This time, there was no truffle overload. That realisation came at the fag end of the meal, so clearly we didn't miss it. Carpaccio of sea bass. For someone who doesn't like fish, I am increasingly beginning to love the uncooked versions. After the sushi and sashmi, the carpaccio, if I keep getting these, will be my new favourite sea food cooking method. 'Cooked' with the acidity of the oranges, which adds a surprisingly nice flavour, along with the onions and almond flakes, this one is going to be hard to beat. The leek tart on a base of thick prawn soup with strong leek and seafood flavours was rather unique to my tastebuds, but one that the crisp parmesan added a brilliant crisp element to and ended up being loved.
The cheese course was my pick of the day. Three different cheeses, but instead of putting them on a plate with some nuts, the chef did the work by covering the cheese balls with different nuts, pistachio, almond and hazelnuts, and serving with with a little apple compote and a savoury tart. The tart was a little too chewy for my liking, though, but the gorgonzola smothered with hazelnuts with a little apple compote was a match made in heaven. Totally new to my tastebuds.
While Focaccia serves my favourite risotto in Chennai, the new menu's risotto didn't tick all boxes. Perfect al dente and yummy scallops aside, the risotto didn't have the flavour punch that I'm used to in this restaurant. The pasta course, more than made up for the risotto. A green pasta (I forget the name, starts with a C,) served on a base of thick beautiful sauce, the prawn fritters with its salty after taste lends a beautiful flavour to the pasta, complemented brilliantly by the sauce.
The beef, pink as ever in the centre, simply refused to stay long in the mouth. It melted away in the mouth leaving me wanting more. Beautiful fork potatoes and asparagus to add crunch, completes the main course.
The desserts looked deceptively simple. A tri-coloured cake and little white dessert, can't be much, right? Wrong. The cake had a layers of mint and chocolate between two meringue layers. Taking a full bite with the fork gives you some chewiness along with the tried and tested chocolate and mint flavours. The second dessert, with apple, vanilla and chocolate custard and a cookie base, you had to dig deep to get the best of it.
So there we go. Lots of new stuff to try. Chef is back from a break and is as fresh as ever and is bringing new Italian stuff to Chennai. Is there a better Italian restaurant in Chennai!?!
Focaccia is the Italian restaurant at Hyatt Regency, Chennai.