Located in Navi Mumbai and founded by Chef Manoj Rai this cute restaurant has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. Placed about an hour and a half away from main Mumbai this restaurant serves as a great opportunity to take a leisurely drive and eat a nice Italian meal. The restaurant looks small from outside but is split over two levels and also has a mezzanine and is capable of seating 100 people. The restaurant is dimly lit and the interiors have a rustic charm. I particularly enjoyed the music which livened up the restaurant to a great extent.
We were welcomed with a basket of freshly baked bread served with a garlic dip. The bread was soft and made from ‘Farina Flour’ specially imported by the Chef for the preparation of fresh bread, soup sticks and pizza. The garlic dip was like a cross between salsa and green chutney. It didn’t compliment the bread but that didn’t bother me since i enjoyed the bread plain.
Chef Manoj is very particular about the ingredients used in his restaurant. He is a stickler for freshness and nothing can exemplify that better than the Sea Bass Carpaccio. Served chilled with olive oil, rocket,cherry tomatoes and a hit of lemon, this dish was fresh, well balanced in terms of flavour and light.
This was followed by the Pepperoni Pizza. Macchiato is known for its pizzas and this one lived up to the hype. Flavourful pepperoni, cheese and rocket atop a thin farina base, this pizza lived up to every promise it made.
My favourite dish on the menu was the ‘Fish Boreak’. Served on skewers with a delicious marinade, the texture of the fish will leave you begging for more. It is served with an aioli which you won’t even need to look at since the fish is gorgeous by itself.
We also had the parmesan crusted fish which was crisp on the top and soft on the inside. I found it a little bland and would choose the Boreak over it any day.
For mains we were served Mushroom Tortellini and Shrimp Agganolitti. The tortellini had a tasty filling and was served in a tomato based sauce.
The Shrimp Agganolitti came with a creamy saffron sauce and had a generous shrimp filling. Unfortunately the pasta in both these dishes was a little to thick making them doughy and partially uncooked.
The Agganolitti lacked the saffron flavour it promised and was extremely heavy.
This was followed by a Mushroom Risotto and Herb Crusted Red Snapper. The Mushroom Risotto although oily was packed with flavour and rich with mushroom and made up for the disappointment of the previous 2 dishes.
I found the snapper a little dry but when had with the aioli it was alright.
We had the Pina Colada and the Indian Summer Cooler to go with the food. I was intrigued by the shape of the glass and on speaking to Chef Manoj I learnt that he specially designed the glasses for his restaurant.
Chef Manoj is an extremely talkative man with a story to tell for almost everything. His attention to detail has made him a jack of all trades and has expanded his knowledge to such a great extent that he could teach you a 100 new things over a single meal.
To end our meal we had the Cheesecake and the Chocolate Fondant. The Cheesecake was soft, creamy and flavourful but a little grainy as well.
The true test of a Fondant is the cut test. If chocolate rushes out on cutting through the cake, the Fondant has passed the test and Chef Manoj nailed it. The Fondant was absolutely gorgeous, the meal couldn’t have ended better.
Overall , Macchiato is a fun place with some great dishes. The Fish Boreak and Mushroom Rissoto are my recommendations for this place.
Chef Manoj also organizes interactive classes and workshops over the weekends. If you’re looking to learn Italian cooking in Navi Mumbai then search no more!
Review Credit- Sanskaara Lalwani
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