Review: Cafe Casa Mia–Italian at heart

Casa Mia’ which means “my house” in Italian is an Italian restaurant which may well be worth making your home!

A step out of the usual western line, is one restaurant that makes the central line and R-Mall in particular worth a visit. Catch a movie at Big Cinema’s latest movie multiplex but do not have a single bite of those ‘big offers’ if you really want to dissect your palate on some mind crunching Italian delicacies.

The huge glass doors with one that forms the entrance to a three part restaurant welcomes you into a cafe with off course, …coffee and books while the second part seats you in a Mediterranean diner from where you can see a lounge with a bar tucked in the corner.SchoolPizzaMartini glass

While the Cafe gives you a pedestrian sit out feel with a view to passers-by peering into the warm yellow inside, your coffee can keep you engrossed in the Italian culinary section or the reference books that are housed in the magazine rack.

”, says that he started Casa Mia with authentic Italian cuisine that Italians would find sourced out of an Italian la casa. However, the Indians are overwhelming; when it comes to exerting their alimentary influence and Casa Mia now serves Italian cuisine which has increased Indian patronage.

The wine list also took a turn from the docks to Nasik, albeit, not withstanding home grown vineyards are favoured over the commercial brands.  The lounge also houses rock bands to events that involve young artists entertaining the rest-o-folk on event days.

DSC_0316Casa Mia has a young and energetic design combined with culinary class all brought together next to Reliance Big Cinema on the 3rd floor of R-City Mall. The logo is colourful and a perfect blend, pretty much similar to how the flavours of the food are blended in Italian, Mediterranean and a few pickings from world cuisine. Gianfrancesco tells me his Indian wife helped design the place through her design experiences at London, which explains the amount of interest in the warmth you feel in this place which tells you to Eat, Drink and chill!

For starters, you might just pick the Cajun chicken if you like your masala toppings, else you could dig into a ‘Prawn Tempura’ to taste the Japanese perfection in the blade of herb manifestation. I chose a Wasabi prawns that was all prawn sans wasabi! Sad smile A starter is to apprise you of taste and not the meal. Casa Mia starters can do just that, choose carefully or take the suggestion of the young waiters.

213

Check the table pop-ups for the ‘days special’ and offers, trust me they are specially made for this day. You can never go wrong with a ‘ or a ‘pizza’ that comes out a specially imported Italian pizza oven.

Gian loves his mozzarella and la casa cheese is always the best cheese. So sink your teeth into anything that hoists up on cheese and you will not be disappointed.

4

Pastas, lasagnes or just plain stuffed capsicum can make you wonder what you did without Casa Mia!

5

Whatever you choose Casa Mia has their makings of flavour that will give you a craving for italian cuisine. While Gian spent a lot of time with us explaining how he started Casa Mia and kept its change in line with customer delight, I found his musings truthfully Italian at heart. We even pulled a few italiano jokes on him but he was a true sport. Do not miss his dessert specials cause they may not be authentically Italian but definitely prove this Cafe’s culinary prowess.

6

Casa Mia is not highly priced and ensures that a meal can be had within a movie goers budget. There is hardly a need for reservation on a week day, however a weekend may find you exploring R-City Mall to the last movie at the Cinema.


Michelin Star – What is the difference?

What is so special about a Michelin star chef? The cook at the local restaurant can cook without being rated by a Michelin Star! Read on to know if they really need to be marked or the star is just a media bubble.

So what is so different? Is it about small quantity and high prices, names in European lingua? Is it about the ambience or the presentation of food? All these questions get answered when one has the privilege to taste the food created and I repeat ‘created’ by chef Igor Macchio.

 
 Igor Macchio is a chef who runs an eatery in Italy called “La Credenza”. Chef Igor has been rated with a single Michelin Star which means that La Credenza is the best in its category of food creators of Italian food. This also means that Chef Igor caters to anonymous inspectors about 6 times a year and successfully assures them that his title of Michelin star is the basis of subjective and critical acclaim.
 
If not in Italy where can one taste the best Italian cuisine from a Michelin star chef?
 
VetroThe Oberoi (Left on the lobby) has a round door, which I thought was unique and confusing for a new visitor; because the glass and wooden door is completely spotless. Vetro means “glass” in Italian personifying its allegiance.

The restaurant is designed to exploit natural lighting using a curtain of coloured glass. The interior designer obviously made a killing on creating lines of glass holders and filled them with randomly coloured glass (probably left over from a previous job) which lacks imagination. I would not speak much of the décor, as it only reminds me of the lounges in an international airport. However, there is a little corner that contains a wine library and wine tasting table that is perfect for a group session adorned with some of the finest Italian wines.

I walked straight into the clean and organized kitchen where Chef Igor was in the process of creating a lamb marinated in Xanata coffee and served with sweet corn sauce garnished with cress. If you can digest the real name for the dish, “Agnello marinato al caffe’ con ragu’ di mais dolce e germogli lamb marinated in coffee, sweet corn ragout and aromatic cress.”

The Italians speak with their hands and work their mouth on every word rounding off the ends with precision and Chef Igor did the same with “scho-cho-laat’se” and “baat-saar”. It is quite a fresh breath listening and watching the chef make a complicated recipe sound like a tomato toast. While the presentation is a la 5 star complimenting the real test has always been the taste. So we sat in the Vetro over a glass of divine white wine while the chef explained the veg dish; pumpkin ravioli created in amaretti milk known in Italian as, “Ravioli di zucca con schiuma agli amaretti e pesto homemade pumpkin ravioli, pesto and amaretti milk foam.”

The taste of melting pumpkin ravioli is so different from the ingredients in solitary albeit precatory, cuts your interest in the world around you while you digest each sense on your face. Some of the recipes are more than 24 hours in preparation time to serve up quarter of a plate of mind watering taste, aroma and experience. For instance the fine risotto topped with a swirl of anchovies.

The staff at the Vetro comprehends Italian cuisine and aspire to learn more. They work in the background interacting with you in the most subtle manner to make sure that you need not lift hand or open mouth for service. The air-conditioning keeps you comfortable shielding the sun’s heat rays.

The Mumbai based Nariman Point restaurant has all the requirements that an Italian restaurant may require. A perfect destination for Chef Igor through his world tour promoting his piedmont style promising cuisine of exceptional quality. Chef Igor does not use garlic unlike most Italian chefs and yet has a clear understanding of why certain things are done the way they are. He explains, “We always puts the dra-ssing on the top and the sauce at the bot-tom as the garnish may lose frashn-ass as the sauce may bees hotz!” The whole process of cooking is about precise measurements and precise ingredients and combinations, to make sure that food is tasted in perspective of the right combination.

I believe that such hard work and precision can only come with substantial skill and experience and deserves a star rating which is done with equal diligence. Vetro is worth a visit not just by Michelin Star chefs but also Italian savouring audience. Are you one of them?