This new Nungambakkam cafe pays tribute to Italian cooking and gelatos
Tucked away in the shade of Khader Nawaz Khan road is Cafe Siciliano, the city’s newest diner which pays tribute to authentic Italian food and gelatos! "I studied in Europe and during my travels, I really took a liking to Italian food so I wanted to bring some of it back here to the people," says 23-year-old Coimbatore-born Abdullah Rafiq, who runs the restaurant. However, while the menu has all kinds of Italian classics like Arrabbiata and pizza, it also has American favourites like burgers and chicken fingers, among others.
With gelatos among their signatures on the menu, apart from the usual Continental fare, our eagerness was evident as we started with the frozen dessert first. The array of bowls with scoops of Vaniglia (Fresh Vanilla), Tarocco (Blood Orange) and Nera Vaniglia (Black Vanilla) ice creams come first. Made from fresh seasonal fruits, the ingredients are also sourced all the way from Sicily. We are impressed with the classic Vanilla and the edible carbon-flavoured version of the ice cream, however, it is the bright orange gelato, which piques our interest. Made from blood orange extract, the citrus flavour of the Sicilian fruit lingers on our palate longer than the others. We wash it with a sweet Blu Laguna, made from blue curacao and mint leaves.
After a sweet start, the Crostini trio platter gets us excited, for its sheer unique combinations — jalapeño and parmesan, salsa, almonds with blueberry, which are light and crunchy. While the cheesy jalapeños and salsa are refreshing, the sweet crostini on a bed of parmesan turns out to be quite an unusual yet sweet treat. Keeping ourselves busy, we munch on some crisp triangular garlic bread smeared with pesto, as we take a swig of Rosso Spritz, a green apple and cranberry cooler. The cheesy Arancini, which arrive next, are light on the belly, and ideal if you want to keep it simple, unless you opt for a comforting bowl of Pollo Penne Arrabiata, which has a tangy flavour from the tomato sauce after it is tossed with generous servings of chicken.
Are Italian meals ever complete without a pizza? Definitely not! Turns out the Turkey Ham Mascarpone pizza is justwhat we had in mind and we’re glad it is not Indianized in any way. . Unlike popularly served in India, the pizza has a crisp, thin crust and is loaded with ham, and peppers on a bed of the melted creamy cheese. With liquid nitrogen ice cream on their menu, we did not hesitate for another round of dessert as we relished a rich blueberry ice cream and a familiar Chennai betel blend scoop; a bite of the classic Waffle with Maple Syrup turned out to be the perfect end to our meal.
Meal for two is Rs 1,200 plus taxes.