Upon entering Fio Cookhouse, at the Epicuria mall, for a Sunday brunch one cannot escape feeling like they would on entering a friend’s meticulously arranged Mediterranean themed garden for a long relaxed meal. The loud crowded Nehru Place is lost behind the surrounding flora and all that remains is a large room with comfortable furniture, soothing decor and a bar. It is almost ideal for relieving you of the week long stress your work put you through.
The brunch, laid out in a sunny corner, shows a variety stretching from the European country side to street food of Delhi. Starting with salads, you can chose from an assortment of chesses, fresh vegetables, smoked salmon, mushrooms tart and breads. The salad mixer mixes it to your taste. We advise you to eat with leisure, sipping slowly on the wine or cocktails included in the buffet. Moving on one finds stews cooked from native Italian recipes but with a twist added by Chef Ravindra Choudhary. "The entire meal is inspired from Mediterranean recipes, but with a twist to please the Indian palate," he says. The chicken with caramelised onions and the lamb stew were both distinctively flavorful and the meat perfectly tender. Coming to the Indian side of the buffet, the biryani was an aromatic explosion. And the rest of the dishes like Mutton korma, Murgh vindalo and Amritsari maa ki dal were reminiscent of the best you have ever had.
Moving to the outside of the restaurant, the sunny porch has a live pasta and eggs stall and in another corner the Italian grill roasts out chicken, fish and prawns. Though the grilled fish was a little underwhelming after the range of delicious food done to perfection, the red sauce spaghetti with basil, on the other hand was appropriately aromatic and tangy. Twisting the sauce for the Indian palate was the hint of Indian spices added by the chef. There are also pizzas available for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians and the staff is kind enough to serve you slices if the whole of it would seem too much.
Keeping the best for the last, though we were tempted to interpose our meal with these little colourful delicacies, arranged in a beckoning manner, on a table opposite to the brunch buffet, were the desserts. The table shows a mix of Indian and European desserts, among them are some crowd pleasers like gajar ka halwa, dark chocolate brownies and caramel custard and some more complex preparations like tiramisu, milli feuilli cheese cake with pistachio and Banana caramelised mousse. The tiramisu, our personal favorite, was as tastefully presented as it was flavorful.
The large, high sealed dining area is decorated by items collected by owner Vineet Wadhwa over his travels in the Mediterranean region, especially Italy. This place is Wadhwa’s second property after the popular Fio country Kitchen in the Garden of five senses.