-By Rashmi Uday Singh
Three kitchens (La Piazza, Kebabeque, Zen) along with three separate menus set a tasty tempo of this bi-level restaurant in the jostling courtyard of Cuffe Parade's World Trade Centre. First, there is lovely Lucknavi fare (Nalli Nihari's silkiness and succulence seduces as easily as Kakori Kebab and Bazaari Chicken Kebab). Second, many new varieties of pizza, including the Capricorn Pizza for kids with American Corn as well as the Veggie Lover's Pizza, welcome you. Pizza Flamboyante, Chicken and Pepper Pizza and Hot Chilli Onion Pizza are the exciting new additions (all 9" with whole-wheat base on request). Pesto Veggie Pizza has a wheat base, topped with Pesto Sauce, loads of veggies, lettuce and arugula leaves, making it more of a (filling) salad with Wheat Bread rather than a pizza. Another Flamboyante innovation is the Kebabeque Pizza topped with cheese and your favourite veg or non-veg kebab. Adventurous new additions on the Zen menu include Asparagus and Cream Cheese Sushi, Vegetable Ura Maki, Shiitake Dim Sums and the highlight - Singapore Street Food Specials like Singapore Chicken with Brown Rice (live), Wok-grilled Basa Fish Chunks, Crispy Tenderloin, Diced Aubergine and Silken Tofu in Hot Garlic Sauce, Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake, Asparagus 'n' Lettuce and BBQ Pork Spare Ribs. Bypass the dim sum (thick skins), Tenderloin Onion Chilli (abundance of onion) and Mezze Platter (lacklustre). "Greenlite" Zen menu includes healthier ingredients like Soba Noodles, Brown Rice, Rice Oil and Tofu. Steaming, slow-roasting and wok-grilling preparations are all available on request. Generously portioned, Tiramisu and Baked Cheesecake are both delicious. A guitarist serenades you as you sip on your wine in their tasting room and sniff around in the bakery. Seductive lighting at night and the cool breeze of the late evening may draw you to the busy courtyard, but be prepared for a noisy space and slow service. There is a charm and certain buoyancy to this place that calls you to return. P.S. A unique interactive Sunday Buffet Lunch here - they don't lay out a buffet, they keep serving you small plates of whatever you want, from the various menus. Rs. 1,250 without alcohol and Rs. 1,450 with alcohol. rnNote: They offer plenty of entertainment here: Wed - keyboard player; Tue and Sun - guitarist; Fri - duo on a keyboard and a guitar. DJ 7pm to 1.30am everyday.
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