A taste of authentic Italian anyone?

A taste of authentic Italian anyone?


Remember Kangana Ranaut’s struggle with Italian food in her much acclaimed film Queen. She keeps on sprinkling salt and chilli flakes just to get that strong flavour that would satisfy her palate.

Apparently, Indian taste buds cannot remain deprived of spices for long. But it doesn’t mean there is a disregard for Italian food. Only, the hunt is for a good place where you can enjoy true flavours of Italian cuisine.

Tonino, near Andheria Modh, Mehrauli is one of those restaurants. The place recently completed 10 years which also gave Metrolife an opportunity to relive the Italian experience! 

We started with the appetisers Pollo Con Finocchio, pan fried chicken on skewers served with potato and crispy zucchini rings which were properly grilled but for the chicken which was a tad on the dry side. However the herbs sprinkled over it added their own flavour suppressing the dryness of the chicken. 

Fungi Tartufati, a vegetarian appetiser of assorted mushrooms, panfried in garlic, white wine, parmesan cheese and lemon was a delight. With hardly any herbs over it, the dish had the flavour of truffle oil in which the mushrooms were fried. But it was boiled potatoes stuffed with cheese that enhanced the flavour of the dish with every bite.

In salads, Insalata di Pollo Affumicata, smoked chicken salad tossed with iceberg, oranges, walnuts and pineapple vinaigrette turned out to be ordinary. Going to the main course, some lengthy names leave you in a state of confusion like Gnochi e Brocoli Con Pomodarroe Basilica, which is potato dumplings served in tomato basil sauce! Basically, a kind of pasta where small oval shaped dumplings are poached and then cooked with grated cheese in the oven. The dish, dominated with the flavour of fresh tomatoes and strong essence of basil and oregano made it a gastronomic delight.  

Costole Brasat, honey mustard braised pork ribs, did not taste too good. For a North Indian, fond of non-vegetarian food in spicy flavours, pork ribs cooked soaked in pineapple can never be appealing to the taste buds. But Fillet Di Sogliola Grigalia, fillet and prawns grilled with garlic parsley butter sauce came as a saviour. The dish makes you drool for the manner it is decorated on the plate and presented. And with every bite he taste buds revel  in the creamy flavours. Happily, the taste of fish and prawn meat is not marred by excessive cooking or addition of herbs. 

Not forgetting the pizza, which is specific to Italian cuisine, we ordered Barbeque Chicken Pizza and Rucola, Pomodara Secchi e Feta, a vegetarian pizza with feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, cheddar, cherry tomatoes and olive. It was the ultimate thin crust pizza, baked on a wood fire in a stone oven that you can see in one corner of the dining room. Loaded with cheese and olive oil, the pizza stood out exceptionally for being crispy and cheesy.

Also, Penne Chicken Castellina, penne pasta tossed with sautéed chicken, mushroom, artichoke and blended with smoked cheese and sundried tomato sauce was served hot and tasted good. 

In desserts, Gelato Misto in coffee flavour makes the entire meal complete. Mocktails like Tonino Delight, a fresh combination of kiwi and pineapple juice, Orange Bloom and Bite Me, a mixture of pomegranate and grape juice with basil leaves was a mere mixture of syrups.