From fluffy buffalo mozzarella to fresh yellow cheddar, some cheese go just perfectly with the hot days of summer.
Overlooking Juhu beach in Mumbai, Novotel hotel’s classic Italian restaurant, Olio, is an instant hit with customers. And not just because of its enviable location. The majestic wood- fired oven here churns out an array of thin- crust pizzas while the chefs in the kitchen take special pride in their Italian experience plates. These delightful sharing plates come loaded with wild salmon kibbeh, fava beans and blue cheese hummous and pickled fruit salad.
“The menu at Olio seeks to reflect the classic flavours, tastes and textures of Italian cuisine. Meats, pizza, pasta and, of course cheese forms a sizeable chunk of the menu. However, we do also serve some unique dishes that use Italian ingredients and Mediterranean influences. These include dishes like a smoked salmon tabbouleh, meatball skewers served with olives and pearl onions, chicken and sweet potato empanadas, king fish steak with harrisa salsa and pork ribs with spicy carrot marmalade,” says Ranveer Brar, executive chef at Novotel Mumbai.
For cheese lovers in particular, Olio never fails to disappoint with its handpicked selection of authentic Italian cheese. “We use a lot of classic cheese such as mozzarella, bocconcini, parmesan, feta and cheddar in our cooking. Salads like greek and caprese feature cheese as one of its main ingredients. But customer’s can also enjoy slightly more offbeat cheese such as provolone ( both dolce and picante), chevre or pecorini ( both romano and sardo) at the restaurant. I would recommend the pickled watermelon and goat cheese salad. The watermelon is marinated in cider and rock salt and is served over crushed arugula and pine nuts. It’s really delicious,” adds Brar.
Burrata is another interesting cheese that can be tried at Olio. This fresh cheese from the Pugalia region in southern Italy is made from mozzarella and cream. While the outside is made from mozzarella cheese, the inside is a mix of cream and mozzarella. Thus giving the cheese a really soft and creamy finish. “The cheese has a really nice rich, buttery flavour and works well with crusty bread, fresh tomatoes and pasta dishes,” says Brar.
But if one single cheese is not enough for you, the quatro stagioni pizza at Olio is a must- try. This thincrust pizza is topped off with mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, parmesan, mushrooms, artichokes and parma ham. The pomodoro formaggio also comes with the same cheese but minus all the other toppings. “Our pizzas are one of the best- selling items on the menu. They are all made in- house from scratch. For those who enjoy strong cheeses and flavours I would certainly recommend they try the aglio e olio pizza as well. This comes with the crumbly blue Italian cheese, gorgonzola, along with some smoked ham, garlic and chilli,” says Brar.
So if cheese pizza and a hearty helping of luscious tiramisu, Olio is certainly the place to head to.