I was recently invited to Tuscany,the signature Italian restaurant at Trident Hyderabad, to experience select delights from its new menu. Trident’s Executive Chef Manik Mangotra explained that the Tuscany menu is usually refreshed twice every year. While one of the primary motivations behind the menu update is to showcase vegetables that are in season, the refresh is also an opportunity to incorporate customer feedback and to keep things interesting for the team.
This was my first visit to Tuscany. The restaurant is usually open only for dinners, but the blogger’s table was hosted on a weekend lunch. The decor is reminiscent of Mediterranean villas with hand-painted murals, large mirrors, and red terracotta tiles. Tuscany felt elegant and charming during the day, and I could very well imagine it transforming into a relaxing and romantic space under the lights.
Chef Mangotra had curated a four-course menu for the blogger’s table. We started off with Aubergine Stack and Gamberi Fritti. The former is simply batter fried Aubergine layered on fresh Mozzarella and served with a delicious saffron cream. The consensus around the table was that the dish needed a bit more seasoning and spices; however,I was quite happy. Simply roasting the aubergine instead of batter frying it might make for an interesting alternative, but the saffron cream nicely tied the dish together. Gamberi Fritti is simply fried prawns served with garlic cream and potato chips. Both the dishes paired quite well with the white wine that we were served.
We were offered a couple of choices in the soups – Consommé and Wild Mushroom Cappuccino. Both the soups were fabulous, but the latter was the crowd pleaser. Much like Ci Gusta, Tuscany puts a twist on this soup by actually adding a little bit of coffee that adds a pleasant finishing note a soup that’s otherwise dominated by heady mushroom flavours. The Consomme was exquisite – clear, sparkling broth with a couple of chicken mousse tortellini.
Chef has made a conscious attempt to add more vegetarian options to the menu. As a result, Tuscany succeeded in presenting a meal where the non-vegetarian dish was easily overshadowed by the vegetarian dishes. The Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortellini was bursting with flavours. While the mushrooms deservedly held centre stage they were ably complemented by truffle oil and porcini cream. The Beetroot Risotto was quite an eye-catcher thanks to its vibrant colours. The texture of the risotto was just right and the orange segments added a wonderful relief to the dish. As I love to say, bacon instantly makes anything better. I was looking forward to the Bacon Wrapped Chicken filled with spinach and ricotta. However, the chicken was overcooked and even the awesomeness of the bacon couldn’t quite salvage this dish.
We moved onto the final course with a beautifully plated Lemon Tart with torched meringue and raspberry macaroon crumbles. The Lemon Tart was bang on with the strong acidity that I look for. The subtle bitterness of the meringue and the hint of sweetness in the macaroon crumble offered a nice balance to the tart. The final dish of the day was a gelato with macerated fruits.
I was looking forward to my first dining experience at Tuscany and it didn’t let me down. The appetisers were good, albeit a tad boring. But, each of the remaining three courses featured some stunning dishes. All the dishes mentioned in this post are available on the a la carte menu, with most of the entrees priced between Rs. 750 and Rs. 950.