-Tanisha Saxena (email@example.com)
Margherita or Rucola Pizza, Arrabiata or Caccio E Pepe Pasta or Spaghetti — Italian cuisine is undisputedly one of the most popular gastronomies worldwide. Italian cuisine is known for its freshness and simplicity. The dishes follow strict traditional ingredients which aren’t very complex, though some, like pasta and pizzas, are often recreated depending on the unique flavour that one would like to have. The recipes are passed down from generation to generation and that adherence oozes into every dish as it is always refined in taste.
Now, Italian cuisine traversed decades of socio-cultural dynamics and spread around the world. There are a gamut of cafes/restaurants in every nook and corner of the world offering Italian cuisine. And we decided to look at some of Gurugram (Delhi, NCR) based Italian restaurants/eateries/cafes offering authentic Italian cuisine.
Nestled in the cool and chic Cyber hub of Gurugram is cafe Delhi Heights. It simply allures the patrons with a buzzing ambience. Speaking with us on the subject matter is Chef Ashish, Culinary Director, Cafe Delhi Heights. He says, “Italian food has come a long way from being an unfamiliar food segment in the industry to marking its presence in the market. People were initially only familiar with the native flavors and tastes that their taste buds were adapted to. However, with the globalization of the food industry, things have changed for the better. The popularity of pasta and pizza in our country is a testament to the love for Italian food. From our sales, we can tell that pasta is the most ordered dish. One of the great things about Italian food is its versatility, making it suitable for any occasion. It is convenient and economical to make as well as easy to eat. The trend for Italian food has a long way to go and we can surely see an increase in numbers for this segment.”
Award Winning, The Pasta Bowl Company is known to create magic. A sweet concoction of Sicilian flavor and culture would be on your platter. We interacted with the co-founder and no cap we had the best conversazione. Om Nayak, Chef & Co-Founder tells, “We have been here for ten years and we have seen the changes in the taste profile of the people with travel and you know Italy being a place which is really easy to visit. Earlier when we started out in the year 2013, we used to educate our guests about what actual Italian cuisine is, because people knew very little maybe pepperoni or Margherita that’s it. But now the taste buds and the understanding of Italian food has evolved over the decade and I see that people are familiar with the more gourmet style of Italian food. I remember curating menus where we used to also have a glossary of dishes and at the same time we used to give details about the authentic Italian dishes at the end of the menu. For example, at the end of the menu we would have a list of dishes decoded. What aioli is!! But now the whole game is changed and we are happy that people are accepting those authentic Italian flavours. And Italian cuisine is also very diverse very much like Indian cuisine. So, the dishes might have the same name in the south or north of the region but they have entirely different recipes. This is very much like you can find biryani everywhere in India but Hyderabadi biryani will differ from the biryani available in Moradabad or Delhi or Lucknow. In Italy also we have dishes sounding the same but the recipe is different. These things change with the region. We are happy that we are able to experiment with the classic recipes because people have the flair for it now.”
After the pandemic people were out with a vengeance. Before the pandemic, in India, people used to live for tomorrow but now they live for today. “With social media and AI coming into place people are much more aware and have deeper knowledge about the dishes. I interacted with people in the recent past who have never been to Italy but they know that which Italian dish there on xyz street. So, people have started eating course vise now. They have started enjoying spending more on experiential things. The most beautiful part of the thing is that I have personally noticed that people are now demanding specific dish which is more gourmet style. Like, people asking about the blue cheese that we use. They be like is it mild or sharp. Earlier, people used to wonder how can cheese be blue. In a nutshell, people’s knowledge about food has evolved from a state of being unaware to be an authority,” says Om Nayak.
Commenting on the role of AI in the HoReCa segment, he adds, “AI is literally out on a prawl, I’m sure advancement of technology will only add on to perfection, better capacity utilization, time saving and Knowledge enhancement, however it would be surprising to learn someday if AI could replace emotions of mom or cooks while cooking.”
Now, when we talk of the shifting preferences of the people it is equally important to note is the hospitality. A new cafe opens in the vicinity even before you blink your eyes. Then what would really be interesting is to take note of how these cafes bring their A game. Nestled in Gwalpahadi, The Big Tree Cafe is a dreamy space. An open-air beautiful ambience with live music playing in the background! Their cabana setting is just to gush over. However, this cafe is also a hidden gem for the best Italian dishes. And we immediately rang Ajit Rai, General Manager at The Big Tree Cafe. He tells, “At The Big Tree Cafe, we take pride in offering a diverse and delicious menu that showcases the best of Italian cuisine. Our dishes are carefully crafted to cater to the changing preferences of our valued guests. When it comes to Italian dishes, we have an array of options on our menu that are sure to please the taste buds. One of our most popular choices is the indulgent Pasta Ravioli. Handmade with love, our ravioli is filled with a delightful mixture of cheese and herbs, complemented by a choice of rich sauces to satisfy your cravings.”
Another crowd favourite is their Stuffed Chicken Breast. This dish is a culinary masterpiece where tender chicken breasts are perfectly stuffed with a generous amount of cheese, enhancing the flavours and creating a savory experience. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, it is an absolute delight for lovers of Italian cuisine.
He further explain, “As for the current trend, we have observed a growing focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients in Italian dishes. Our chef takes great care in selecting the finest produce to ensure that our menu is not only delicious but also sustainable and reflective of the Italian culinary traditions. We also offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options to cater to the evolving dietary preferences of our guests. We truly believe that Italian cuisine is an art form that constantly evolves, and at The Big Tree Cafe, we strive to embrace this evolution by continuously refining our menu and introducing new twists to classic dishes. Our team remains committed to delivering an exceptional dining experience that captures the essence of modern Italian flavours.”
Over the period of time, People have been learning to enjoy simple and comfort eating. They want dishes that are simple and yet the experience is lasting. While it is the case with every cuisine, Italian just aces the story. Another beautiful cafe in Gurugram is Guftagu cafe and amongst many things this place is heaven for the foodies.
Mohit Sharma Founder of Guftagu cafe, tells, “Italian cuisine is very economical and convenient because the concept is using a variety of ingredients including vegetables and meat which sort of appeals to nearly everyone’s taste buds. In the past two decades owing to the globalization Italian cuisine has become go-to option for Indians. We have been trying to carve out a niche in the market with our authentic Italian dishes which we serve to our guests. We observe that taste preferences of people keep changing with time. However, when it comes to Italian cuisine the trend is that Indians want to try all things authentic. Now, an amalgamation of simple ingredients and craftsmanship, Italian cuisine is leading the industry. Tomato remains the product of reference for the making of the sauces and preservatives.”