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SORRENTO

Certified with Golden Q certification from Ospitalita Italiana, Sorrento at Shangri-La's Eros Hotel New Delhi has a patio amid lush greenery, indoor seating with nooks and corners to ensure dining in peace, wine cellar and a busy open kitchen. So when I was invited for a five course luncheon curated by Chef Massimiliano Sperli, master of traditional Italian cuisine, I was thrilled. Before I go further I must state, "genuino" is the Italian word for genuine and you get the real deal when it comes to traditional Italian cuisine at Sorrento… it's what lures diners back time and again.

 

Coming to my review, having dined at Sorrento, I was looking forward to Chef Massimiliano Sperliz's tasting menu. Seated at our table next to the open kitchen, a glance at the menu revealed regional diversity, and at this point Chef introduced himself and noted our preferences. Luncheon began with antipasti — "Fried black cod in parsley and basil batter, mild spicy chard, fennel and orange zest salad, red capsicum and thyme sauce." The chef has black cod down to a science and if you like seafood as much I do, this off-the-hook fresh cod marinated in parsley and basil, is to die for. I loved its artistic presentation but what stood out was the subtle flavours and textures. Up next was freshly handmade pasta. The tortelli, packed with potato, beetroot sauté, steamed baby carrot and black truffle, accented with rosemary and celeriac sauce, was so fresh and palatable that even the fine ricotta couldn't boast bragging rights — simple enough that it let the filling shine, the tortelli was sumptuous comfort food and elicited murmurs of 'amore' with each forkful.

 

Time flew with our flutes of wine re-filled, amid conversation, camaraderie and ingredient-guessing blindfolded games, and then Chef sent out entrees — roasted lamb loin with grilled eryngii mushroom, black olives, ham sauté, red apple and thyme emulsion, black truffle, yellow beetroot, mascarpone cheese, dried prune quenelles, red onion, cooked grape compote. The presentation was Instagram-worthy and I whipped out my phone to capture the culinary moment before relishing each bite of the melt-in-the-mouth tender, full-flavoured seared meat. This was a showpiece entree that was meticulously prepared; the layered flavours and textures demonstrated Chef's mastery.

 

Luncheon ended on a sweet note with pre-dolce — I was too stuffed and satiated for dolce — Passionfruit pannacotta, white chocolate with cardamom sauce, and cold press extra virgin olive oil ice cream — the perfect dessert platter for a summer noon; also the perfect antidote for a full belly!! Reminiscing back to the luncheon, if you like Italian haute cuisine, you should go. There is much to appreciate at Sorrento.  Regulars are extended family here. The management is warm, welcoming and proficient, the chef is happy to meet diners and make thoughtful suggestions, and the dishes are insanely sumptuous. If all this sounds a little precious, well, that's because it is. Sorrento is a favorite haunt of discerning diners who murmur over the quality of the meat, vegetables and cheese. PS good news for vegetarians — the vegetarian menu proudly stands up to the non-veg best-sellers. In a nutshell — dining here is worth every penny!! I know I won't wait for a special occasion to return.

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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Sorrento, Shangri-La's Eros Hotel, Ashoka Road, New Delhi

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