Friday, 18 September 2015

Food Festival | Travertino: November and December Specials

Just as the The Oberoi, New Delhi completes 50 years of excellence in hospitality this month, there’s another great news for the iconic hotel. Today it has received the coveted National Tourism Award for Best 5 Star Deluxe Hotel in the country!

The hotel’s fine-dining Italian restaurant, Travertino, adds to the Golden Jubilee celebrations by offering a very attractively priced Celebrations Menu. And the new Chef de Cuisine, Vincenzo Di Tuoro, is all geared up to swoon guests with his beautifully plated creations.
Chef Vincenzo Di Tuoro
Not many of you may know that in keeping with the Oberoi Group’s emphasis on serving authentic cuisine, Travertino was made in consultation with The Hassler Hotel in Rome. Over the years, Hotel Hassler has assisted in recommending and placing the professional team at Travertino. In his career spanning over 20 years in renowned hotels around the world, Chef Vincenzo has also held the mantle of Chef de Cuisine at Il Palazzetto at the Hassler Hotel. What he brings to the table is attention to detail in creating each dish, while playing with colours, textures and flavours. And my meal is the perfect example to showcase all this.

Top: Grilled Kerala Jumbo Prawn.
Bottom: Parmesan Cheese Tortelli; Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass.

I know that raving about bread is hardly a highlight to start with. But when a ciabatta is so perfectly baked and served with a sundried tomato and roasted aubergine dip it just has to be mentioned. Then I am served the freshest burrata cheese crostini with cherry tomatoes. And the amuse bouche is so light and airy that is actually just disappears in the mouth!

The aesthetic ambience; beautiful bread; appetising amuse bouche.

Travertino clearly sticks to the fine-dining label; hence you will not find pizza on the menu. What you will find, however, are luscious soups, hand-rolled pastas, succulent grills and slow-cooked meats. Since I am invited for a food tasting, I request for small portions to be served. So don’t go by the serving sizes in my pictures, but do notice the plating of each dish. The Grilled Kerala Jumbo Prawns reveal a lovely charred flavour that is beautifully enhanced by the accompanying spiced pineapple, avocado salad and onion mustard dressing. Next up is the Parmesan Cheese Tortelli with parmesan consomm√© and fresh celery and sprinkled with tomato dust. This is Chef Vicenzo’s signature dish. “A dish should first impact the eyes - making the guest happy even before tasting it,” he says. You may not be able to tell from the image, but Chef has played with different textures even in this simple looking dish. The tortelli has a bite to it and gives way to a warm, liquid filling, and the celery sauce has a thick and creamy consistency. This dish is as tasty as it is appealing to the eye. And finally, a perfectly Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass is served with broccoli mash, pickled radish and warm red cabbage sauce. 

Travertino also offers an extensive Italian wine selection from the Enoteca wine cellar including classical wines such as Amarone, Chianti, Brunello, Super Tuscan and Barbera. But since I know that I will be getting my share of alcohol in the desserts, I happily skip the wine. The Tiramisu is light and hits the spot with the perfect balance between the mascarpone and the Kahlua soaked sponge fingers. While I usually come to a dead halt with a good tiramisu, I am very glad that I also try the Sgroppino Lemon Sorbet. It is a refreshing cocktail made with lemon sorbet, vodka and champagne and instantly gets added to my favourite list of desserts/beverages. 

Desserts: Sgroppino Lemon Sorbet; Tiramisu.

Of course, there's so much more up Chef Vincenzo's sleeve that one visit to Travertino is not enough. The festivities have just started. From 20th-30th November he will be offering rare Truffle specials that are guaranteed to make one swoon. And it may be wise for you to book your Christmas Eve well in advance, so that you can savour a delectable 5-course menu along with free flowing champagne.  

Travertino, The Oberoi, New Delhi, Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg
New Delhi - 110 003.
Ph: 9999104279.
Timings: Lunch 12.30pm to 2.45pm; Dinner 7.30pm to 11.30pm.