The moment I landed in Delhi last month, I messaged couple of my friends stating that I felt a certain disconnect with this city. Yes there are things that I love about Delhi, but then Mumbai is Mumbai. Of all the places I have stayed or experienced, Delhi is the place with the least number of exciting stories. Yes there have been adventures, but they are a bit down on the podium of my wonderland. Probably it is the feel of the place, or the people, or just me.
On this visit though, I got a chance to attend a food event in Delhi. I have been through lots of them in Mumbai with varying experiences, but one thing has been common, I have always loved the people I meet at such events. Food is secondary, it is always the people which make my evening.
Thanks to Anaggh, I received an invite for the event at La Tagliatella (at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj). It is an European food chain specializing in Italian cuisine which has recently set shop at Delhi (soon to be followed by one in Bangalore).
I was accompanied by my sister who took these wonderful shots of the food we were served.
We were welcomed by Snehal Kulsheshtra from Amrest (the holding company for La Tag) and Simone (the warm, friendly restaurant manager). The place had two levels with the lower level representing an open-bistro format (not necessarily the best one to have in a Huge Delhi Mall). The décor was neat and Simone and Snehal were both extremely informed and friendly.
In some moments Anaggh appeared and so did few other Delhi bloggers. The chatter topics in the evening ranged from chuna-infused beer drinking tales to Delhi wedding catering, from filthy politics to Italian food.
It was great to meet a high-on-energy Dushyant with his family (my go to person for legal affairs now) and a dripped in Mumbai nostalgia TK (who shares his surname with the ever so weirdly named Ritika Mahalingam). Also met a few others from the Delhi food blogging scene (which I felt is still in a nascent stage as compared to the much more mature Mumbai one).
We started with a few glasses of Fratelli Red accompanied with some extremely yummy Focaccia. Focaccia was freshly baked and the ones with tomatoes (and a hint of basil) on it was worth multiple encounters. Tomatoes were really juicy and had a refreshingly unique taste. More on tomatoes later.
Caesar Salad was served next and although it looked great with hefty shaves on parmesan on top, I didn’t like the Mustard and anchovies vinaigrette dressing a lot. Nothing against this one but I prefer mine at Out of the Blue in Mumbai, fresh with cherry tomatoes and a cream cheese dressing.
After the salad (and a few more glasses of wine) we were ready for a round of pastas. Given the name of the place (Tagliatella means Pasta) we had high hopes, and yes, a high appetite.
The clear winner for me was Pappardelle Pepe Noro with Gamberi (Peppery Pasta with Prawns). The pasta was freshly prepared with mesmerizing tones of roughly ground pepper passing through it. Prawns were perfectly cooked and they blended really well with the peppery tones. I ended up cleaning half of the servings of this.
Another winning flavor from the evening was that of Cuore di Zucca (means Pumpkin’s Heart in Italian). The sweet pumpkin mash delightfully mingled with fresh pasta, the texture was creamy and just perfect for the flavours surrounding it. A must try for Vegetarians.
There were two other pastas served, Tagliatelle Carbonara (Creamy Pasta with Turkey) and Ravioli Verdi. The former was a bit too creamy and low on spice for my liking and second one didn’t leave behind any special memories too.Post this we were served the Pizzas, all of them freshly prepared with a lovely thin crust and an ensemble of multi-colored veggies, meats, and cheese on top. After spending sometime chasing artichokes on one of them, I tasted the Pizza Verdure Grilgliate (Delicious Tomatoes, Onions, Capsicum and Caramelized Apples). And the tomatoes again were simply brilliant. Tomatoes at this place were special, juicy, a bit sugary, and evoked the freshness of a misty winter morning, or a dew-laden green lawn. They reminded me more of a citrus fruit than the typical tomato we at home. Snehal then talked to us about the tomatoes, which were imported from Europe. I wondered, can’t they be grown here? Whatever I stuffed a few more of them into my mouth.
Then the desserts followed. the Lemon Sorbet was a bit too purist for Indian Palates (as in low on sugar), Fondue wasn’t memorable, Tiramisu was good, and the cheese cake was different. To my surprise, it was in a semi-solid state, the flavours were right, but I guess my mind expected something different.
So apart from my conversations and few new friends from Twitter, I took back the peppery tones of pasta, the simple wonders of pumpkin, and the uniqueness of tomatoes.
And by the end of the evening was I able to spell out the name of the restaurant properly? I don’t think so.
And did my love for Delhi grow? I don’t think so.
You can check all the photos from event here. They were clicked by Shruti Deshpande.
Disclosure: Restaurant’s Public Relations agency covered all the expenses associated with the food tastings mentioned above. For more details refer my disclosure page.