Fio is not a new name in Delhi’s food scene. Fio Country Kitchen and Bar was one of the earliest restaurants to open at Garden of Five Senses, Saket and rest of the players just wished they could replicate the kind of ambience it has and the food it serves.
I have been there and the experience was lovely. This was my first visit to Fio Cookhouse and Bar opened sometime back at Epicuria, Nehru Place. Epicuria has become a milestone in how the surplus space at a metro station can be utilized. Its food court is always vibrant and full of visitors. Fio, a standalone fine dine restaurant, covers a vast area and naturally enjoys a huge footfall especially in the evening.
Food scene in Delhi is passing through a phase where every weekend sees an emergence of a new eating joint. What gets a big blow is the customer loyalty. While some really old restaurants have gained a legendary status and manage to retain its customers, some not very old ones bear the brunt. Reinvention is the key and only few of the establishments have the vision and are successfully able to do it.
Coming to Fio Cookhouse and Bar, it has launched its all new summer menu. It is actually interesting because the kind of food we Delhites are used to eating is quite heavy on the stomach and when combined with extreme summer heat it takes a toll on our digestive system. As we entered, we found the ambience extremely modern, classy and there were shelves full of interesting, seemingly antique artifacts. The tables are well spaced and the lighting was just right.Light music was playing in the background that was soothing. It is definitely recommended for dating couples as it will surely leave a lasting memory. The outdoor alfresco seating seemed nice but the weather didn’t give much choice and we preferred to sit inside.
First we were served the cocktails. We tried Watermelon Spritz, Gin Keri and Chilly Summer. Watermelon Spritz was made of rum, fresh watermelon, mint, midori and limejuice. I really liked the presentation and the way the watermelon pieces were cut in the shape of cherries. The taste was also good but it tasted more like a Mojito with a slight hint of watermelon. The quantity of rum present in the drink was perfect. Gin Keri was my favourite of the lot. It was made of Gin, mango puree, fresh raw mango and mint leaves. It had huge chunks of raw mango but I think the flavour came from raw mango puree. Everything was just perfect about this cocktail. It tasted somewhat like an aampanna but with a really good twist. Chilly Summer was made from Vodka, fresh mangoes, pepper and tobasco. It had a nice unique flavour but somehow it was not what I expected. Instead of fresh mangoes I felt a taste of commercially produced mango drink. The pepper and tobasco gave a nice spicy hint to the drink.
As a welcome snack we were served Amuse Bouche. It was basically a golgappa shot with feta, watermelon and balsamic water, I could sense a mild taste of spices used in golgappas as well. The taste was a riot of flavours and set the mood for the evening.
Then we tried a veg and a non veg salad. Lettuce Cup Watermelon Bocconcini Fennel Salad was a vegetarian salad. Bocconcini cheese is soft Mozarella. I never knew it tasted so good in a salad as I am not used to eating raw mozarella. Its combination with watermelons and fennel made me go gaga over the veg salad. In non veg we tried Lettuce Cup Spiced Pulled Chicken, lychee and gorgonzola salad. It is definitely one of the best salads I have ever tasted. The taste of the pulled chicken was just brilliant, and adding the sweetness of lychee was a masterstroke. I will surely visit the place again just to have this salad.
Coming to starters we started with Bruschetta of Raw papaya and Mango Salsa with shredded cheese.I am not a very big fan of bruschetta and somehow I feel that taste of raw papaya did not enhance the flavour. I chose to proceed to the second vegetarian starter we tried PhylloTazza with Roasted Vegetable, Mushroom and Green Mango Pesto. The Phyllo pastry was perfectly crispy and the taste of the dish was very good. It was an amalgamation of so many different flavours. In non veg starters we first tried Grilled Fish Chilli Lime. The fish was really soft and it had a good tangy flavour. The ginger tamarind glaze brushed on top added to the kick. Next non veg starter we tried was Molasses Glazed Chicken on Crispy Iceberg with Mint Cumin Tapenade. It had a sour flavour and tasted really good too.
The food was being served at proper intervals so we never actually felt full. The starters played their part well and we were actually looking forward to the main course. In the meanwhile, we tried a mocktail version of ice tea called Cooling Tea. It was made of green tea infused with kafir lime and passion fruit. Anything can hardly go wrong with an ice tea, and as such the taste was flawless.
We first tried Pan Seared Lime Fish with Spiced Coconut Cream and Water. The fish was really well cooked and had the entire flavour even on the inside. The sauce made had the flavour of lime, and had a few nuts and peas. It tasted heavenly and I kept having the sauce even when the fillet of the fish was finished. Next we tried Skillet Herbed Plum Chicken with Lemon Couscous and Juice. It was really well made with chicken easily coming out of the bone. The sauce was really tasty and the couscous was brilliant. Overall the combination was just perfect.
We then proceeded towards desserts. First we tried Green Mango & Blueberry Cheesecake. It was too soft and the taste was just about ok. I like my cheesecake to be a bit thick. Lastly we tried Basil Seed and Sugarcane Panacotta. I’m happy that the last dish we tried was truly mind blowing. It was the most basic version of panacotta but I’m glad they kept it simple, and the basil seeds added to the flavour.
Fio Cookhouse and Bar is one of the very few places in Delhi that have reinvented their menu keeping in mind the soaring temperature of the city. We didn’t feel heavy after having such a lavish meal. I definitely recommend Fio Cookhouse and Bar and its new summer menu as it still manages in this hot weather to keep you ‘cool’.
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.