There's something about olive oil and cheese. An Italian dish with any of these two ingredients is sure to bring out the Italian in you. And last Sunday, when we paid a visit to the newly-opened Serafina at Kala Ghoda to try out their Sunday brunch, it was a whiff of these two beautiful ingredients that gave us a hint of what awaited us.
Goat Cheese Salad at Serafina. Pics/Bipin Kokate
It's lunch time and the restaurant, which replaces Chao Ban, is buzzing with people who want to enjoy an authentic Italian meal. We don't know if the crowd is there due to the ongoing Kala Ghoda festival in the vicinity or because of Serafina's popularity, which its first outlet at Palladium has garnered. Nonetheless, the well-lit interiors and warm vibes are welcoming and we settle down on one of the wooden chairs, glad that the restaurant has retained its signature yellow walls with the Serafina angles. Having dined at their first outlet, we hope the food here is up to the mark as well.
For the Big Apple Brunch, there's plenty to choose from — starters, pizzas, pastas and more and we feel spoilt for choice. We order Calamari and sip on a Sangria. The deep fried calamari arrives with a spicy tomato dip. While the squid is fresh and thankfully, not chewy, the breadcrumbs aren't crispy enough for our liking. On the other hand, the Lemon Ricotta pancakes, doused with maple syrup and fresh fruits, are extremely light and airy — perfect for a brunch.
"Do you want to order a salad?" asks our friend and food-partner. Never big on ordering salad at restaurants, we go ahead and ask for three of them anyway — the Arugula E Parmigiano, the Serafina Chicken Salad and the Goat Cheese salad. While the first one — with arugula, cherry tomatoes, parmesan and fig vinaigrette — has a hint of bitterness from the arugula leaves, the second with the chicken in creamy pesto, romain lettuce and crunchy pine nuts is a mouthful.
Di Fabio Pizza comes with a slightly salty parma topping
But it's the Goat Cheese Salad, which may have just converted us. The colourful combination of goat cheese, beetroot, apples, caramelised walnuts and honey, is sweet, crunchy and wonderful, to say the least. Watching the umpteen number of Masterchef Australia seasons may not have taught us how to cook, but we do know that gnocchi should be soft, pillowy and should melt in your mouth as you pop it in.
The handmade gnocchi in the Gnocchi Di Mamma lives up to our Masterchef lesson. But while the gnocchi in itself is delicious, we find the cherry tomato sauce a tad overpowering in its tartness. It is the other way around when it comes to the Ravioli Al Tartufo Nero though. Here, even though it is the taste of butter that overpowers, we enjoy this simple dish. The only pizza we taste —Di Fabio— is a winner with its slightly salty parma ham topping and mozzarella on a crispy, thin base. The delicious aroma of cheese and olive oil lingers here, too.
We can't come all the way to Serafina and not have their Tiramisu. And it's just what the doctor ordered. The sponge cake soaked in rum/coffee mixture is light and airy and the mascarpone layer on top makes everything better. We lick our spoons, look at our friend and exclaim 'Delizioso!' The Italians
We cannot rate the experience as it was by invitation
The Big Apple Brunch at Serafina
Where: Ground level, 30 K Dubash Marg, Rampart Row, Kala Ghoda
Food: Big on flavours
Cost: Rs 1,500 per head(without alcohol)
Timing: 11 am-4pm