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Tuscany

Tusacany in Trident Hyderabad has been one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The chic and simplistic setting of an Italian household coupled with the dim lighting makes it a beautiful place dine in. The one constant that I really like about Tuscany is that they keep reinventing themselves through their food. With the new Summer Menu, I might just label it as one their best menus yet. And all of this based on just a few dishes that I had.

We began our dinner with a Smoked Chicken and Rucola Salad, which believe me is as simple as it sounds. The beauty of the salad lies in the saffron and cheese spheres which had been nonchalantly arranged on the salad. As a salad, it was just the fresh greens and the smoked chicken, but you gotta burst the spheres to let the sauce flow in. The subtlety of the saffron wraps over the entire salad and gives it a whole different texture.

Smoked Chicken and Rucola Salad

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Next up was my favorite Carrot and Fennel Soup. Never have I had a soup so refreshing and summery. A cold soup, the soup is served with Orange Sorbet and an almond biscotti. I was literally scraping every last portion from the bottom of the bowl of the wonderful soup.

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Up until now the dinner had been all about freshness and truly light. This changed with the main course. A Lemon and Thyme Fettuccini with homemade pasta was a delight made over with cream, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. Alongside on my plate was a Risotto Milanese. Just like any Masterchef show out there, I too believe that the Risotto of an Italian restaurant can make or break the place. I’ve had quite a lot of mushy ones in my time but never at Tuscany. The risotto at Tuscany is perfection and a couple of spoons and you’re set. Again the dash of saffron provides it a burst of flavor in the Risotto Milanese with smoked salmon and fried calamari.

Lemon and Thyme Fettuccini

Pasta

Chef Praful has been a wonder with the desserts. Whilst just written as Panacotta on the menu, I sure knew to expect something exquisite. Sure enough he delivered with the cold mango layer between the slices of Panacotta. The plating was a work of art with two Panacottas with the other being Blueberry with the vanilla crumble giving it the crunch factor. It was a marriage of soft and crunch whilst not overpowering with sweetness.

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The new Summer menu at Tuscany is superbly crafted and one worth visiting for. Take your partner out or indulge yourself for a quiet meal. The food by Tuscany shall not leave you disappointed.

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Lasagne, Ravioli, Pasta are gastronomical one dish meals. Everybody loves lasagna. Whether it’s veggie, meat filled, or stuffed with eggplant, you know you’re getting the delicious combination of tomato sauce, cheese, and pasta. Tuscany at Trident have recently started their Delizioso Lasagna festival. Chef Manik and team have taken on inspirations to bring out a different take on the lasagna. The soulful one pot meal was transferred from its humble elements to give it a restaurant level Trident-twist. For the invite, we were given six different dishes to try. Each more unique than the other.

To start with, we had the Bolognaise and Roast vegetables from “The World of Classics” section. Usually the Bolognaise that I have had in Italy is layers of pasta with beef ragout layered within lasagna sheets. We were served a similar version with tenderloin cooked with parmesan and rosemary. I loved the meaty flavor of the Bolognaise. Roast vegetables with the basil is also a lovely dish from the classic section. These can be perfect comforting meals along with a glass of wine.  For the vegetarian, the other worth dish was also worth trying is the Spinach and Ricotta with a slight hint of nutmeg. The layering with Parmesan sauce adds the perfect harmony to the lasagna.

Trident Lasagna Promotion (4)

We moved around to the next section which was “Around the world”. The Timballo is a baked pasta/rice and veg/meat version of the lasagna. The mushroom lasagna that we were served had a rich flavor of the mushroom and Parmesan cheese sauce. The rice mixed actually fills you up. A generous portion of the cheese sauce on top makes this dish heavenly. Pastelon, a Caribbean take on the lasagna hasn’t been on top of my list. The plantains can overpower the taste of the dish on the sweeter side although can be beautifully made with beef or red meat. The chicken, raisin, plaintain combination didn’t do much for our palate but this is definitely a unique dish worth trying.

As we coursed through the menu, the Chef’s take on the Lasagna or the Trident twist followed. The Chefs have worked with different flavors for this section and we loved both the dishes served. The Crisp and Fresh was more like the deconstructed version. Fried pasta sheets served with fresh Roma tomatoes, saffron cheese sauce and a drizzle of pesto was the perfect combination. The flavor of the lasagna could be felt with every bite. Our second favorite of the day was the open faced sous vide pork belly. The pork had been cooked beautifully.

Trident Lasagna Promotion (3)

The Delizioso Lasagna is a unique fest centered around on one of the classiest dishes of Italian cuisine. It’s an amazing effort by the Chefs at Trident Hyderabad to be showcasing on all flavors centered around a single dish.

Trident Lasagna Promotion (2)

 

Note: The portion sizes in the pictures are of a set tasting menu. The proportions served on order are of much larger size.

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Mushrooms are complex ingredients. It can take over an entire dish by itself and also complement another ingredient when paired perfectly. Can you imagine an entire restaurant menus designed around mushrooms. That the beauty of the ‘shrooms we looked forward tonight.

Mushrooms is one of those ingredients that you can either hate it or love it. During my teens, I hated the mushrooms cooked in tomato based curry at home. But with time, the earthiness and complexities of mushroom soon started to wow me. I remember falling in love with it when I was first served a mushroom risotto in one of the restaurants back then. It was then that I started experimenting with different varieties of mushrooms. I think Tuscany at Trident decided to create a gastronomical experience and create ‘Fiesta Fungi’ festival around different types of mushrooms brought in freshly from Thailand.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (1)

We’ve loved the creative gastronomical delights that Chef Manik Magotra brings in with these food festivals. Its an intricate palate journey that he takes us through each time. With the Fungi Fiesta at Tuscany at Trident Hyderabad, he showcases different mushrooms like Porcini, Oysters, White Fungus, Morels and of course the Truffles. Each course is about a pairing and give the mushrooms a dish to shine through.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (9)

Our introduction to the world of mushrooms started with a foamy Wild Mushroom Cappuccino with delicate espresso foam. Creamy and subtle wild mushroom flavor provided a perfect start to our meal. The body of the Mushroom Capuccino is brought out strongly by the button mushrooms but you can still distinguish the morels and shitakes in each sip. The espresso isn’t quite strong to, with the chef quite understanding the balance between the two.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (8)

Next on the menu was the appetizers of assorted Crumb Fried Button and Chocolate Mushrooms served with saffron cream, pepper coulis and balsamic reduction. Balancing the flavors of the mushrooms and taking it to the next level is the chocolate coated mushrooms served at the center of this exclusive plating. I’ve got to admit the level of detail that went into the Chocolate Mushrooms. With both Chocolate and Mushrooms being ‘umami’ flavors, they were married perfectly with a pinch of sea salt.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (11)

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (10)

The Oriental Crust Pizza was served with fresh galangal, white fungi and fresh selection of seafood ranging from squids, prawns and salmon. This was quite an interesting take on a pizza that I honestly couldn’t imagine the different flavors together. The freshness of the seafood and the galangal actually let the mushrooms shine through and the pairing working brilliantly.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (2)

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (12)

Capturing the European flavors on the menu was the Salmon Ravioli with shitake mushrooms and served with fresh dill cream and capers. The capers jus was a standout with complex flavors that just did it for me. The jus so beautifully brought the whole dish together with fresh dill cream and weight of the shitake mushrooms holding it all together. Finishing off our main course was the Portobello Mushroom Risotto beautifully done with sundried tomatoes and mascarpone cheese. The sundried tomatoes balanced the rich creamy mushroom flavor and can be devoured without any guilt.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (3)

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (5)

The dessert was where things got a little interesting with the Truffle Oil Ice-Cream. The goal was to have mushrooms play a significant role in each course and it had been achieved in the desserts section as well. Getting a white truffle oil ice cream perfect is quite tricky because the measurements have to be perfect. I remember Chef Heston Blumenthal had put it rightly that there are two rules to remember. The more fat in the ice cream, the longer it takes for the flavor to emerge. Likewise, the more fat there is, the longer the flavor lingers. This was decadent end with the Truffle Oil Ice-Cream and the chocolate Mud Pie.

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (7)

Fungi Fiesta At Trident (6)

The Fungi Fiesta is on at Tuscany, Trident Hyderabad from the 18th-28th of August 2016 for dinner.

 

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The reasons to miss the beautiful city of Paris are inexplicable. From the quaint coffee shops lining the streets to baguettes, artisanal coffee and fresh hot croissants. Now to add a bit of rustic to the finesse of the French with Italian and we get the perfect marriage of French meets Italian. An old world meets the new, freshness meets desserts and Rome meets Paris. It almost as if the Eiffel Tower found a place right next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, food-wise. That’s how monumentally huge I’d describe the “Rome Meets Paris” festival at Tuscany, Trident Hyderabad.

To rephrase my steps back before delving into the intricacies of the festival is to take a trip down memory lane. For us our visit to Paris was a rip filled with desserts. Sure there is no feeling in the world which can beat the simple bite of a chocolate bar while watching the sunset over the Eiffel, but the Italian countryside has it’s equal share of memories. For a country which has a varied cuisine demarcation from the Alps in the North to the Mediterranean in the South, it shows tremendously in all of the Italian flavors.

Rome Meets Paris At Tuscany

The city of Hyderabad doesn’t have any full fledged restaurants showcasing the simplicity and yet complex finesse of both the cuisines. This is where the “Rome Meets Paris” comes as breath of fresh air to the dining scene in the city. We had the chance to preview some of the dishes of the festival and all I can say is ‘Wow’

We began with the Salads or the insalate, an Italian would say if I had him/her at my table. The Panzanella, a Tuscan style salad made of stale breads, tomatoes, onions with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar and we had a beautiful, healthy dish to start off with. The Panzanella is a very summery dish with all the freshness that it packs setting the tone for the other dishes for the night to follow. The Salad Nicoise for me was a highlight. The tuna had been seared to near perfection with a delicious pink in the center with the nicoise olives, anchovies and vinaigrette providing the touch of sourness needed to balance out the salad.

Panzanella

The Chilled Vichyssoise along with the Salad Nicoise were the highlights of the night for me. The classic French Potato and Leek soup had been given a chilled twist. Instead of snuggling into bed with the potato and leek soup that we are so accustomed to, we had a restaurant makeover of it.

Nicoise Salad

One of the dishes that’s recognized all round the world as quintessentially French is the Coq au Vin. Literally translating to “rooster in wine”, it had renowned Chef Jamie Oliver stating it as his best dish ever. The Coq au vin traces it’s origin back to ancient Italy making it the perfect dish that marries the two cuisines together. The one at Trident was a beautiful chicken on bone, braised in red wine served with a side of herb rice.

Coq au Vin

 

Desserts is where Trident Hyderabad has always played to it’s strengths. The Paris Brest was exquisite with the praline cream in between the magnificently made choux pastry and topped off with exotic fruits. I really liked the bit of nougat in between as you cut through the layers to get the surprise element. The best part about the Paris Brest is that it leaves you with lingering memories of your dinner at Tuscany as a perfect end to the meal. The Cassata was delectable layered with candied nuts fruits and nuts and covered entirely in almond marzipan.

Paris Brest

The Rome Meets Paris is an elegantly crafted menu that isn’t just serving the dishes of the two cuisines but putting forward a love story of both on a plate. It’s almost with a je ne sais quoi (Yes, I did learn French for a couple of months) feeling that I walked out after the dinner at Tuscany that night.

The Food Festival is on from 20th June to 3rd July 2016 at Tuscany, Trident Hyderabad for dinner.

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