Thanks to Mr.P I started blogging and because of that I have been invited for blogger meets in Mumbai. I’m thoroughly enjoying meeting people who share a great passion for food. And thanks to @ChandiT I got invited to the blogger meet at Mia Cucina, Powai. I have always been a fan of Mia Cucina and was really sad when I heard that they shut their Versova outlet. So when Chandi invited me, I immediately accepted and was ready to head out to Powai!
I must say that the trip from Goregaon to Powai is not that easy in a rickshaw and the terrible heat that Mumbai is currently experiencing is making it even more difficult. But food was calling and I had to be there! Completely parched I entered Mia Cucina and my…was I impressed. It is way bigger than the other outlets (Bandra and the one that was at Versova) with a huge, well stocked open bar right in the centre of the restaurant and tables all around it. The earthy décor with its old world charm added through the rows of bottles at the entrance, an ice box with Gold Spot written on it (remember Gold Spot!!??), old clocks and also a large vintage collection of dancing couple in decanters. I was impressed with the ambience and it truly imparted a comfortable cozy vibe.
We had a nice chat with the Chef and Owner Sanjay Kotian. He spoke to us about how he learnt all about cooking and the restaurant business through his experience while working for a catering business in Houston, Texas which served Italian food and how he turned his passion for food and a dream of owning a restaurant into “Mia Cucina”.
Sanjay recommended what we should try from their cucina and we were so not disappointed. The round of drinks included a kiwi mint martini, orange and rosemary martini, few beers, non-alcoholic black soda and this was followed by a caipiroska and tangy blush. Out of these the orange with rosemary stood out for me in terms of the light rosemary hit at the end of the sip but I feel it could have done better with a bit more of a spirit punch! The kiwi mint martini was also refreshing but a tad bit sweet for me and same for the tangy blush. As far as the black soda goes, a fellow blogger guessed that it will taste similar to kala khatta and it did…refreshing but still it was just kala kalakhatta.
Along with the drinks we hogged on the gorgeous warm bread basket and herb butter. Sanjay informed that they bake their own bread and also make their own herb butter. A perfect way to start the meal I say!
It was time for Antipasti!! Bombil fritto was up first..it was basically small pieces of Bombay duck crumb coated and fried. It was nice and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly cooked, moist, melt in the mouth piece of fish on the inside. This was served with a tomato garlic sauce which was light but I feel it needed a bit more zing.
Next came the Bruschetta Pollo con Olivata (chicken – olive pesto and mozzarella bruschetta). They were plated really well in a line, like soldiers in attention, with a gleaming drizzle of balsamic reduction. The bruschetta was nice with a perfect crunch from the bread and a well balanced topping. We did question whether the use of mozzarella was authentically Italian but Sanjay didn’t hesitate in saying that it is an American influence and also that it caters to the Indian palate.
Appetizers were wiped off in a few minutes and we were waiting for the pizzas to arrive. First came the Prosciutto e rucola (italian ham, rocket leaves, mozzarella). Looked picture perfect! The drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked pepper and I was a happy diner!! The crust was light and crisp only on the edges, sauce light and not overpowering the star of the pizza – the Proscuitto.
And then Quattro formaggi (mozzarella, gorgonzola, pecorino + parmesan pizza). I wasn’t sold but I wasn’t too disappointed either. Despite the four cheeses it wasn’t heavy on my appetite.
Now was the turn for the Mains!! I’ve had a few bad experiences with polenta so we decided, that would be a nice test. And Mia Cucina did fare well. We called for Pollo al vino rosso e polenta (chicken braised in red wine with polenta + veggies). The chicken was perfectly cooked and moist with rich flavors from the wine and caramelized onions. The rich red wine braised chicken was really well balanced with the perfectly seasoned and not synthetic tasting polenta. Also the roasted veggies had a nice bite to it which helped the texture of the dish.
The chicken was followed by gnocchi e pesto (potato dumplings in sundried tomato pesto sauce) which had a really nice, bit tangy sauce but the gnocchi was a bit springy. The inside texture of the gnocchi was nice and smooth but on the outside the springiness was pretty noticeable.
And now Dolci!!! *drum roll please*
We all excitedly headed towards the dessert counter and started saying “I want this!” and “I want that”.
We picked white cheesecake, almond chocolate cheesecake, tiramisu and chocolate and pear tart. The white cheesecake was my favorite. Perfectly light, not too sweet but unfortunately it had a soggy crust. But I could look past that because the cake on its whole was yum! The almond chocolate cheesecake was a bit too rich for me but the roasted almonds on the top just added a lot of flavor. Sanjay had already informed us that the tiramisu they make uses brandy instead of marsala but that was not the issue I had with the tiramisu. The problem was that the mascarpone cream was too little to help balance out the flavors. But still a fellow blogger was in love with it and even without any of us realising he gulped it! The chocolate and pear tart was too chocolaty and that dominated the pear flavor. I’d give that a skip but would surely go for the cheesecakes again!
Yes again! I’d make a trip to this beautiful restaurant, because even though we didn’t try the pasta (which they also make inhouse) I have had them so many times at their other outlets and I’m in love with them! Really well fed and seriously pampered with great hospitality we took off and headed back on our long journey back home…
Psst…Sanjay did inform that the Versova outlet will soon be converted into a Mexican place! That’s good news right!?!