Italian restaurant Alba’s new menu focuses on locally sourced produce
One of the distinct features of Italian restaurant, Alba’s new menu is a focus on locally-grown vegetables, herbs and greens. But it’s not just any farm whose produce finds its way to their pantry. Think organic farms and small scale farmers, who grow rare ingredients like asparagus, heirloom tomatoes and arugula. “Why would I pay through my nose for imported ingredients when I can get the same for a fraction of the cost from within the country,” says Chef de Cuisine at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru, Mohammed Eliyaz, when we visit for a tasting of his new offerings.
As we settle down at a quiet corner table, we are first served the Baby Beets Buratta Salad. Presented with a ruby peach coulis and hydroponic lettuce, we enjoy the creaminess of the cheese procured from the famous Father Michael) paired with the subtly sweet coulis and earthy beetroot. The second course, almost like a palate cleanser, is a refreshing serving of soup — Seasonal Melon, Mango Gazpacho. The cold soup could easily be mistaken for a well-balanced dessert — the sweet mango making a beautiful combination with basil granita, basil foam and shavings of salty ricotta.
We then move on to a generous helping of Red Snapper Risotto. Creamy and thick, this dish smacks of flavours from the sea and we can’t help but finish off every last bite. The snapper is perfectly cooked and dollops of sheep cheese gel add to the richness of this indulgent plate of comfort food. Tortelloni Chicken Mousse is a fine balance of earthy, nutty and umami notes, thanks to the perfectly seasoned chicken mousse filling, beet-infused tortelloni casing, barlotti beans, succulent oyster mushrooms, and mushroom veloute. For mains, we sample the Thyme Roasted Sea Bass. Topped with black olives fresh tomatato and capers, the fish is served with celeriac and green pea mash. The contrasting flavours come together coherently for a plate that is a must-try.
Our dessert course sees us tucking into the Beets and Goat Cheese Sorbet and Asparagus Panna Cotta. Both quite offbeat, we are pleasantly surprised by the savoury notes in the former, while the panna cotta impresses us with its subtle sweetness and smooth, velvety texture. Every dish makes a lasting impression and with the chef’s dedication to fresh locally sourced ingredients, we’re sure the new menu will find favour with those who are discerning fans of Italian food.
Rs.4,000++ for two. At JW Marriott, Vittal Mallya Road