With the ever expanding culinary range of Chennai’s food scene, here is another concept dining from Sandesh of Sandy’s. This time his concept is the cuisine from Naples, another Italian cuisine which leaves your taste buds wanting for more. Believe me, even after more than a week’s time, the taste still lingers on my taste buds. I got a chance to taste the four course Neapolitan dinner before the restaurant opens, and yes the restaurant opens today. (I should have posted this a week ago)
The dinner was altogether a new experience. The cuisine is entirely different from the usual Italian fare you get here, right from the pizza crust to the awesome cheese varieties used. And being a wonderful host, Sandesh walked us through the whole cuisine, on what to expect from the new cuisine, on how difficult it is to get some of the ingredients, on how different the flour used in making the pizza base is, and a lot of other things surrounding the Neapolitan cuisine.
Now lets move on to the dinner, of course, course by course.
Right before we began with the starters, we were served our palette teaser. Teaser did exactly what it had to do. It was tiny pieces of smoked apricots with a little cheese on top of it presented in a little box with a transparent lid on which smoke was still visible. The teaser put my palette into a frenzy. And the name of the pungent tasting cheese still escapes my puny memory.
Course 1 :
We had a choice of 3 dishes. Ajo Blanco which is a cold yummy soup with green grapes and olive oil. Carpaccio which is a dish with really thin slices of beef with mustard mayonnaise, parmesan and field greens. Stewed figs with bocconcini, zucchini and honey balsamic. I got to taste the cold soup which I really liked and Carpaccio was the dish I was looking forward to, which was just perfect. Stewed figs should have been tasty too, ‘cos the fellow diner who ordered it gobbled them up even before my lens buds could get a taste of it.
This course again had a choice of 3 dishes to choose from.
The awesome tasting Three Cheese Ravioli which has wine butter and pickled vegetables. Spinach Gnocchi which has buttermilk and blue cheese. And my favourite Smoked Chicken Agnoloti with tomato, basil and parmesan. In this course all the dishes were yummy while I have to agree Three Cheese Ravioli steals the show anytime.
This course is full of Pizzas and we had a wide range to choose from. My friends and me being hardcore carnivores, decided to try some of the non-veg varieties and I confess that I had never before tasted such exotic pizzas. Like a friend of mine boasted couple of days ago, after tasting these delicious Italian pizzas we are no longer interested in ordering pizzas from the regular pizza places like Dominos or Pizza hut.
Of the three varieties that I sampled, Grilled chicken pizza was wholesome with lot many cubes of chicken per slice(while at some pizzerias we gotta go fishing for more than a couple of pieces of chicken). And I was bowled over by the pizza which I ordered, Quattro Fromaggi (it has nothing to do with Maggi and yes, the name itself sounds exotic). It is a creation with four different types of cheese and *slurp*, I loved it to the core. Spec and Pepperoni were also good, but I will say not as good as my Quattro Fromaggi. We also had hand tossed Margheritas, which can put the regular margheritas which we get at our usual joints to shame.
Before we could get into the final course, we were served our palette cleanser. Cleanser was a green apple sorbet. This was the first time I was having a sorbet, and I would never mind if they serve a larger portion of this as a dessert. I can still feel the taste of the green apple *sigh*
And now moving to the final course which is indeed the favourite course of mine, Desserts. We had a choice of 2, but eventually I got to have both 😉
Bocca Negra a.k.a Black mouth, a half baked concoction of triple dark chocolate which was served along with vanilla bean ice cream. Its taste is indescribable. The triple dark chocolate just sticks on to the roof of your mouth. And the dessert that I was looking forward to, Tiramisu with nutella. It tasted awesome and the sponge on the sides soaked in rum gives you that shot you were looking for. I just loved both the desserts.
Note: Be faithful to Bocca Negra and don’t try to taste it with the vanilla bean ice cream.
Kudos to Sandesh for bringing such an awesome cuisine to Chennai, and I’m sure gonna revisit this place time and again to quench my Neapolitan cravings.
In the basement of the building with United Colors of Benetton, right at the beginning of KNK rd, Nungambakkam.