Bangalore restaurant reviews Expensive

Alba - Food Lovers Gourmet City

Thursday, April 10, 2014Me! In words

I just love it when restaurant festivals like Food Lovers Gourmet City and Citibank Restaurant Week come to town. It gives me a good excuse to plan date lunches with Sudhakar, something we sorely need and its a great way to check out a fancy place without paying a fancy price. When Food Lovers Gourmet City returned last month, I zeroed in on Alba at the JW Marriott for a dinner one evening. The menu sounded fabulous and it was a week where we could have definitely done with a mid-week treat.

It was a 3-course menu with ample choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians and was priced at Rs 1299 + taxes per person. We had an 8PM reservation and were promptly seated when we arrived 15 minutes early. Since we had specifically mentioned that we were there for the Gourmet City menu, we were offered that as well as the wine menu. I also asked for the a la carte menu since I had to get something from there for Anoushka. 

As we were reading through the menu a lovely bread platter made its way to our table. We also asked for red and white wine each. What's an Italian meal without some wine to go with it. 

Bread platter with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing

Sutter Merlot and Laroche Chenin Blanc to go with our meal

We got all the ordering out of the way at once so that we could concentrate on enjoying the meal. For our first course - Sudhakar asked for slow cooked veal in tuna sauce with caramelized capers, which were thin slices of veal with a thick tuna and caper sauce, with some caramelized capers on the slices. A lovely combination when all three come into the mouth. The only thing he felt was that the tuna sauce was overpowering the veal. I asked for the Japanese Tuna Carpaccio with fennel orange salad, which was fairly fresh fish, sliced beautifully - the crunch of the fennel and the citrus of the orange brought this whole appetizer together. 

Vitello Tonnato, Capperi Caramellati - Vitel tonne', slow cooked veal in tuna sauce with caramelized capers

Carpaccio di Tonno Japponese, Insalatina di Finocchi E Arance - Japanese Tuna Carpaccio with fennel orange salad

Very thoughtfully, the Gnocchi in tomato sauce that I ordered for Anoushka off the a la carte menu came to the table first and believe me when I tell you that I shamelessly wanted to finish her plate off. The gnocchi was soft as Cadbury Silk coating your mouth, but its the tomato sauce that stole the show. By this time Chef Bruno was making is visits to each of the tables and I mentioned about how delicious the sauce was. The tomato seeds he said have been brought down from Italy and he has them grown organically at the First Agro in Mysore where he sources most of his produce from. The sauce, is chunky, adding to the texture of the dish. A polished plate by the little one is testimony enough, fussy eater that she is.

Gnocchi a la Verdure - Potato gnocchi in tomato basil sauce

A small view from the table we were at. A range of produce, cured meats, olive oils and vinegars on display at this gallery-style restaurant

For the main course, Sudhakar had the Grilled swordfish Sicilian style, with a salmoriglio sauce and caponata - thick fillets of fish, finished on a grill with a fresh aubergine and bell pepper caponata that had an added crunch from the almonds. Tiny skinned cherry tomatoes gave the dish that touch of zing. I asked for the Veal Ravioli but was served the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli by mistake. And what a happy mistake that was... I was asked to indulge while my actual order was placed again, making me lucky enough to taste two dishes. And let me add here that the spinach ricotta ravioli was the stuff that you think of at night when you wake up feeling hungry. Superb right down to the last bite. When the veal ravioli did make its appearance, though good on taste, it was not a patch on the vegetarian version. 

Off late, I am more and more inclined to believe that vegetarian Italian cooking scores much higher on the taste scales than meat based dishes. 

Pesce Spade Grigliato Alla Siciliana, Salsa Salmoriglio Caponata - Grilled swordfish, Sicilian style, with a salmoriglio sauce and caponata

Ravioli do Spinaci E Ricotta - Homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli in tomato sauce

Raviloetti di Alba - filled tenderloin pasta in veal jus

Our final course was the desserts and we chose Tiramisu and the Zabajone. While there was no faulting the Tiramisu at all, the Zabajone was sweet froth and nothing more. It did not really work for me as a dessert. It was a first for me, and so I checked up on it and from what I understood, its supposed to have a whipped consistency, which it did not. Anyways, not being much of dessert person, this did not really hurt too much. 


Zabajone with lady finger biscuit

The meal was beautiful that day and the service impeccable. I still stand by the fact that the mix up with the main course orders was a happy one. The Gourmet City meals added up to Rs 2598 for the two of us, taxes included. The total bill with the wines and Anoushka's meal thrown in plus taxes came to Rs 5000 approximately. I will be back at Alba sometime soon and will opt for the Chef's Table. 

You Might Also Like


Contact Form