Azzurro may be Italian for “light blue color of the sky” but for me it is quite simply an oasis. An escape from the cacophony of horns and brakes, an escape from the concrete jungle we live in.
Navigate through the still developing areas of Nande-Balewadi, drive on under-construction roads where street lights are still being installed – basically go to the outskirts of the town [or the end of the world, as the first impression may be] and when you feel Google Maps too has gotten confused and you begin to tinker with the idea that you may actually be lost; you sight upon a welcome sight of a brightly lit humongous space like an oasis in the dessert.
PS: The area and the roads are not that bad, this is only an articulation of my initial thoughts as we navigated to the place. It is located on Google Maps and the road, while partially under-construction in some sections, is pretty straightforward. 😊
Azzurro is a huge place, well lit and inviting with ample parking in front of and next to it. The seating is all outdoors in a ‘U’ shape with a warehouse sized unit nestled in the fold. Ample seating spanning cabanas and leather-bound couches and chairs in the two-tone blue and white scheme, typical of Greek or Italian designs – is capable of seating about 1000 customers!
Recently I was called over for sampling some new dishes they plan on introducing on their menu and here is my detailed experience.
Considering my dietary restrictions, I requested for a cocktail sans sugar and the bartender immediately suggested the Blue Moon Martini. Made using vodka and blue curacao, it was a potent and delicious drink that tasted amazing even without sugar. #YumYum
|Blue Moon Martini|
The Broccoli Florets as well as the Tandoori Mushrooms retained their earthy juiciness, thereby ensuring the dishes don’t go dry. The char on both the broccoli and mushrooms added a wonderful tinge of bitterness to the taste.
The Murgh Chakundari had chicken chunks marinated in beetroot juices for the unique blood red color. The beetroot also enhanced the flavors of the dish which went well with the beetroot and mint chutneys. #YumYum
The Malwani Fish Kurav Jatra used the ubiquitous Basa however the preparation was on-point. Soft and tender cooked fish with a crunchy coating, this dish was a sheer delight. #HighlyRecommended
|Malwani Fish Kurav Jatra|
The Paneer Shaslik had soft and creamy pieces of paneer clubbed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and grilled on skewers. While the masala was well prepared and generously applied to the dish, it was a standard dish made well. Likewise, Azzurro Special Paneer too had well cooked paneer chunks but the dish overall lacked flavors.
|Azzurro Special Paneer|
The Mango Basil Prawns was a lesson in preparation and presentation. Reasonably sized prawns, cooked to perfection in a Madras curry sauce and garnished with black olives and cherry tomatoes had a mango and passionfruit dip as an accompaniment. The sweet-sour dip provided a perfect foil to the curry marinade on the prawns. Dunk the prawn in the shot glass full of dip and you’re instantly teleported to food heaven. #YumYum #HighlyRecommended
|Mango Basil Prawns|
The Banno ke Kebab is a special dish listed on the menu. Stuffed chicken bites marinated with chili paste and yogurt with combination of Indian spices and charcoal baked, it takes a little time to prepare and plate up. While the overall flavors were pretty good, the chicken mince however, was a tad overcooked hence dry.
|Banno ke Kebab|
The Cottage Cheese Steak with Pilaf had layered cottage cheese chunks in Cajun marinade and served with vegetables and buttered pilaf. The marinade had permeated the paneer, thereby imparting flavors throughout the dish. Well made, this one ticked all the right boxes.
|Cottage Cheese Steak with Pilaf|
The Pot Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes looked gorgeous on the plate. Unfortunately looks turned out deceptive. The chicken itself was overcooked and dry while the potato mash was soft but felt grainy and coagulated. It just needed a little butter to bring it together.
|Pot Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes|
I have always been a fan of Kerala cuisine, especially their ghee roast dishes. So upon chancing the Ghee Roast Mutton on the menu, I immediately requested for a portion. My olfactory senses immediately intimated me to the imminent arrival of the dish on the table thanks to the amazing aromas wafting from it. Cooked perfectly, the mutton was so ‘tinder’, we swiped right immediately. One of the better preparations of this dish I have had in recent times. #DeliciousDelicious
|Ghee Roast Mutton|
The Pan Seared Tequila Chicken had chicken chunks marinated and pan seared in a tequila sauce and placed upon a bed of potato mash with additional cream sauce on the bottom which too featured tequila. The combination of the chicken and mash with a coating of the sauce was quiet literally a burst of flavors with a strong undercurrent of the alcohol. #YumYum
|Pan Seared Tequila Chicken|
Served in a wide mouth cocktail glass, the Baked Pulashka had baked apple slices drenched in Rum and Bailey’s and topped with a meringue of whipped cream and egg whites. A flavorsome dessert, it also posed a pretty picture.
Apart from the ample seating, Azzurro also houses an indoor lounge with psychedelic art on the walls, which belts out popular numbers, giving patrons yet another option for their evenings.
Offering something for everyone, from youngsters looking to dance the night away to couples enjoying a romantic evening together to families wanting a comfortable and relaxing experience to groups of friends seeking a pleasurable evening and night, Azzurro should be on everyone’s booked marked list of places. While the sheer distance from civilization may feel like a deterrent, that very fact translates the place into an experience which is liberating and freeing from all nuisances and restrictions.
|The bloggers for the evening|
Azzurro is also playing host to the Sunburn Official Afterdark party. You can call in for guestlist – 9370564079 / 95791 48363.
This blog is a narrative of my experience at the event. These are my views that I have expressed in the blog. Others are most welcome to agree or disagree with the same.
The blog is not personally or commercially influenced. I have not lifted, copied or plagiarized it from any source either. However, I have done my due diligence via publicly available information on the internet and as shared by the client/PR agency.
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