Restaurants have evolved beyond just ‘food joints’ to places where an ambience, a theme or even an overall culture play a major role. Few places serve ‘authentic food’ and Spaghetti Kitchen is one such — named after the ubiquitous noodle-pasta, one has a clear idea what will follow… Italian!
|Pic: Rajesh Nirgude
A clean, open kitchen, a well-lit ambience and classy wooden tables and flooring make for a welcoming décor when one walks in. The menu seemed to be more constructed than inspired by old Italian recipes. The ciabatta bruschettas, grissini sticks and foccacia are good choices during off timings.
The rest of the menu has plentiful options in vegetarian, chicken, seafood, pork, beef and even veal. You get not just commercial long and short pastas in typical cream or tomato-based sauces, but hand-crafted fresh dough pastas too.
Pizzas here seem to have a good variety, with their All White Chicken and Gorgonzola Cheese with Air-cured Ham Pizzas worth a mention. It was great to see ingredients like veal escalope, red snapper, Atlantic sea-bass and Scottish salmon mentioned.
Of the extensive choices, I decided to got for a couple of interesting options on the menu that included their hand-crafted Pansotti stuffed with Mushrooms (Rs 360) and Spaghetti with Meatballs (Rs 420). Before that, I couldn’t resist their Parmesan Cream Cheese Baby Potatoes (Rs 190) — a suggested ‘must have’ by the establishment.
Though simple, the parmesan cheese made all the difference. The use of parmigiano reggiano (accurately indicated in the description) gave the baby potatoes a distinctive aroma — sweet, fruity, rich and strong, coupled with the roasted flavour of potatoes dusted with herbs. I do wish a little less cream had been used, as it dominated the dish just a bit.
Pansotti is a ‘pot bellied’ triangular stuffed pasta. Here, it was filled with mushrooms, cheese and a creamy porcini sauce. Dried porcini mushrooms are strongly flavoured and impart an intense gusto to sauces, with a musky aroma enhanced by creaminess. In this dish, the intense porcini took over the cream.
The triangular pasta was cooked in mushroom stock as well, making it yellowish-brown and adding to its flavour. The meatballs in my other pasta, the traditional spaghetti, were tasty but a tad dry from the inside.
This is avoidable with some cooking and storing techniques, as these were probably cooked ahead of time. The sauce was satisfying, the spaghetti cooked perfectly, holding the sauce around it. The drizzle of extra virgin olive oil I chose to add gave it all an extra zing!
Service depends on the chefs slogging it out to keep up with the long list of orders. That evening, it took some time for my order to reach my table but I was happy to wait as the chef’s body language showed he was in no hurry to simply whip up something substandard because of a rush.
However, only two chefs to serve a packed restaurant is bound to lead to discomfort at some point of time. The wine list is local, stacking it up with foreign brands would raise the bar very high!
One thing I do look forward to at Spaghetti Kitchen is some prominent signature Italian dishes. While they have an excellent variety of off-beat preparations, we would love to see trademarks from sub-regions of Italy incorporated into the menu as well!
1st floor, West Block, Amanora Town Centre, Hadapsar