Momo Cafe is to Hinjewadi what the Taj Mahal Palace is to India – a first jewel in the crown. Hinjewadi was sorely lacking an upscale hotel/resto property till The Courtyard came a knockin’ and boy have they been on a roll since!
The latest feather in their hat is the five day Italian Fest they’ve launched, starring MasterChef Christian Huber of the Alto Vino fame. It’s on till this Sunday (21st January 2018) so if you’re anywhere around Hinjewadi and are anything into Italian, this buffet dinner is a must-visit and it costs a very fair ₹1149+taxes for what’s on offer.
The hotel lobby, restaurant, service is up to Marriott standards as you’d expect – a big A for ambience #PunIntended
Once in, smartly dressed stewards serve what’s curated by Chef Christian himself, specifically for the Italian Festival.
The Bonanza starts with –
Pizza Margherita. Because. Italy.
And also Bassa (thin crust). Because. Italy.
A proper thin-crust pizza, the basil supplementing the light sauce every so slightly.
Next in line was Artichoke with caramelized onions –
Slightly sweet and slightly sour artichoke (an edible European flower); the sweetness of the caramelized onions balanced by the sourness of the artichokes (likely cooked in vinegar) – another classic Italian recipe.
The Panzanella Salad followed –
A delicate balance of essentially Tuscan flavors with none being overpowering. The occasional crouton that supplemented the preparation with it’s texture could’ve been a tad smaller IMO but played it’s part really well. Traditionally, this preparation uses stale bread but Marriott obviously won’t! 🙂
We were in for some succulent Chicken in Tuna sauce next.
If you’re in the mood for really fragrant tuna sauce, this one’s halfway there – obviously mellowed down to suit the Indian palate. A rather creamy preparation through and through, the chicken melting in your mouth and the tuna sauce adding a sweet, herby angle to it. As an hors d’oeuvre, it was pretty neat, actually. As a meal – probably not!
Prawns in tomato cream sauce came next –
I mean, fresh, crunchy prawns in a tomato cream sauce! An absolute burst of flavors if you bite them whole, and I recommend you bite them whole!
Aaaaand then they serve some more Prawns!
The Fritto Misto di Mare was basically flour dusted prawns, deep fried. No bull. Just good old prawns, super fresh, deep fried. Mandatorily paired with the Garlic Aioli to pair perfect texture with perfect flavors. A favourite across the table.
Entrées involved a classic penne pasta alla vodka
Why Vodka? The chef left before I could ask. Sorry! While the sauce was creamy, tangy and sharp enough from the parmesan, there was no sign of the vodka. Perhaps the chef quietly finished it off before it could make it to the pasta! 😉
And to finish the meal, a classic Panna Cotta –
Because. Viva L’Italia.
There were mixed reactions on this across the table about this, but I retain that the flavors were just about mild enough. It was Creamy, gooey and as you can clearly see- super pretty.
After all this I neither had the courage not any appetite left for any more desserts but there was also Tiramisu and Zuppa Inglese on offer. Some of us dared to venture into the dessert section and happy to say, they weren’t disappointed.
All in all a great place to spend ₹1149+taxes on quality food after hours if you’re about. Or not.
Food – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Ambience – 4/5 (Ignite is better!)
And enough reason to head to the fest while it’s on!