Thursday, January 1, 2015

Celini - Grand Hyatt Kalina Mumbai

Senior Mrs. Stonethrower decided to take us out for dinner. She said that we should eat at Celini the Italian restaurant at the Grand Hyatt at Kalina. We have eaten there quite a few times in the past and have always had good meals. For some reason, I had never written about it.

The Grand Hyatt has some really top notch restaurants. In my view, the Grand Hyatt at Kalina and the ITC Grand Maratha at Sahar have the some of best restaurants in Mumbai. The China House and Celini are excellent and you all know our fondness for the excellent Dum Pukth and Peshawri at the ITC Grand Maratha at Sahar. These four restaurants are by far the finest of their type in Mumbai.

A table was booked at the Celini and as is our wont, before dinner it was time to wet our whistles. The bar at the Grand Hyatt is fairly pathetic. Totally without any character and devoid of any sort of atmosphere, it is really quite sad. Its location is rather awkward too. It is slap bang in the middle of the lobby and you have to walk past it to go to other restaurants in the Hotel. Pretty grim place. I had my customary Kingfisher, the cheapest alcoholic drink on any menu anywhere. HRH The Queen of Kutch had Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky. A fairly decent whisky, but, frankly, undeserving of the accolade `Worlds Best Single Malt’. Senior Mrs. Stonethrower had hot water with Lime and Honey as she had an itchy throat. I must say that this request was fulfilled with considerable charm and class by the staff. A Tea cup, a kettle of hot water, a small jar of honey and a bowl of Lime cheeks was brought. Well done.

Once the drinking was done we walked across the corridor to the Celini reception only to find that there was no reservation on their system. The restaurant was empty, so getting a table was no problem; however, not finding the reservation was disturbing and could have led to some ugliness. Once we were settled we told the waiter that all of us ate everything except cucumber which Senior Mrs. Stonethrower is allergic to. That relaxed the waiter.

Bread, a tomato sauce of some sort, olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar were brought to the table. The bread and the olive oil were really good. The tomato sauce was full of `masala’ so was abandoned.

For starters we got a selection of non vegetarian Antipasto which is a Celini signature dish. You got a healthy portion of some really good starters. The green sauce was Arugula Pesto, quite nice. The Antipasto was polished off. The Chicken on the extreme left of the plate was rubbish. The rest of the starters were really good.

From left to right: Chicken with a Mushroom sauce; Parma Ham with Cantaloupe; Grilled Tenderloin with Tonnato Sauce and Marinated Onion [center top]; Marinated Smoked Salmon, braised Lettuce, Salmon Roe and Lemon Chive Cream [Center bottom]; Fried Prawns; Grilled Tuna Arugula Pesto.

Now it was time for our main courses. Senior Mrs. Stonethrower ordered Pan Seared Chicken Scaloppini with Egg and Parmesan Batter with a Lemon Caper Sauce. This was served with Root Vegetables. She loved her dish. The Chicken was moist and the Lemon Butter Sauce was just right.

HRH The Queen of Kutch ordered a Diavolo Pizza which has Salami and Kalamata Olives. You have heard of the phrase – her eyes were bigger than her stomach. Well the Pizza was packed, taken home reheated and had for lunch the next day. Even reheated it was excellent. This was a real Pizza and not that ghastly abomination of a Pizza served at Indigo Deli which is so crisp that it shatters when eating. This one has a thin crust and great texture.

I quite like Schnitzels. On the menu was Pork Milanese which is simply a Schnitzel, served with an Arugula Salad with some Cherry Tomato and Parmesan. Just right. A crisp coating on the Port Loin a tangy fresh tasting Arugula Salad and pieces of salty Parmesan. I was happy.

Senior Mrs. Stonethrower wanted to have some dessert. We could not bear ordering the Gujju favorite Tiramisu, so after some scanning of the Dessert Menu we agreed on a Hazelnut Crème Brule. Excellent. The sugar on the top was freshly caramelized so it shattered like it should. The Crème was as it should be, cold, creamy, very smooth and silky and, intensely flavored. A fine end to a fine meal.

If you do want to have a decent Italian meal please do eat at the Celini. Prices are high as they are at any five star hotel, but, trust me, the food here is good. I believe they have so sort of discount if you eat lunch on weekdays. Do visit their website. I do not know if the lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu. 

Well worth visiting.


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