European flavours to woo desi palate

Food review

There are few corners in the city which can still be regarded as ‘quiet’. If one gets a chance to sit out in a balcony, breathe in the fresh air and feast one to well-pres­ented European food at the same time, it will undoubtedly be an experience worth remembering.

In the less-crowded area of Malcha Marg, this ambience is provided by Schengen – Deli–Bistro–Pub. Literally meaning a Eurpean visa.

Though the choice of cuisine might not be everyone’s take, Metrolife revels in the manner in which the ever-busy chef Piyush gets behind the kitchen counter to create dishes that are first consumed with the eyes.

The pale green railing stands in stark contrast to the blood-red scoops of watermelon that is blended with chunks of feta cheese and topped with crunchy pine nuts to create Water Melon, Feta, And Pine Nuts Salad. Served in a half water-melon shell, the main fruit is succulent and tastes even more luscious due to the honey-lemon dressing in which it is tossed. Truly refreshing on a hot summer day! 

The portion of Warm Tomato And Mozz­arella Stack is not too big and yet too tasty to be justified under the category of ‘Sharing Plates’. Moreover, the pre­s­ence of balsamic caviars on top add an element of molecular gastronomy to the alternating slices of warm tomato and fresh mozzarella, drizzled with pesto oil. The lavash (flatbread) wing balanced as a semi-circular bridge atop completes the look and lends crunch to the mushy layers beneath. It mig­ht appear a dish straight out of the Masterchef kitchen but for chef Piyush, it is just his way of creating a caprese salad.

Difficult to believe that such niche cuisine with extraordinarily plated dishes can be found in the heart of the city and one tries to throw a challenge by ordering a risotto – tricky dish to make. There isn’t much variety in sea food so Beetroot & Chicken Risotto becomes our choice and succeeds in the challenge. The pan seared pieces of chicken mingle with the well-cooked rice that oozes flavour of vegetarian stock. Without any shame, one can say that it is difficult to stop one from licking the plate dry.    

The mind thinks there can’t be a better dish and the Greek Style Lamb Keftedes from the recent Greek Festival menu prove us wrong. Though the red cabbage doesn’t make the dish look very appetising but a bite into the meat balls prepared after marinating lamb; one forgets what was better than this. For a lamb-lover, the rosemary plays its part nicely in uplifting the flavour of the otherwise dry lamb. In addition, chef Piyush adds a hint of tomato and olive relish to the red cabbage providing it with some sweet musings.  
A lot of sundried tomatoes are used in many a preparations here. Be it the risotto mentioned previously or the Prosciutto Di Parma Pizza, both prove the point. The sliced bacon in the latter is appreciable if the dominating presence of arugula leaves can be given a miss; though it’s extremely difficult to do so.      

The high-prices might not be hitch for the diplomatic clie­ntele that the place garn­ers. But to taste something like an average Hungarian Goulash would be too much at this price. The chicken pieces in the goulash don’t go well with the curry. This dish can be easily given a miss for a Greek Moussaka with layers of eggplant, potatoes and tenderloin mince making it a com­plete experience. Though this too is on the high-end, its taste makes up for its price.

Soon the lovely presentation makes a comeback in the form of desserts and Schengen Style Tiramisu wins all votes for its gooey coffee flavour. A spoonful of the same and the mouth relishes the sweet in the calm that surrounds everything.

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