Fine dining is primarily focused on the use of high quality ingredients and the chefs’ creativity in compiling a sumptuous menu with elements of trending technics. I am certain many restaurants deliver that, but Rivea trumps them all because it delivers all of that with wonderful ambiance and legendary “Taj” service.
A sense of luxury engulfs you enter “Rivea”. The décor is chic, modernistic with a hint of bling, all set amidst generously spaced seating arrangements. The grand chandeliers, artistic play of lights, part reflective, part stark white ceilings and contrasting earthy tapestry create a very powerful impact. Add the open kitchen with its wood fired oven and you know you are in the right place.
As a foodie I’d generally skip the complementary bread basket, but here, I’d suggest you try the grissini, focaccia and (can’t recollect the name) the light, fluffy, crusty brown mini slices with olive tapenade and sundried tomato sauce.
We started with the Wild Mushroom Soup.
(Porcino mushrooms deep fried, truffle oil and lecithin aided parmesan foam)
OMG! What a deeply satisfying, rustic soup with an element of molecular gastronomy. A heavenly medley, of truffle oil, fried porcini mushrooms and parmesan foam. Rustic, wholesome, delightful deep earthy flavor with musky aroma, good weight, and velvety texture with bursts of intense parmesan flavor.
For the Appetizer we ordered the Glazed Asparagus.
(Poached eggs, pan seared mushrooms, “well done” char grilled asparagus without the hollandaise and parmigiano)
Perfectly poached eggs, it was a joy to see the yolk spread over the mushrooms and asparagus. The mixed mushrooms were fleshy and succulent. The well done charred asparagus albeit on the slender side were fresh, tasty and smoky. It was a culmination of simple ingredients, flavors and textures without any overpowering overtures.
Moving on to the Pizzas, there was no way I wouldn’t order a Quattro Formaggi.
Asked for the chef and requested him to customize a bit. Part Blue cheese (preferably Gorgonzola if not either a Roquefort or Stilton), part smoked aged Cheddar, part Mozzarella and part Goat cheese).
Never mind the calories; I’d still do it again and again. Oh the texture and the flavor, it is to die for.
The second Pizza was Rivea, (grilled eggplants, olives, mushrooms, smoked cheese and basil). Timid and very uninteresting after the Quattro Fomaggi or maybe I am just biased.
The chef suggested the Pasta, “Orecchiette” informing us that it was the house specialty.
(Sun dried tomatoes, chanterelle (wild funnel shaped mushrooms) in spiced cream)
The Orecchiette (small ear shaped pasta) paired extremely well with the chanterelle in spiced cream sauce. Unfortunately the pasta was a bit over cooked but the spiced cream sauce was so sumptuous that it covered for the chef’s blunder. It was akin to having anorexic gnocchi in a mind blowing sauce.
Finally the deserts:
Mascarpone and chocolate (Martini mascarpone with Valronha chocolate) and De-constructed Tiramisu (Expresso jelly with savolardi biscuit, pate de fruit, granite & chocolate brush).
Superlative presentation, great flavors and decent portions.
Personally I preferred the De-constructed Tiramisu, complex compilation, loads of different flavors and textures on a single plate.
Absolutely divine food!
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