Bella Cucina at the Le Meridien, Gurugram, puts a twist on tradition to create an ambience that delights the senses and presents Italian cuisine in a brand new light.
– Bella Cucina at The Meridien, Gurugram, redenes Italian fare.
All cuisines that have managed to make the transition from the country of their origin and on to a global platform have, at one point or another, been prisoners of preconceived notions. These perceptions stem, of course, from a general lack of awareness about the complexities of cooking and an overall tendency to lump everything into huge generalised brackets.
So, if the average encapsulation of Chinese food begins and ends with noodles, for Italian it is pretty much pizza and pasta and never mind the glorious gastronomical tradition that makes Italian cuisine one of the most loved fares across the world.
Bella Cucina, at Le Meridien, Gurugram, is working extremely hard to change these perceptions and the process starts with the ambience. Nestled amidst the lush green Aravalis, 94-cover restaurant boasts a wonderful view of the Meridien’s swimming pool on one side and the walls on
other, are decorated with vintage artworks. These include Paresh Maity’s spectacular Ghats of Benaras and are a worthy representation of the feted artist’s massive reputation.
The entrance, grand without being overly imposing, is made of hand-cut sandstone and was several months in the making and the ooring is Travertine marble. Here we feel compelled to add a parenthesis to explain that Travertine marble is the same stone favoured by a certain Michaelangelo
for Saint Peter’s Basilica, one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the world.
None of this would amount to much however, if the spread were not the highest order possible. The people behind Bella Cucina understand this well and have red up their culinary skills with loads of imagination to ensure that the menu combines the classic and the contemporary to offer a taste of Italy that lingers long after you walked out the door and onto the long and winding road ahead.
“In today’s ever evolving culinary arena we chose to open Bella Cucina with the understanding that the market was well and ready to receive a product such as this,” says David Hopcroft, Bella Cucina’s General Manager. “Traditional Italian cuisine is something that hasn’t been well presented too often and with the demand for restaurants that are true to origin and avour, on rise we knew our new venture would be nothing short of a thumping success.”
While tradition is denitely at a premium here, there is a twist on it which speaks extremely well to the sensibilities of the young gourmet. Molecular gastronomy, for instance, isn’t just tossed around like an epithet but lives up to the very essence of the term. So a delectable compressed beetroot might be accompanied by spray of goat cheese snow and tomatoes might just transform into jelly right before your very eyes.
This sensory treat is the brainchild of Chef Amit Kumar who believes in creating Instagram-friendly dishes. “Bella Cucina for me, is the result of journey through my years of being a chef and understanding the Italian culture from its very roots. The celebration of aspects such as the basic understanding of ingredients, simplicity of avour and striking the important balance between traditional modern culinary practices is what has brought this dream to life. Gone are the days of secret recipes and chefs running the show in the backdrop,” says the young Amit who presides over a kitchen where the average age is 25.
In fact, it is perhaps its youthfulness that gives Bella Cucina its unique identity. That does not mean to say it is not a ne-dining restaurant. It most certainly is with all the accoutrements that dene a premium eating out experience rmly in place. But there is zest to the place that keeps it young and fun. It is the sort of place where exclusive wines co-exist with a regular rum and cola in blissful harmony.
Dhinender Kandpal, or DK as he is almost universally known as, is the manager at Bella Cucina and he is responsible for handpicking beverages and lining up a curated list which he feels is one-of-a-kind.
Bella Cucina has a very visual vibe to it. Not just in terms of the view you enjoy or the open kitchen where, to quote Amit, you can see “the making of a dish” but also in the fact that everything on the menu features an exciting interplay of colours. It heightens the senses and elevates the dining experience.
The sort of place where you can eat your cake and click it too.