Sea bass Fillet

Pre launch events for any fine dining place is an excellent way to overcome any snag that might occurs before the actual event, and to get a first-hand review of the food by the invited guests. And it was absolutely wonderful to attend the glitch free prelaunch of the new contemporary Mediterranean dining, Zerruco, at hotel Ashok, New Delhi.

Melanzane alla paramigiana – layers of fried aubergine

The initiative by restaurateurs Kahshif Faruq and Prashant Ojha, the restaurant is co branded with celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.

By the time I reached, my fellow food bloggers were already seated and enjoying the brilliant hospitality at Zerruco. At the well set table, laden with bread baskets and dips, each of us were given the set menu for the day.

Crispy fried squid tossed with fresh chilli, garlic chips and coriander.

We started our meal with Minestrone Clasico, the traditional Italian soup. The soup was rich with flavors, but a little thick for my taste. Next came fried aubergine, Melanzane Alla Parmigina, and it is quite amazing what a simple vegetable like baingan can achieve. Layered with tomato sauce and cheese, the chef truly managed to take the homely brinjal to new levels and was admired by all at the table. The calamari salad was served next. The squids were crisply fried and the dressing gave it a nice flavor. We started our main course with red wine sauced pan roasted sea bass fillet. I am a fish lover, and can honestly say that this was just divine. The flavors were light but powerful. The fish was perfectly roasted, and the red wine sauce along with potato squares went wonderfully with it.

Grilled lamb chop

The tagliatelle pasta that was served next was not the most impressive item on the menu. The red pepper pesto was a tad bit strong and took over all the other flavor in the pasta. While we were devouring the delicious food with chilled wine, keeping us company were the chef himself Aldo Zilli and Manish Baheyti from Haute Services, with their wonderful stories and experiences. The chef noticed that pizzas were not a part of our set menu, and he promptly asked our server for one of each vegetarian and the non vegetarian pizzas.

The next item served to us was the grilled lamb chops, something I had been looking forward to since the start of the meal. And when the server set down the plate in front of me, I was not disappointed at all. It was a sight for sore eyes (for the meat loving eyes, at least). The chop itself was not meagre, and was a huge chunk of meat. We were informed that the lamb chops are actually sheep and is imported from Australia specially. Served with a side of mashed potatoes and peppercorn sauce, it was without doubt the best lamb chop I have ever had in Delhi. The meat was perfectly cooked on the outside while the inside was the tender pink, just the way it is supposed to be. The only downside of the whole thing was that I was not able to finish the whole of my plate, thanks to the large portions of the meals.

Tiramisu classica

 I was already full and wanted to save some room for dessert. I have a sort of a sweet tooth, and when the large cup of tiramisu was kept in front of me, I had an inkling that I would not be disappointed. The wonderfully light and airy dessert, beautifully balanced with chocolate and coffee, was the perfect way to end the amazing meal we just had. All of us at the table were in foodie heaven by this time, and we still had one more dessert to go. We decided to share the chocolate fondant, and ordered one for every two people. The baked dark chocolate goodie was served with vanilla ice cream. Needless to say the overall experience of this event was absolutely marvellous.

The carefully crafted menus offers a wide array of choices for both vegetarian and non vegetarians. And the one things that I especially liked about the place was the size of their servings. They were not meager, like at many places, and you do not feel cheated. I for one am surely looking forward to this restaurant, and will be coming back soon for some special occasion.

By Priyanka Singh

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