Saturday, October 1, 2011


Here I go again! My My... How can I resist you?
Yup Culinary Muse has been singing this famous Abba anthem ever since she made a trip to God forsaken Powai (it is really far from SOBO!) for the Grand Italian Supper at The Renaissance Powai.
First let me warn you... it is a lot of travel from anywhere in Mumbai except for if you staying in Powai! Second is it worth it? Hell yeah & you’ll see why!
The Italians have a little saying about khaana – peena ‘Chi Mangia Bene, Mangia Italian’ which literally means 'Who eats well, lives well'  & the buffet at Fratelli Fresh (the Italian Restorante at Renaissance) truly serves you just that!

Let me first take you through the ambience of this place - The decor is minimalistic with Glass, Glass & some more Glass. –‘ Jin Ke ghar Seeshe ke Hote hain, woh dusro pe pathar nahi phekte’ pardon me am a big fan of 2 ‘F’s – Food & Films (what were you thinking? You pervert!). The place had wooden domes & ceilings coupled with tall glass panes which give you a breath taking view of the Powai Lake makes for a beautiful semblance.
On one hand you have a peaceful view while on the other hand you have the hustle & bustle of an open kitchen, where you can see little Italian Chef, Tony who reminds me of  Danny DeVito (the stripper Roy from Friends) dishing out some really fresh dishes! He says that Italian Food is the easiest, it doesn’t take much time & hence it can be easily prepared, right in front of you, fresh! Thank God for that I could wait to get my hands on those lovely aromatic dishes. Let me take one by one through my quest of devouring what Fratelli Fresh had to offer –

Soups – The Mushroom Soup was brilliant: a thick almost cappuccino like broth with a nice flavour of mushrooms made for a tasty delight. Add to it the bread croutons and count your blessings! The Chicken Soup was a clear chicken broth, almost a stock but again very flavourful.

Salads - The salad counter boasted of many exotic salads Pollo e  Patate (chicken,potato,parsley,vinegar), Insalata Rriviera (cauliflower,broccoli,green beans,zuchinni,baby potato,fish grouper) & Insalata Caprese. Personally I didn’t like any! All of it was very bland and dry. But then again I am not a salad person!

Drinks They had a bar that seemed to have really good variety of drinks. I had the Sangria, which was good while my accomplice had a Mojito - the citrusy flavour of which got us high!

The Grill – Now this is the 1st most yummiest part of the buffet. Right in front of on a bed of ice lie – Cuts of Salmon & Red Snapper, Jumbo sized King Prawns, Lobsters. There is also an option for Lamb Chops! The Red Snapper – seasoned with the right amount of salt, the fish just melts in your mouth. No added spices just the natural flavour of the fish, yum! Same was for the King Prawns & Lobster – no added flavour just grilled to perfection, the natural juices just do the trick. The Lamb Chop however felt like a piece of tire in my mouth – chewy & hard.

The Pasta & Risotto: We ordered for Spaghetti Arabiatta & Fussilli Aglio Olio. The Arabitata was served to us with penne rather spaghetti, and tasted very okaish. The Aglio Olio was too dry and lacked substantial slavour. However the Raviolli in Chicken & Cream Cheese was delicate, beautifully wrapped and delicious. What was great to see that the pasta was made at the hotel which gave them an uneven rustic look, like home cooked food. The Mushroom Risotto was  - sticky, dolloped with lots of butter & cheese, just as it should be! However I would have preferred if they served it with Porcini instead of normal mushrooms. Nevertheless it was yummy!
Raviolli in Chicken & Cream

Pizza: The thin crisp, wafer thin Pizza tasted like heaven. The second yummiest part of the buffet. The earthy taste of the freshly baked pizza topped with slivers of melted cheese was delectable!

Shots & Chocolates Now thats a novel concept! Beautiful shaped imported chocolates were displayed with Bubblegum flavoured & blue curcao shots! Now that swat I call getting high on Chocolate!

Desserts – This was the 3rd yummiest part of the buffet. Authentic Italian desserts like Crostata di frutta i.e. fruit and custard tart, Crostata di fitchi e pere i.e. fig and pear tart were justmaking my mouth water! The best part of these desserts was the fact that they are not perfectly shaped and didn’t look like show pieced. They had the home cooked uneven look and even tasted yummy. The Budino cremoso i.e. Italian cream caramel was ‘Oh so yum’. The thick Chocolate Mousse served in a Wine Glass was ambrosial.  
Budino cremoso i.e. Italian cream caramel

 Crostata di fitchi e pere i.e. fig and pear tart

Additionally there were fresh baked breads with dips, imported cheese & cold cut meats

All in all the buffet had a humongous variety of more than 100 dishes. Yup more than 100! For the lack of choice is not an excuse here! All of this is priced at Rs 1500 plus taxes. Pretty much worth it for the kind of variety.
Food: Fresh, Delectable & Great Variety
Ambience: Beautiful
Service: Helpful

Quicktip: Skip your breakfast, and head straight for this brunch and eat your heart out! A great place for expats who are looking for a  taste of their home here! Warning: Do not by any means go on your weighing scale after this!


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