-Niharika Naik (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To go smooth as oil. The literal meaning of this Italian idiom is to encounter a problem-free situation. References to food encompass the fabric of daily Italian reality like no other culture. A 2019 study conducted on over 25,000 individuals across 24 countries found pizza and pasta the most coveted meal in the top 84% of the sample.
A culinary world beckons in the heart of Italy – its rich tapestry, the first gleam of morning sunlight racing through already bustling kitchens. To relish an Italian breakfast, lunch, and dinner is synonymous with opening the heart’s door to a soulful journey through taste and time. A whiff of freshly mixed pesto, the light smell of handpicked thyme, a side of robust red wine- an omnipresent weight of tradition and history in each bite.
Cut to the hustle bustle of Mumbai enveloped in a symphony of sounds and smells. The perennial city of dreams, with one finger on an ever-electric pulse. A walk through Colaba lanes, a leisurely stroll along Marine Drive accompanied by sounds of crashing waves, and a cosy plate of Mumbai street food leaving a lingering avalanche of flavours in its wake.
A tale of two cities… Italy and Bombay. Ever imagined a rendezvous between the two? The Kitchen Herald brings you an exclusive tête-à-tête with pioneering Mumbai chefs, restaurateurs, and hospitality stalwarts working tirelessly to bring authentic Italian gastronomy to Mumbai plates.
Despite being adored for its classic beer brews, Woodside Inn’s Pappardelle pasta does not go unnoticed. “Our classic Italian Pappardelle Pasta With Mushroom Duxelle is an all-time bestseller. The Tuscany style flat pasta is made in-house and the Duxelle recipe needs slow-cooked wild mushrooms with shallots and a dash of truffle oil, remarked Mr. Sumit Gambhir, Co-Founder and Director of Woodside Inn, Mumbai.
“Our thin crust pizzas have become signature comfort foods because of freshly sourced ingredients and consistent mother sauce recipes. We use the best international cheeses including parmesan, homemade ricotta, and burrata to dishes,” Mr. Gambhir excitedly added when asked about maintaining Italian traditions.
Pizza by the Bay
Every Bombay local recognises this picturesque restaurant, formerly named Jazz by the Bay, bearing Portuguese and American influences from the 1960s. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it provides a befitting location for food and drink indulgence.
What fuels their Italian dream dish? “We spare no effort in delivering an exceptional Italian experience. Our chefs understand the importance of using the finest ingredients to achieve authentic flavours. We begin by handpicking ripe, flavourful tomatoes, transforming them into freshly prepared sauces. That’s the foundation of robust taste. The key element that sets us apart is cheese. Pizza by the Bay’s cheese combinations remain unchanged over years, allowing us to deliver consistently great dishes. Each set of pizza dough is hand-rolled by our expert chefs, making sure it’s perfectly textured to taste light and crispy when baked”, stated Mr. Rohit Narang, Managing Director, Pizza by the Bay.
Upon asked how the restaurant goes the extra mile, Mr. Narang passionately added, “Restaurant interiors are inspired by Italian cafe culture. Maintaining originality is not just our priority, but our passion and drive to provide a culinary experience that is a true celebration of Italian flavours.”
Little Italy is one of the largest, homegrown Italian restaurants with over 50 outlets across 4 countries. The secret here is never to compromise on quality. “Classic Italian dish bases like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are imported. We make our signature sauces and breads in-house to maintain uniqueness. Our in-house pastas include Tagliatelle and Ravioli. We find the fine balance between traditional Italian cooking methods and recipe tweaks to suit the Indian palette. Due to our pure-vegetarian name, we use green motifs and elements throughout the restaurant for a fine dining experience,” mentioned Mr. Abhi Umesh Mehta, Director, Little Italy Juhu.
“As Mumbai’s food scene becomes more cosmopolitan, Italian restaurants here will be marked by innovative interpretations of classic Italian dishes, reflecting the city’s vibrant culinary creativity,” remarked Mr. Sumit Suri, General Manager, Prego, Westin Mumbai, looking optimistically towards the future.
Sights of Michelangelo Point atop Florence may not be possible in the by lanes of Mumbai, but a mental transportation to the land of flavour and flourish is attainable, thanks to hospitality veterans and their hardworking teams!
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