Monday, August 25, 2008

Toscano


When I read a couple of reviews for this place, I thought this place would be give places like Bangalore Bistro and Sunny's a run for their money. But alas! This wasn't to be. At least, not yet. I went to this place on Saturday with a friend of mine and I've learnt a lesson: don't order dishes other than pasta here (for the main course), the quantity may dampen your spirits! But if you're the kind who doesn't mind a few things out of place, and can melt with the settings here, which are like any European cafe on the curb, with the cobbled curbs and chairs and tables lined up around the side walk, this place is a wonderful spot to be at.




Sadly, when we got there, we weren't attended to. We waited a full 2 or more minutes, standing and scanning the place for empty seats, before asking a waiter if we could occupy a table that was empty. Ok, weekend, they were a bit busy, but if you wanna be the best, act like the best. The complementary bread and dip was very fresh and was perfect. I ordered the mixed salad, while my friend had the soup of the day (spinach & garlic). While the soup was good (nothing special, but it tasted good), the mixed salad left me with mixed feelings. It was a little too green for my liking (I know, salad, but what the heck), and when the menu said it had goat cheese, I thought there would be more than just one 1 inch piece (see the top of the snap below left - the little whitish piece on top is the goat cheese, and that's all there was)! But no, that's all there was.

This place has a Rs 325 buffet that allows you to choose a started and a main course, and a Rs 400 buffet that allows you to select a starter, a main course and a dessert. We chose the latter. For main course, I had the roasted tenderloin,

while my friend had the chef's special pepper steak.

Now, I've watched a lot of Top Chef on AXN and know fine dining food portions when I see it. Although the dishes tasted very good (the tenderloin was tender and juicy and tasted amazing, while the pepper steak was, at best, quite good) the portions served were so small, my face shrunk to the size of the piece of meat served. I was disappointed that the tenderloin I ordered was the size of an ice hockey puck (give or take a little), and the steak my friend ordered looked a little deflated. We were forced to order another dish, which we shared. We ordered a pasta, a tagliatelle with chicken, mushrooms, olives and asparagus.

This not only had quality, it had quantity too. Hurray!!! Hence, order pasta if you want to be 'full', while those happy with a light lunch can settle for the non pasta dishes. Another slightly dissappointing thing was that the waiter never came on his own to fill our glasses with water; we had to specifically call him. Again, maybe 'coz the place was crowded and they were busy, but come on, that can't be an excuse.

Onto the desserts, and the mango pannacotta that I had was heavenly,

while the chocolate kahlua mousse my friend had was fabulous.

Both the desserts had fabulous presentations and we were almost heartbroken to put our forks into the dish and spoil their looks. Again, they tasted great. The pannacotta's mango flavour with the strawberry (my favourite combo) below was terrific, and the mousse had a slight 'kick' to it.

All in all, a nice birthday lunch with my friend Her Highness Energy (her initials are NRG, hence Energy, and it was her birthday, not mine).

Food: Nice
$$$: Moderately expensive, around 400-500 per head
Service: Decent
Verdict: I'd like the portions to have been a little bigger, especially the meat dishes. Pastas were decently sized. Presentation topped the charts.

Toscano, The Collection - UB City, Level II, Concord Block, 24, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore. Phone: 41738800

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