Given the number of restaurants that dream of being the king of all food Italian, we must admit we enter Two One Two All Day with some qualms. Just how many other Italian restaurants can their tagliatelle trump?
We run our fingers down the menu and see that Two One Two All Day has an ambitious line-up -- there are the classic egg dishes for breakfast, but it is their smoked salmon we’d like to try some morning. You could choose from soups, salads, numerous appetisers, burgers, sandwiches, vegetarian and non-vegetarian main course dishes.
We pick the Tenderloin Carpaccio, which looks good with slices of raw beef, marinated mushrooms, baby arugula, Parmesan shavings and balsamic dressing (Rs 475). We are impressed with how fresh the meat is and how delicately the flavours are balanced. What you could skip, though, is the average Barbeque Spiced Chicken Wings served with blue cheese dip (Rs 475), and opt for the Watermelon And Goat Cheese Terrine served with mixed greens (Rs 475).
The chef says he has tried to play around with the widely-served dish by carving discs from the watermelon and smearing them with goat cheese terrine, instead of serving cubes of the fruit. It looks good and tastes even better. If you’re looking for mini bites, try their Wild Mushroom Ragout, baked puff pastry, cheese fondue, garden greens (Rs 475) for the ever-so-flaky pastry.
Amid this, a crab saunters to the table. Well, it would have if it could -- that’s how fresh it tastes. The Crab “farci” (Rs 575) is by far the best dish we have tasted and we are glad it is the meat we taste, not spices and condiments. The dish is expertly cooked with parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and aged balsamico and white wine.
The Roasted Ratatouille Vegetable Risotto (Rs 525) is good, too, but we find ourselves ignoring it for the decidedly more delicious Porcini Mushroom Ravioli (Rs 525). We prefer the walnut butter and the thick bed of tomato concasse it sits on, appreciating the lack of cheese for a change.
We end our meal with Taglitelle Pasta (Rs 525), which piques our interest when presented. The wild mushroom cream sauce rests on the side of the mound of the pasta and our server asks us if he could go ahead and mix it all up. Yes, we chime. The idea of keeping the herbed pasta away from the sauce at first, he tells us, is so one could choose how indulgent they want their dish to be. We recommend the thought, but don’t prefer such deprivation.
Two One Two All Day is not the cheapest place in the city, and we demand surprise, which it delivers. The food is unpretentious and speaks through technique, not tall claims. We’d go back for more than one dish, and that, we think, is quite something when every other place claims to serve outstanding Italian fare in the city.
We cannot rate the food as it was a preview