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Italian in Greater Noida

RAHUL VERMA
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FOOD SPOT Pasta with black truffle, chicken flavoured with rosemary, pizza topped with taleggio… for RAHUL VERMA it was a perfect summer meal

The last time I went to Greater Noida was a while ago, when a friend bought a flat there. I like the roads to Greater Noida — they make the kilometres vanish in seconds. Still, I had no plans of going back there again too soon. But then I hadn't foreseen the persistent calls on my mobile, inviting me to visit a new hotel there. Just to give my phone some rest, I said yes.

Well, that's not the only reason I agreed to visit Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort. I wanted to have a look at, and a taste of, their Italian restaurant, La Brezza. I love Italian food at all times, but especially so in the summer. Nothing quite beats a bowl of light pasta tossed in olive oil, with bits of garlic and chilli flakes.

Hotels — concrete buildings in the middle of concrete jungles — are usually eyesores. But this property is quite pleasant to look at; the sprawling two-storey structure faces the green of a golf course. The restaurant is understatedly chic, with glass walls highlighting the sense of light and space. La Brezza, with its open kitchen, is one of the nine F&B outfits in the resort.

I'd gone a bit reluctantly, but had such a lovely meal there that I won't mind going back. I enjoyed my interactions with executive chef Shivanand Kain and restaurant chef Gomez. Chefs generally let their food do all the talking and tend not to prattle. But I had a stimulating conversation with Chef Kain about many food experiences, including the sad decline of regional cuisine in restaurants.

The food, when it came course by course to my table, was most impressive. I had asked for small portions and they honoured that, but it was still a huge nine-course tasting menu. And because I like my steaks, they had even presented me with a delicious rare-medium steak that was as juicy as it was delicious.

The Italian menu was well-balanced and had everything from fowl and meat to fish and vegetables. The dishes I liked the most were the arancine (crispy risotto balls with fontina cheese and black truffles) and the spiedini di polo (rosemary flavoured corn-fed chicken kebabs). I love the flavour of chicken in rosemary, and the chefs had infused the right aroma into the meat. The arugula salad, with rocket leaves, pine nuts, avocados and pine hearts, was delicious, as was the flat tagliatelle pasta infused with black truffles. I enjoyed the pizza too, which was different from many of the special thin-crusted pizzas I have eaten in Italian restaurants over the years. This was topped with pancetta, thyme, taleggio cheese and lemon-dressed rocket leaves.

There were a lot of other dishes, and I took a spoonful or two of the very robust soup — cooked with beans and seasonal vegetables, topped with country bread and cheese and then oven baked — and a forkful of an incredibly light sea bass.

I was invited, so I only have a vague idea of the costs. Most dishes were in the Rs.800 to 900 range. I am told that two people can have a meal for Rs.2,500.

If you like your Italian, you should try this place out. It's molto bueno!

Illustration : Tony Smith

Chefs generally let their food do all the talking

and tend not to prattle. But I had a stimulating conversation with

Chef Kain about

many food experiences

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