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A brand new menu focusing on the regional food of Southern Italy

A trip to Tuscany was not on the cards for me right now but a trip to MA�venpick Hotel & Spa to taste some of chef Armandoa��s Tuscan food at their Tuscany Food Festival was. Tuscan food is known for the simple fresh flavours of its local produce as well as its breads, olive oils and wine, so we were confident to let the chef choose our menu for the evening.

We started with a warm salad of fresh mushrooms, shiitake and porcini, layered between thin pieces of bread which was light and very flavourful and a marinated prawn salad full of a tangy citrusy flavour. This was washed down with a lovely light Valpocella wine. Next came Papa al Pomodoro, a thick, fresh tomato soup seasoned with fresh basil with pieces of Tuscan bread in it. Almost a meal in itself, it was perfect for a Bangalore night with a bit of chill in the air.

For the mains I had fish, a nice John Dory wrapped in parma ham served on a base of creamy spinach with a balsamic dressing. I liked the contrast of the salty, slightly crisp ham against the smooth texture of the perfectly cooked fish. Creamed spinach was an excellent accompaniment to the dish. My companion had chicken breast stuffed with fontel cheese and slow-roasted tomatoes with creamy mash and rosemary sauce. The cheese and tomato filling gave a robust rustic flavour to the chicken and was complimented by the rosemary sauce. A Sangiovese red went perfectly with our dishes.

Dessert was zuccotto, a sinfully delicious chilled cake made with generous pours of brandy.
Rs1,800 ++ for two. At Gokula Extension. Details: 43001000
a��Frances Rao