Visit Sorrento at Shangri-Laâ€™sâ€“Eros Hotel for honest Italian food in an evocative setting that takes you back to your European holiday, writesÂ Kanika Dhawan
A brightÂ blue Vespa with a basket of cheery, white daisies greets us at Sorrentoâ€™s entrance. As we walk in, a DJ is busy mixing music on his computer at Grappa, the iconic hotel bar furnished with leather furniture. Even though heâ€™s an unlikely person to spot at an upscale Italian restaurant, he fits in pretty well. Thatâ€™s the beauty of Sorrento. Itâ€™s a high-end restaurant sans a snob quotient. The waiters are unpretentious and yet well-informed about both, food and wine. Our server, Priyesh effortlessly pronounces â€œbruschettaâ€ and â€œbourgogneâ€.
With Italian chef, Luigi Ferraro from Calabria, Italyâ€™s southern-most â€œtoeâ€ that launches Sicily into the Tyrrhenian Sea, and executive chef Neeraj Tyagi, who set up Sevilla at The Claridges, at its helm, Sorrento is a lovely Italian restaurant coupled with great Indian hospitality. With decades of culinary experience, Chef Ferraro draws on his native roots to create traditional and authentic Italian dishes with creative flair such as artisinal pasta, Neapolitan delicacies and slow-cooked family-style specialities.
We settle down in the restaurant with its textured white brick walls and wood panels to enjoy our meal. Our
first course is tomato bruschetta from the cicchetti (Venetian for small plates) menu and beautifully-plated Mozzarella on Wheels (a salad of local, hand-crafted buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, Neapolitan basil and extra virgin olive oil) from the salumeria or deli section. Itâ€™s fresh and flavourful and pairs well with a light Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir that has subtle notes of clove and mushroom with soft, ripe cherry and raspberry flavours. Sorrentoâ€™s wine cellar boasts of more than 180 labels, Priyesh informs us with pride. Next up is the aged Parmesan Ravioli. The dish is a cheese loverâ€™s heaven and yet it is delicate and light. â€œThis is a style of cooking synonymous with Naples,â€ says Chef Tyagi while referring to the restaurantâ€™s namesake, Sorrento, a coastal town overlooking the Bay of Naples in the southwestern region of Italy.
The next course of Truffle Mushroom Risotto and Pizza Primavera is superlative. The former is subtly scented with truffle oil, while the latter is a thin-crust wonder with vegetables. We teamed this with a nicely chilled Piccini Memoro Vino Bianco, a white blend of Viognier and Chardonnay, with pleasant aromas of vanilla cream, pear, spiced apple and apricot.
Finally, as we dig into our dessert â€“ a deconstructed Tiramisu with coffee gelÃ©e and bits of almond biscuit, we nod our heads in awe and approval. Chef Luigi and his merry men make magic in Sorrentoâ€™s open kitchen.
It feels like Italy. Oh yes it does!
Shangri-La Eros Hotel,
19 Ashoka Road
T 011 4119 1919