July 19, 2019

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Here’s why Celini at Grand Hyatt Mumbai is a must-visit place for every person in search of authentic Italian food

WORDS YVONNE JACOB, PHOTOGRAPHY ROSHNI MANGHANI

IT WAS A PARTICULARLY GLOOMY day in Mumbai. The clouds tucked away weak rays of sunshine while a strong gust of wind swished around, almost warning us about the heavy spell of rain that was coming our way. Monsoon had finally arrived in the city of dreams! Upon our arrival at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, our gracious host, Soniya Paul welcomed us and so did a gentle drizzle. After exchanging pleasantries, we made our way to the restaurant. “Celini is inspired by different phases of the moon. Our interiors follow the same inspiration,” said Soniya as we walked over to our table. Take a minute to gaze around and you do start to notice the tiny details behind the interiors and how they all blend with a concept that's so well thought of.

My colleague, Roshni and I were introduced to Chef Alessandro Persico who told us all about himself and his love for food in under 3 minutes! That’s how much the gentleman from Italy knows where he comes from and what he has to offer to the culinary world. After talking to Alessandro, who was so passionate about simple flavours and authentic ingredients, we straightaway settled for the chef’s recommendations knowing we were in good hands.

We were in the middle of admiring the rain from where we were seated when one of the staff members courteously placed our entrée on the table. In front of us was a beautifully plated Beetroot Ravioli that looked pictureperfect and absolutely tempting! There was sweetness from the beetroot, creaminess and a sour taste of the goat cheese with a drizzle of salsa Verde that cut through and wrapped all these flavours with a burst of freshness. Chef Alessandro was keen on serving us his famous fish ravioli and to make the wait a little easier, meanwhile, we munched on some freshly baked Foccacia Bread with a tomato and aubergine dip. You might think of it as a simple dish, but the impact it had was immense. A few bites in and Chef Alessandro’s words flooded back to my mind, “It’s all about the simple flavours.” And that’s exactly what you get when you have a meal prepared by him.

Coming to the main course, our vegetarian in-house photographer, Roshni was served a plate of homemade mushroom ravioli in butter sage sauce. I, on the other hand, had the chef’s recommended squid ink capellini pasta with crab in saffron bisque sauce. The food was so indulgent and fulfilling that we drifted off into food haven! And believe it or not, we didn’t have space for dessert!

The food at Celini takes you on a different trip. You could close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting at a quaint Italian café and in a split second, come back to a very luxurious reality. Their flavours don’t just coat your mouth all at once like bad cough syrup. Instead, they blend harmoniously, marrying into something far more sumptuous. Happy with the service and overall experience, we left Grand Hyatt Mumbai with a plan to return for another visit!

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