When you are invited for an evening full of interesting company, conversations and chef recommendations, how can you even refuse? I happened to recently experience all three together at the newly opened Eat Pray Luv restaurant in Bandra. I have a very interesting connect with the place. It was initially a health club and the pool around and on which this place now stands, was where I first learnt to swim. So imagine my first impression of the beautifully transformed place when I entered it. Of course, there was a quick flash down the memory lane.
Here I met the extremely courteous and all-about-food chef Davide Cananzi, who clearly believed in feeding people and if by mistake you did mention that a particular dish was great, then large portions of that would be served to you and incase you didn’t do justice to the entire portion, you would see a disappointed face. Yes, my appetite was satiated beyond my capacity. But that day I did not complain. This is how my evening looked like ;
Cream Cheese Stuffed Cannoli were tube pastries filled with a delicious mix of cream cheese. The Cannoli have been traced to the Arabs during the Emirate of Sicily, origin for the word and recipe deriving directly from qanawāt. This was way too loaded with cheese. There was another version with Tuna and cheese and that was well-balanced.
The pizzas served were all freshly baked wood fired, thin crust with just the mildly balanced spices and cheese, they were clearly worth it. I feel sometimes some restaurants go overboard on the cheese bit, but these were just right.The first one I tried was the Capricciosa pizza . It was cameraman’s delight beautifully decorated with cherry tomatoes, rocket and ricotta. The ham pizza or Prosciutto e Rucola was high on flavour too but it was a bit too salty.
The Baked aubergines with ricotta and Parma ham looked decent, but I am not a brinjal person and having so many other dishes around me. I skipped this one.
Jerk Chicken Wings is a Jamaican delicacy. For those who may not be aware, Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. These were juicy and spicy perfect to catch the non-vegetarian taste buds in me.
Drumroll for the next dish which for me was the star of the evening and to think that we would have missed it, incase Karan had not kept asking for this signature dish again and again. So presenting to you the Burrata .
Burrata is an Italian dish where the outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. But let me warn you it is definitely to much if you’re planing to have it signed handedly. It’s loaded so invite a few friends along whenever you want to savour it’s taste. The balsamic caramelized figs addition gave it the perfect sweet and tangy balance.
As you can get from the flow and the various descriptions. We had a hard time doing justice to all this taste bud tantalising food. And then he announced desserts!
Well I knew extra space for desserts always magically appears in my case. So I said bring it on!
He highly recommended his Signature Tiramisu. The Tiramisu made with real mascarpone cheese, coffee and cocoa, this was a Tiramisu that I had never tasted like before. You see I am not a Tiramisu fan either but this oe just blew my mind. It wasn’t the completely mousse’ textured dessert but one with right balance of sweet and cheese and cake and cocoa and coffee. Again a must-eat on my list.
Chocolate mouse with Mystery Jam – This is the most deceiving looking dessert I have ever tried. Infact I was planning to skip it till someone on the table tasted it and told me not to miss it. It looks like a regular chocolate mousse’. But when you bite into it , you taste the dense Chocolate liquor first and then red you get the flavour of the strawberry jam but strangely enough you realise a burning sensation on the tip of your palette. Surprisingly the hidden factor is the chilli which is so concealed in the dessert that you don’t feel it right till you have almost finished the bit in your mouth. Wow! Well done, I would say.
Finally, we gathered our bloated but happy tummies, waved our goodbyes, clicked our few pictures and slowly and reluctantly dragged our weight out of this blissful food paradise.
Some finer details:
Ambience: If I can imagine a romantic candlelight dinner and voting on the first date or even celebrating my special anniversary dinner, I could not ask for a better setting than this. With low lighting, vintage chandeliers, poolside dinner table setting, and even a warm open oven kind of adds to the whole setup.
Price points: It is a little on the expensive side but then, if you appreciate food and yearn for a gourmet meal, this kind of justifies it.
Service: We were at the chef’s table so how can I even complain about it. Ten bloggers attended by dedicated two servers and the chef himself. This is how they make you feel special.
Final Take: A place for the romantic date, must visit.