Jan 27, 2010

Italian Chettinad, anyone?


Tiramisu at FIO is fabulous

Jai and I had gone for a hearty meal at Fio, the newly opened restaurant at Delhi's Garden of Five Senses. Here's a review.

It’s a cold, winter evening in Delhi when we decide to head towards Fio, the latest dining address in the heart of Garden of Five Senses, described -- rather dryly – as a "park" on the Delhi Tourism website. The "park", however, is gradually making its mark on Delhi’s culinary map. There’s Magique, Marut Sikka’s celebrated restaurant, which serves "fine Asian and European inspired cuisine". Then there’s Spice, which offers Thai as well as Chinese cuisine. Fio joined the list exactly 100 days ago after Vineet Wadhwa, the restaurant’s managing director, worked overtime to "create a healthy balance of both Italian and Indian cuisine".

Wadhwa, who has been in the business of catering and setting up restaurants for the last 30 years, admits that the land, when he first saw it, was perhaps the most neglected part of the entire park. "Good food needs good ambience," says Wadhwa while we proceed to order our starters and cocktails. But why did he choose the Garden of Five Senses? "The indoor and outdoor synchronise beautifully at Garden of Five Senses and our herb garden fits in with the horticulture of the place," adds Wadhwa.

He’s right. The winter chill notwithstanding, it makes perfect sense to sit in the outside section of Fio. The lightening – swathed in blue – heightens the romantic setting, there’s a burst of natural green foliage, which adds to the restaurant’s delightful charm, the cobbled pathway, interspersed with part wooden- , part stone-flooring, makes the place even more gorgeous and pillar candles only aid in uplifting deplorable moods. A synergy between great food and great ambience, as Wadhwa explains it, is the reason why he’s serving diners in Garden of Five Senses.

The "angithi's" warmth, placed at a safe distance from where we’re sitting, is welcoming and the strawberry-vodka cocktail (Rs 250) -- its pink colour glowing softly in the candlelight -- becomes my perfect companion for the evening. We’ve opted for Murg Munnar Chettinad, a fiery starter, which goes perfectly with fresh mint chutney and onion slices. Next up are pizzas, and with this we make our foray in Fio’s Italian offerings. The smoky wood-fired pizzas; we pick Pepperoni and Smoked Chicken pizzas (both at Rs 425) are thin-crust and come with generous toppings. They’re light but filling, simple but bursting with flavor at the same time. And biting into the rocket leaves, which accompany the pizzas and are drizzled with olive oil, we know we’ve tasted a winner. Up next in our culinary tour of Fio is the Filetto Di Basa (Rs 525), pan seared basa, an Italian dish, which explodes with a concoction of ginger, honey, lemongrass and soya sauce. While the dish in itself is fabulous, I’m not convinced of the lemongrass shavings that come sprinkled on it.

What doesn’t work, even though it’s one of Wadhwa’s personal favourites, is the traditional Indian Kali dal, which is tempered with desi ghee (Rs 250). It’s a clumsy dish, one that seems to have been made hurridly, with too many flavours colliding unfairly to spoil what could well have been a winner. That said, we do enjoy the steaming hot lachcha parantha (Rs 50) with kosha murgi (Rs 450), Fio’s inclusion in the Indian section from Bengal.

And though we’re happily stuffed, it seems unfair to leave without Fio’s Tiramisu (Rs 220) that’s fresh, creamy and oh, so, rich in its taste.

Where: Fio, Garden of Five Senses, Said- ul- Ajaib, New Delhi.

Dial: 011-29536309

Service: Excellent

Average price of meal for two: Rs 1,600 (minus alcohol and other charges)

8 comments:

  1. Hey Abhi, your right about the Kali Dal. So many places claim to make it really well, but really fail at the task. It seems like its the easiest thing to make, but actually takes a lot of balancing of ingredients.
    Somehow the dhabas in North India get it the best, other than Dum Pukht of course!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. :) thanks for the comment Sinha... yup, I completely agree with you. Dal's not easy...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful article @ Spalendor. Keep 'em coming

    Loved being at Fio, and my wife fell in love with the ambience. Infact, we tried this amazing deal which worked out just fine for us.

    http://dealzza.com/deals/63-off-at-fio

    Its a steal

    Thanks,
    Jassi

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