Monday, 14 May 2012

Fresca Pizzaria by Sandy's, KNK Road






















Getting a preview ticket for a Rajni film is awesome. Attending a preview dinner of an about to be opened restaurant is double awesome, especially if its by the "Chocolate Dude" Sandesh Reddy of Sandy's. The restauranteur had organized a four course meal for the people of Chennai Food Guide ( CFG ) priced at Rs1000/-. Who would say no, to a four course meal preview, at rock bottom prices. So fifteen of us from CFG were present at the lovely, soon to be opened joint, Fresca Pizzaria at Khader Nawaz Khan Road.

Sandesh being a very good host, welcomed us all with a lot of warmth. He explained to us the various courses of the meal. Sandesh also enlightened us about the different types of cheeses, pasta and the pizza breads. He also explained the difference between the Neapolitan cuisine and Italian cuisine. From the way he explained the various things which constituted the meal, we could understand the labour of love and the amount of craftsmanship which had gone into making such a wonderful meal. He himself has had a month of testing of the pizza and pastas. I think thats enough prelude yapping.

Just to get our appetites revved up, we were served with a Veg- bruschetta. The bruschetta looked different from the traditional thick bread slice. It was more like an oval pizza. It had thinly grated cheese  with basil on it. This was definitely a different take on the regular bruschetta. The consistency of the bread was crisp and it tasted yumm!!. After to the lovely bruschetta, just to get a palate teased, we were served with smoked gorgonzola cheese with poached pear ( Thanks Aati ). When the dish was brought to the table, it was closed with a lid and once the lid was  lifted open, it gave off  an aromatic charred smoke smell. The taste of cheese and litchi was like entering a different level of nirvana. The combination was simply awesome.

After taking us to different levels of nirvana with the cheese, we were served with the starters. We chose different starters,  and so we could try them all. I selected Ajo Blanco. This is a cold soup made of almonds, stewed green grapes and gastrique. This is the first time I am having a cold soup, all previous attempts have been me consuming a hot soup after it had cooled down. Taste of the soup was fantastic. One sip will transport you to an entirely a different dimension. After the brilliant cold soup, I took a bite of the Carpaccio. This is a dish which has very, very thinly sliced beef, rocket, mustard mango and parmesan. The taste of the dish was exquisite. The mixture of basil leaves with the beef and cheese made it mouth watering. My taste buds were on an overdrive because these were some of the tastiest dishes I have ever had. I took a bit of the Stewed Figs with Boccancini and Roasted Zucchini. It tasted delicious as well. I just couldn't believe that I had, had just course one and with more to come.

Course Two, begins here.
After those lip smacking dishes in course one, we moved on to course two. I chose to go with Smoked Chicken Agnolotti, while the others chose the other options available, so we got to try them all out. The Agnolotti had Tomato, Basil and Parmesan along with the chicken. Agnolotti is a type of ravioli pasta, this dish was heavenly, with the chicken stuffed inside the pasta. The exact way to describe it, would be a Momo kind of feeling. The tomatoes were lush and juicy. Then I took a small portion of the Fromaggio Ravioli. This ravioli was made of three different varieties of cheese and Wine Butter and Pickled vegetables. This dish was an absolute gastronomical delight. After this I sampled Spinach Gnocchi, with butter milk and gorgonzola. This dish was flavorsome, with the spinach giving it a nice punch.

Course Three, over here.
The course three was the round of the pizzas. My God! these pizzas were delicious. I could see people going gaga over the pizzas. Some reactions really showed the inner child in them. There were two pork pizzas ( Spech & Bocamccini and also Pepperoni) which i avoided. I gorged over the Grilled Chicken, Quattro Fromaggi ( Quattro does not mean the 4x4 system by Audi ) , Pesto & Artichoke and Margherita. The Quattro Fromaggi is an 4 cheese pizza. This pizza was shouting "EAT ME". People who love cheese, will love it, unless you are lactose intolerant. This pizza was really rich and tasty. You could differentiate the different cheeses which imparted flavor to it. The Margherita pizza too tasted great, the tomato sauce was full flavored, with a good balance between sour and sweet. I tried a bit of the Pesto and Artichoke pizza, the pesto sauce complemented the artichoke, making it scrumptious. Finally the Pizza which I loved, the most Grilled Chicken Pizza. This pizza had the most tender and properly grilled chicken, that I have ever tasted. It had me going Bonkers!.

After the three courses, we had small palate cleanser. An Apple Sorbet with lime juice. The lime augmented the apple really well.

Course four,
I picked the Tiramisu. while some others picked the Bocha Negra. The Tiramisu was marvelous with mascarpone being sweet as a nectar. The ladyfinger cake were soaked in rum. Me, being a teetotaller found it hard to have the rum soaked cake, alone. But along with the cream it tasted great. The Bocha Negra was a gooey triple dark chocolate fudge, with a Bean Vanilla Ice cream. This tasted very much like a Lava Cake of Dominos. But it was easily 10 times better than it.

By the time we were done with all the eating, it was 11:15pm. When we left, we certified that the food rocked. Hats off to Sandesh Reddy for giving us an awesome evening. Fresca definitely holds a lot of promise. Wish Sandesh and his team the best. Fresca Pizzaria will be opening to public by the end of this month. And I would love to visit it with my family and friends.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Price - 8/10

If Sandesh prices the food the way he says he would, a meal for two should cost about Rs 1000 to 1200/-, depending on what you order.

Fresca Pizzaria is located in Khader Nawaz Khan Road, in the basement of Cascade restaurant building.

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