Serafina: An Italian Experience to Remember
I'm quite hopelessly addicted to Masterchef Australia. Since I'm at work during the usual time it's aired (which is 9 pm IST, give or take), I make it a point to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to catch the repeat telecast. If I happen to miss an episode I desperately try to hunt it down on Youtube. But what pains me at the same time about the programme is that I hardly get to cook with any of the bountiful ingredients the contestants are provided with. There are actually some that I haven't even tasted! Take for example fennel, radicchio, rhubarb, clementine, oysters, rabbits and the list is endless. In the last season there was this one particular team challenge where a certain team decided to put up Beef Carpaccio for appetizers. I made my own guess as to what it might taste like and my assumption was confirmed by Wikipedia which said, carpaccio is an Italian dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin and served mainly as an appetizer. The first thing that struck me after reading it was, "Damn, I'll never get that in Calcutta." But guess what? I was so utterly wrong! Because the new North Italian restaurant in town, Serafina, is dishing that out and so many other mouthwatering delicacies that would actually take you on a high with gastronomic pleasure.Serafina is the latest addition to the culinary boutique that is housed in the fifth floor of Quest Mall. It is a New York City-based enterprise and the Calcutta outlet is the 17th one overall and 3rd in India, after Mumbai and Bangalore. Truth be told, I was originally a bit on the fence about the concept of "American Italian" but the great things I've heard about their Tiramisu (to which I'll come later) made me quite eager to visit this place.
|Picture courtesy: Serafina|
Serafina ensured that they fed us till the point we couldn't move. The pastas were followed by the New Zealand Baby Lamb Chops (marinated in rosemary and garlic and served on a bed of mash). I loved the chops, but doted on the mash! The Chicken Breast Paillard (served with tomatoes and arugula) was a one-of-a-kind dish where the breast was hammered to form a thin pizza-base like structure. It was fine, juicy and full of flavours. The Basa Al Pinot Grigio was a delicately flavoured steak of basa, melt in the mouth, and wrapped in potatoes and served on zucchini and leeks.
We had reached the peak of gastronomic ecstasy where there came in two more types of pasta and a risotto. The Risotto Primavera and Pasta Primevera were decent (However, I am a risotto snob and wouldn't personally recommend this particular one — go for something else guys, you'll be spoilt for choices here!) but what I really liked was their Spaghetti Aglio Olio Al Pacino — simple dish, done perfectly. It's a pity I was full to the brims but that one strand of spaghetti that I tasted left me wanting for more (on some other day and preferably on an emptier stomach!)