Hyatt’s specialty Italian restaurant unveils a new menu fronted by a new Chef.
It’s more than a happy coincidence when you meet two Italian Chefs in two days at different restaurants who are almost united in their food philosophy. First it was Chef Alessandro Bechini at Prego and now Mauro Ferrari who has just donned the chef’s hat at Focaccia. I lean towards Italian restaurants that are informal, and feel closer to a home with a warm and gracious host. Focaccia has that vibe especially with a Chef like Ferrari who likes to keep things simple and focus on earthy, wholesome flavours.
He’s quite proud of his Milanese roots but the restaurant has room for dishes from all over Italy. Do start your meal with his exceptional burrata served in baked onions; it’s not just visually appealing but bursts with flavours like many of the other dishes on the menu. Its this emphasis on earthy flavours that transforms even fairly mundane dishes like a Minestrone soup. Chef Ferrari was mighty keen to showcase his favourite dish on the menu – beef cheeks served on a bed of saffron risotto. It’s easy to understand why. No, the beef hasn’t traveled from the other end of the world, but is being sourced locally like most other ingredients at Focaccia. Cheers to that.
The Beetroot risotto has a clever touch – arborio rice makes way for barley, and tastes almost just as delicious. Focaccia’s alcohol-free tiramisu didn’t make a big impression, it either needs liqueur or a more generous coffee infusion to hit the right notes. The menu is not short on dessert options though. It’s comforting to know that Focaccia’s kithcen is in great hands.
Focaccia is at the Hyatt Regency, Chennai, 365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai. Phone: (044) 6100-1234. Meal for 2: Rs 3,000/-