Looking for the food angel to satiate your palate? Mumbai's Serafina is the place to be
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: December 12, 2012
Looking for the food angel to satiate your palate? Mumbai’s Serafina is the place to be
There are angels who make you fall in love, and there are angels who inspire, and then there is Serafina which is said to be the angel in heaven welcoming everyone regardless of race or religion. Serafina Mumbai, part of the iconic Serafina Restaurant Group, that already has New York and several other places (Sao Paolo, Moscow and Tokyo to name a few) eating out of their palms, has just opened doors to India.
Specializing in its signature Northern Italian cuisine fused with calm atmosphere, this restaurant is the baby of owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato and from the looks of it, is certain to strike a note with many.
Come one, come all
Serafina Mumbai’s interior was shaped by Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato to cater to gourmands who like to tuck into authentic cuisines and delight their taste buds. Designed to welcome everyone with an open floor seating plan, the restaurant is in the heart of the city, but maintains the casual comfort and essence of the Serafina brand. Almost immediately the well-lit and cosy interiors make one feel at home. Standing out is the café area, which reminds one of charming street cafes in Italy, demarked by a prominent wine rack. An open pizza station completes the look of the place and the pizzas are to die for we hear.
Whether it is unwinding with friends or uniting with family, the scene and setting of the place is malleable. Keeping with the Serafina tradition, the walls are covered with artist Michela Martello’s original hand painted artworks created by her especially for the Mumbai outpost. The frescos are an amalgamation of the etymological meaning of Serafina, which means a winged angel, and the flaming sun interspersed with a plethora of ingredients that symbolize Northern Italian cuisine. Verdict? The wall murals from Martello teamed with the warm vibe earns an approving nod.
The well stocked bar has a comprehensive wine list featuring quite a selection from Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Australia and the US, including “not-to-be-missed” Super Tuscans, choicest Champagne and more. Serafina Mumbai also offers an interesting cocktail menu with delectable martinis, margaritas and a wide array of international spirits that are sure to take the entire dining experience up a notch. Try the Mandarin Mojito and Curry Leaf Martini which are true to both, their names and alcohol potency. Other options include a Strawberry Basil Martini, Coconut and Pineapple Martini and a Mexican Mojito amongst others.
Food that is delizioso!
With a menu that boasts of authentic Northern Italian appetizers, salads, pastas and pizzas, freshness of the ingredients is key as with most restaurants today. Start with savoury items such as Bufaline con Pomodori (buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil) and Carpaccio di Filetto Con Salsa di Tartufi Neri (thin sliced prime filet mignon with warm black truffle sauce and boiled potatoes) that came highly recommended and effortlessly outdid the proposal by our waiter. Watch out for the buffalo mozzarella though. It could have been softer. Even the juiciness of the tomatoes couldn’t rectify that. The Zuppa Del Giorno, which was actually their ‘soup of the day’, was Minestrone, but can be given a miss because the vegetables were overcooked and the pasta was chewy.
Popular salads include Arugula E Filetto “a Serafina signature”, but the Serafina Chicken Salad seemed more tempting, and an apt choice for avid chicken lovers. The strong basil flavour overpowers other elements of the salad, but it is a must have for the perfectly cooked chicken, and the ideal crunch in every bite.
Homemade pastas, also available gluten free and in whole wheat, are various and quite traditional. Do keep in mind that the pastas come “al dente”. So in case you like it well done (like most of us do) make sure you inform your waiter. The Ravioli Al Tartufo Nero (homemade black truffle ravioli with a touch of butter) was the highlight of the evening. Perfectly cooked and brimming to the top with taste, the black truffle in the ravioli will make your mouth water for more.
The Spaghetti in Tomato and Cream Sauce was a personal concoction and surprisingly just like what we wished for with every specification taken care of. A let down was the Gnocchi Di Mamma which was lacking flavour and salt to say the least. The usual punch in tomato gravies was missing and didn’t do much to please the taste buds. Non-vegetarians can go for the Ravioli Degli Innamoratti (heart shaped lobster ravioli in a lobster bisque sauce), which was aromatic and flavourful, though the pasta did get a little chewy for my companion’s taste (because it was al dente). The Jumbo Shrimps Cognac was absolutely fresh, juicy and to everyone’s glee, was cooked just the right amount. A perfect combination, the shrimps were complemented by the cognac risotto which even a vegetarian will helplessly dig into.
The Il Cestino (Herbed Focaccia) as an accompaniment was bursting with flavour and was crispy and fresh. The Ligure Focaccia with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, prosciutto di parma and basil is a non-vegetarian lovers’ delight and is hands down the best focaccia in the city! The mashed potatoes and rosemary potatoes are also delicious accompaniments, but not for people who are watching their weight, being quite rich in butter!
Known for its thin crust pizza, Serafina Mumbai serves over 24 pizza varieties, ranging from the classics such as Marinara and Margherita, to the very sophisticated, featuring rare ingredients, such as Tartufo Nero with robiola cheese, fontina, truffle cheese, truffle oil and sliced black truffles. Simply delizioso!
Their menu doesn’t end at this. Sugar chasers, have the Torta Di Ciocalata, a chocolate lover’s delight paired with vanilla ice cream. For Chocolate Mousse lovers, Serafina does a lovely and fluffy version, which will satiate without filling you up.
Wanting to open more locations in India, Assaf and Granato realise the potential that these untapped culinary delights have. Joining other gourmands in the city, we await the next chapter from the Serafina group!
Coordinates: Level 3, Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Reservations: +91-22- 40237712