Amidst the welter of new restaurants where drama and hype reign over substance, arrives a remarkable newcomer Bella Cucina which offers exactly what others lack- avant garde fare in a beautiful ambience. Infact the 1st time I stepped into this place I knew this was a neat setting for a date night with hubby. His erratic schedules have been playing spoilsport and my love for Italian fare proved too tempting to wait for him. So I wafted here on my own on a lovely winter afternoon. The place was awash with sunlight and those huge leather armchairs add character and coziness to this restaurant.
It starts with an array of breads that arrive in a basket and each one of them tasted heavenly. Ditching my usual preference of minestrone, I opted for the fancy sounding Mushroom Cappucino instead which arrived with a side of Porcini brioche . The frothy, earthy soup was comforting, and set me in the mood for the easy relaxed long lunch to follow. For me the Caprese salad is generally a must have at any Italian Restaurant and Bella Cucina was no exception. What one gets here is an innovative take on this classic summer salad. 3 types of tomatoes,balsamic caviar and a stupendous version of the salad created with molecular gastronomy that imbibes all the flavours associated with this classic Italian delicacy, in a single bite.This was followed by the the Compressed Beetroot salad, that arrives on a funky plate. It's a vibrant mix of beets, sprightly baby arugula leaves, candied walnuts, all of which is sprinkled with some goat cheese snow . Every bite tantalizes the tongue with contrasting textures and flavours.
Bella proclaims to serve modern Italian and the Spinach risotto is a stellar example - and I am not just talking about its marvellous plating Chef Amit Kumar's creates a spinach risotto with burnt garlic inspired by his own childhood memoeries and the result- an impressive combination with indepth desi flavours that deliciously melt into a foreign avatar.There's more surprise in store when the humble kaddu undergoes a gourmet transformation resulting in a Pumpkin risotto spiked with pine nuts , cheese and some lemon adding just the right amount of zing to it. The only form of pasta I tried was the Gnocchi smothered in a a robust sauce , bristling with some fried kale. The Pizza Bianca won me over with its simple clean flavours-, this enormous Pizza is topped with thinly sliced potatoes seasoned with herbs -devoid of the overpowering Tomato sauce this one is a welcome change on the pizzascape in the city.
I finished off my gluttonous indulgence with the Espresso Coffee mousse that is served in a chocolate dome , and laced with raspberry coulis. Like everything else this one too has an element of drama in it and to witness that you need to visit Bella Cucina at the earliest.