Last month I had the incredible good fortune of being invited by my friend Nikhil (the Nonchalant Gourmand) to a lovely Pasta demonstartion and an exquisite Italian Lunch at the Botticino - the fine Italian restaurant (with a contemporary twist) at the Trident, BKC, Mumbai
The Trident at BKC is a lovely boutique-ish business hotel tucked neatly off but yet a stones throw away from BKC's main thoroughfare. It has a small but tall lobby with some rather eclectic modern art scattered in it. We got there a few minutes early and were gently ushered into the waiting area at the Botticino - their speciality Italian restaurant. The Botticino is open daily for lunch and dinner services and apart from its amazing menu and extensive wine list it boasts a premium and exhaustive selection of Grappa. A selection of such variety and in such graceful and artistic containers that they have mounted these bottles onto a specially designed Grappa Wall!
Kainaz and Rhea
Impeccably set tables.
Their famous floating table that hangs over their coffee shop (and where we were subsequently seated).
Clean classic white, crystal and silver service with a few pale pink roses and a lavender runner to add just that right bit of colour.
The Kitchen with Chef Vikas
The cold-kitchen where they assemble the salads and garnishes.
Megha and the crustacean tanks.
Chef Vikas (probably wondering what all these crazy bloggers would end up doing!!) the main man in charge of the Botticino's kitchen and menus.
Kainaz, probably wondering why they need to chain their fridges!
They keep their wine coolers chained and padlocked ... I guess mere fridge locks are child's play to the denizens of the kitchen.
Their quirky but lovely tea/coffee service.
Rhea, Saee and Vrinda looking quite cute in their caps.
Chef Vikas demonstrating how dough is put together - the first step in making any pasta.
The dough resting.
Flattening it out through a pasta-maker.
Contents of the Pasta Fridge
Making sauce, boiling pasta and assembling the Chicken Ravioli in Mushroom Sauce.
The finished dish.
(It was yumm!)
The Bloggers assembled at their table - ready to eat.
Delicious Ciabata bread fresh from the Trident's own bakery - served with pureed bell peppers.
The amuse bouche: Chef's very own take on the classic Mozzarella with sliced tomatoes.
Sea-salt encrusted Lavash.
The Argula, Pear and Pecorino Salad.
As an appetiser I chose the Pan-grilled Foie Gras, it was truly sensational; soft, flavourful, perfectly cooked and very well complimented by a reduced red wine sauce. make sure all you Foie Gras lovers make the most of this as there is a move to ban its production.
For my Mains I chose the Herb encrusted Snapper with an Orange sauce, thinking it wouldn't hold a candle to the appetiser ... boy was I wrong, and very happily so, even if I say so myself. The fish was cooked to absolute perfection, soft flaky, firm, translucent and so fresh that it felt like it had been caught just that morning. The slightly sweet and tangy orange sauce was the perfect foil to the crusty saltiness of the fish. The only slightly puzzling feature were the cubed potatoes and carrots which appeared to have been placed there keeping in mind the Indian fixation with them. I for one would have perhaps preferred a steamed spinach.
The Herb crusted Snapper with an Orange sauce.
Chef then came out to see that all was well and to bask in the absolute admiration of the gathered bloggers.
We rounded up the meal with Chef's signature dessert - A triple scoop of ice-cream on a white chocolate strip with a dark chocolate curl. The ice-cream flavours were an eclectic choice. We were served (from left to right) a Starcciatella - which was good; a Lemon cheesecake - that was mild and understated; and a Salted Caramel - absolutely the perfect blend of creamy chewy sweetness with small explosions of salt.
The Salted Caramel ice-cream was a sure winner and I'd shamelessly recommend that if you like ice-cream you should go here just to eat this.
At 4.30pm a very happy bunch of well fed and satiated bloggers slowly waddled their way out of the Trident promising themselves that they would be back.
The Botticino at the Trident was truly all that it claimed to be. It might be a trifle fussy and frou-frou, it might be a wee bit more than just expensive ... but it was worth it.