I remember reading somewhere that Italian food is ranked best in the world. Now I’m not sure if that’s true but to me it definitely ranks number one. No cuisine is as simple, fresh, and widespread as Italian cuisine. The quality of ingredients is the foundation of Italian cuisine and its simplicity is what lets the produce and ingredients shine.
The Mezzo Mezzo at the JW Marriott is hosting a special spring menu from May 20 to June 5 and we lucky ones were invited to be a part of it. After battling an hour in traffic I finally managed to get to get there and was immediately impressed by the special attention Chef Matteo himself bestowed on us. He sat us down and explained his spring menu which basically consisted of the freshest of ingredients sourced all the way from local suppliers in Italy. So why ‘spring on your plate’, we ask Chef Matteo? To which he aptly responds – “to welcome the flavours of spring in Italy and to bring to Mumbai the local food culture.” Emulsifying with the seasonal harvest of fresh vegetables, aromatic fresh herbs, blossoms and edible flowers, he promised us each bite would take us down the memory lane of beautiful Italy… and that was a promise he indeed did keep!
Chef started us off with a Sicilian style marinated red prawns (the prawns are imported every week from Canada) with an orange and fennel salad and caper scented ricotta. The prawns were marinated just the right amount and tasted fresh, succulent and juicy.
“Spring on your plate” – well, literally! This was an all veg-dish that represented all things spring. Zucchini flowers, baby carrots, pumpkin, asparagus, and edible flowers were plated so artistically that it brought alive the colors of a spring garden. Chef Matteo really stands out with his presentation of all dishes – immaculate, colourful, artistic, and entertaining, like his roasted bell pepper and globe artichokes with rucola pesto for instance.
Meat lovers will love the Culatello premium ham with light mustard dressing and home-made marinated goat cheese. Chef explained that the Culatello is a slowly cured boneless ham made from the choicest muscle of the pig’s rump. Apparently it’s considered the pinnacle of Italy’s artisanal food culture. Five stars from my side for the presentation of this dish as well.
I wasn’t so much of a fan of the octopus & cuttlefish ink with home-made tagliolini and fresh globe artichokes probably cos the smell of the ink hit my senses before the food touched the table. The flavour was too strong and deep for my liking. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the dish minus the ink it came in.
Chef Matteo is someone who keeps surprising you with one dish after the other and we were spoilt for choice with the many food offerings and had to eventually request him to stop lest our stomachs burst with food and joy. But then he said that one magic word “dessert” and well who can resist Dessert. Up came a sinful indulgence of all things lemony – lemon in different flavors and textures from a lemon tart to lemongrass flavoured sauce. Next up, a heavenly combination of Amarena cherry, ricotta and hazelnut cake, amarena sauce and mascarpone cream. No guesses but we managed to polish every crumb of this divine gooey goodness off our plates.
So what’s my verdict?
Definitely, a yes! You don’t have to travel all the way to Italy to experience the country’s fine cuisine as Mezzo Mezzo romances the regions of Italian cuisine right on your plate. If you’d like to experience the freshest of all ingredients in a simple dish put together with exquisite detail and care, the Spring Menu is a definite must-try.
Where : JW Marriott
Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049
Phone : 022 6693 3000