the Truffle festival in La Cucina, Hyatt Regency Kolkata, with chef Silvia Landucci from Boscovivo and the famed food writer Karen Anand, I was excited.
La Cucina is the flagship Italian specialty restaurant in Hyatt Regency Kolkata and probably the only Italian fine dining restaurant in the luxury hotels in the city, so the expectation was pretty high. Though I’ve been to Gucci a number of times with family, somehow this outlet was a new one for me and what could’ve been a better time to visit it than this promotion?
The ambiance and service, as it should be, is top notch here but what differentiates this place from other joints, is the vast window that overlooks the salt lake stadium. And a window seat there can make even a sad person happy- was my first reaction, once I entered the outlet. Like all other outlets in the hotel, this one too, had an open kitchen- so interacting with the chefs and requesting them for the small special requirements is much easier.
Truffle is an under-used ingredient for the Italian food in India. And, considering the price factor and the acquired taste that it has, why shouldn’t it be? Mostly till now, it’s been used for the high-end banquets and specially curated super posh meals, but it seems this time, Karen Anand and Sylvia has got some special plans in mind for making it available for the mass market. So, the less costly products like truffle honey and truffle oil are getting introduced and I feel they’re going to be the next in-thing for Kolkata.
However, enough of the non-food gyan and please stop cursing me. I am coming to the food. We were offered a specially curated pre-plated menu. The menu, though having lots of unknown terms (for an under-educated blogger like me…), seemed interesting and off we started the journey.
For the first course, I chose Burrata (as I louuuuuve cheese- period). The smell of Truffle was present prominently and one thing I’ve noticed. all these places make this dish right and this was no exception. If you like subtlety, go for this dish- recommended. And, me being me, I was eyeing the dish ordered by my friend Debjani, who sat beside me. She went for the Scallops and before she could say anything, I hijacked one of those small diver scallops and put in my mouth. And pure foodgasm it was. Those small beauties were divine and the pure underneath (yellow pepper, green peas, and pumpkin) had made the difference. Debjani was cursing me- but what the heck…..
Rice is a weakness for any bong and we’re not ashamed of it. So, in an Italian meal also, I opted for the Risotto, which was closest to rice. cooked with duck liver and mushrooms and finished with truffle salsa, it was heaven. A dish with Fatty Duck Liver is rare to find in the city and loved this dish. Chef Sumeet Pryadarshi, with the consultation of Karen and Sylvia, had worked wonders. Again Debjani (with a square face) sacrificed some of her Fettuccine. But, after the Risotto, it didn’t stand a chance.
The menu was designed for the bongs – I thought and my guess came into reality when the next dish was served. It was the Norwegian Salmon. Now, I always have a fancy for this thing (and a lot of other things though…..) and when the knife is passed through it, I feel a primal pleasure. The dish looked great and was a treat for the taste buds…
For dessert, a Pannacotta was served and the truffle honey was used subtly here, to give it a different finish.
Overall, the meal was awesome. And with the company of good friends, how can it go wrong ? La Cucina serves a Sunday brunch with unlimited pouring at a very very cost effective price, but that’s another story…..
The festival is on in La Cucina over dinner till 28th February on the a-la-carte basis- so, Halla bol !!!