SORRENTINA BY FOOD HALL’
Minimum fuss. Maximum flavor. Move over foams and smoke, gimmicks and tricks. Lets welcome the “Traditional”. “ the comforting”. “the local and regional flavorites”. And we ‘re delighted to find one such Italiano, “Sorrentina” and that too perched on top of Linking Road's four levelled “FoodHall”. My dapper gourmet guest Milan Agarwal moved to Mumbai from Los Angeles last year and ever since has been a regular buyer at the FoodHall for ingredients for his cooking ( ‘my go to is Rigatoni in vodka sauce” ). Both he and his charming colleague Namrata Wadhwai are brilliant content development executives in a leading, global talent management company based in Mumbai and Los Angeles. Namrata a recent Film institute graduate is equally passionate about food. Over a discussion about films, vegetarianism and more, we eat our way through the pasta and pizza menu.
Walk past Foodhall’s shelves of exotic food, counters bursting with fresh produce, a coffee tea lounge, coffee lab and bakery. Take the lift up to Sorrentina’s cheerful daylit space dotted with marble-topped tables. An open kitchentoo.
How does sunny Sorrento (overlooking the blue bay of Naples) get distilled onto our plates? Quite obviously they have great reverence and regard for the Sorrento peninsula consisting of Naples (for Pizza), Amalfi (For Lemons), Florence and Tuscany (for the beautiful vineyards). The brilliant young chef Aabhas Mehrotra ensures olive marinated sweetest of red tomatoes are paired with snowy white mozzarella (locally sourced) and the Insalata Caprese bursts with flavor and color.
Freshest of vegetables are topped with Burrata in the Sicilian Caponata sprinkled withraisins and pine nuts He ensures that the hand stretched Neapolitan pizzas are made of sour dough using Biga culture. And then rested for 24 hours for elasticity. They emerge supple and delicious. Whole wheat thin crust and a Keto Cauli crust options too. Preference for spicy Italianos? Ask for the spicy Salame topped Picante Pizza.I m a gorgonzola fan and the creamy intense cheese pizza is made more heady with truffle and truffle oil.
Pizza alla Italiano with it’s colors of the Italian flag is equally delightful.Freshly made tiramisu, served straight out of the tray, has the perfect dreamy, creamy texture and just the right kiss of coffee. Lemon mascarpone and Parmesan gelato nicely balances the sweetness of the gooey red velvet cheese cake.Freshly Churned eggless Gelatos are must trys.
The Stuzzichini (small plates) outpaced the Secondi inflavor and texture. While the Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peprocino with its garlic, chilli and parsley emulsion was tasty, the addition of toasted bread crumbs on the top detracted.
Tajarin was a bit too heavy on the butter parmesan emulsion, ditto for the lasagna verde and it’s sauce and basil cream. Though a bit overcooked, Ossobuco is a welcome inclusion on the menu. Im not a great fan of the chick pea flour fritters, Panelle or by any other name. Substituting zucchini for avocado in the “guacamole”is an exercise in futility.
In this day and age of gimmicks and smoke and foams, its rare to find a new restaurant whose menu and cooking aren’t horn-tootingly inventive, but stick to the local authentic traditional. This puts a real premium on execution. "Sorrentino by Foodhall" ensures there is skill in the kitchen and there is a commitment to seasonal produce too (located on top of the gourmet Foodhall) . The concept head & owner of the Foodhalls, 30 year young dynamo Avni Biyani seems to have been working to a well thought out strategy and been trailblazing ever since she was 21 years old. Sorrentina is their first restaurant. A Consultant chef from Tuscany started the ball rolling, the brilliant young Chef Aabhas Mehrotra serves up Italian Keto, also child friendly fare. He continues to deliver honest, tasty regional Italian fare that does not dazzle as much as it comforts. Comforting prices too.
PS Roman Sunday brunch (ala carte) Xmas specials, mulled wine too
Sorrentina, level 2, Foodhall@Linking Road, Plot No 106, Linking Road, Santacruz West.Ph 26065370
12 pm to 12 am
Av meal Rs 2500 for two
RATING FOOD 3.75 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5