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Restaurant review: Italian joyride in Vashi

If you ignore its stiff pricing and the odd hiccup, and instead, focus on its high-quality ingredients and authentic fare, Riso looks like a step in the right direction to popularise Italian cuisine in Vashi

Riso
Food: Tasty
Service: Warm
Ambiance: Cosy

An ad in a local newspaper for a vegetarian Italian restaurant caught our eye. So on a Sunday afternoon, we decided to head to Riso for lunch. Located in a busy commercial hub that was still under construction, the ambiance was relaxed. However, despite being lunchtime, we noticed that the place wasn’t crowded.

Riso boasts of a relaxing ambiance
Riso boasts of a relaxing ambiance

The menu was Italian, and ranged from starters, to salads, pasta, risottos, enchiladas, pizzas, mocktails and desserts with helpful descriptions for each dish. There was no attempt to pander to Indian tastes as was evident from the total absence of any ‘safe’ Indian dishes. We ordered Nachos with Cheese Sauce (Rs 250) and an Asparagi Freschi (Rs 300) for starters and a Peru Delight (Rs 175) to quench our thirst. We were glad that the staff was helpful, courteous and efficient.

Riso boasts of a relaxing ambiance
The Chocolate Bomb is a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce along with a very thin crust of chocolate cake

The nachos arrived with a generous slathering of cheese and thin slices of green bell peppers. The nachos were crisp, the cheese was warm and melting. It was a hit, and disappeared in no time. The Asparagi Freschi arrived with a generous amount of floating oil and butter intended to be polished off the plate with the bread accompanying it. The asparagus in the dish was firm and looked tender enough but wasn’t easy to cut through with the knives on the table, making it an awkward dish to eat, but tasty nonetheless. Perhaps, the stalks could have been cut into three after being plated so it would be easier to fork them into the mouth. Some of us detected the vinegar flavour, while it eluded the rest. The Peru Delight was refreshing, and the staff assured us that it was fresh juice.

The Nachos with Cheese Sauce were crisp, the cheese was warm and of melt-in-mouth variety
The Nachos with Cheese Sauce were crisp, the cheese was warm and of melt-in-mouth variety

We were tempted to order a pizza, to taste their version, but were told that we would have to order an 11-inch pizza. While this may be okay for a large group, it means, if you are few in number, you won’t have space for anything else after the pizza. We would’ve liked the option to order a smaller pizza, like a six-inch one, or be allowed to order a slice at a time. Since we didn’t want the full meal to be just a pizza, we opted for the mains — Pasta Barbaresca (Rs 400), Risotto Al Forno (Rs 400) and Lasagna Alle Verdure (Rs 400).

The Pasta Barbaresca was a delight with sun dried tomatoes
The Pasta Barbaresca was a delight with sun dried tomatoes. Pics/Sonali J Hudar

The pasta arrived hot, with sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli in addition to the pasta. The sauce was well-balanced between cream and cheese and satisfactorily flavoured. The sun-dried tomatoes felt good to bite into, in the midst of the white sauce. The lasagna was refreshingly more about the vegetables in it, than the sheets of pasta. It was well cooked, packed with flavours, and covered generously in sauce; the best lasagna we’ve eaten in a while. The risotto was brown rice in a tomato sauce with peas. Though the dish looked appealing, the flavours fell short.

Riso didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals
Riso didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals

We ended our meal with the Chocolate Bomb (Rs 250). It took ages to arrive, only to learn that it got burnt in the oven the first time around so it was being remade. When it arrived, it was a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce sitting cheek by jowl with a very thin crust of chocolate cake, which gave way to molten chocolate. A sweet, fitting finale.

At: Shop 19, 2nd Floor, Sector 30 A, Proxima Building, next to Raghuleela Mall, Vashi.
Call: 33487797

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