It was a bright sunny winter Saturday afternoon and that only means one thing – heading out for a laid-back lunch. While Fio at Garden of Five Senses has been a winter lunch favourite for quite a while, I was not even aware that another one had popped open at Epicuria, under the Nehru Place Metro Station. So when they invited me over, I jumped at the chance!
Fio – Cookhouse & Bar literally transports you out of Nehru Place even though you are right in the middle of it all. Its quite commendable how they have managed to make it so spacious, relaxing, green, silent and open under the metro station. While having a word with Mr. Vineet Wadhwa, the owner, I got really curious to know what the space actually looked like before it turned into Fio and he happily obliged me with a photograph which you’ll be seeing towards the end.
It is also lovely to notice the symbiotic relationship that exists between Mr. Wadhwa who himself is extremely knowledgable about herbs, horticulture and even authentic Italian recipes ( he has been on plenty back-packing trips to Italy all with the sole purpose of getting a better understanding of authentic home-coocked meals and ingredients ) and the chefs at the restaurant. Most recipes have been tweaked and modified with love and a lot of experience to serve a unique experience to the customers.
Moving on to my lunch experience. here are all the dishes and cocktails we ordered, suggested by Mr. Wadhwa himself.
Goat cheese + Cherry tomato quenelles + Snow peas + Corn + Green apple + Baby greens + Fig + Herb dressing
Soft. crunchy & juicy at the same time, this signature salad is both refreshing and comforting. All greens and herbs are home grown and being fresh, they always have that lively snap to them.
Smoked Salmon Salad
PLENTY of smoked salmon + White onion + Capers + Baby greens + Cherry tomatoes + Ricotta herb dressing
I LOVE salmon, so there’s no other way to this. I LOVED this salad. I especially loved tha large portions of salmon in the salad again with the fresh greens and surprisingly light dressing.
Hearth Oven Pizza – Bocconcini + Jalapenos + Olives + Sundried tomatoes
The pizzas here are a definite must try. Thin crust and light, these are a delight to have on a sunny afternoon along with some fabulous chilled cocktails. The sundried tomatoes are sun dried to perfection!
The cocktails were an absolute delight! Chilled and so so tasty! I wanted to keep going and try more, but I refrained somehow. Each one was tasty and quite unique. My personal favourite was the spicy fifty. It had a snappy chilli after-taste which is a welcome change from the usual sweetness of cocktails. Very appetizing!
Long Island Iced Tea & Belini Martini
The Belini Martini is a mix of Gin or Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Peach puree & sparkling wine.
Garden of Eden & Spicy Fifty
Garden of Eden – Gin + Fresh cucumber + Kiwi
Spicy Fifty – Infused green chillies Absolute Vanilla Vodka + Elderflower cordial + Fresh lime juice + Honey
Seared Tenderloin Chimicurri
With Red cabbage slaw + Pearl onions + Mushroom + Bacon salad
It was lovey to have a well-done steak which was juicy and the chimichurri sauce was just the right amount of tangy. Not at all spicy. All the herbs came together really well in this lovely wholesome dish.
Olive crusted Grilled Fish
Served on a bed of couscous salad with pesto.
The textures in this dish were so complimentary of each other. The olive crusted exterior held the very soft well-cooked fish together. Went well with the couscous salad. This dish almost reminded you of a home-cooked meal.
Roast Hunter’s Chicken
Juicy chicken with its skin on made for a fun dish which will be loved by children too. Definitely not for people who enjoy spicy food. The flavours were well rounded and again very homely.
Dessert: Banoffee Jar & Tiramisu
Although I do not have a photograph that could do justice to the Tiramisu, these two desserts should be on your absolute must-have list too! Both of them are just splendid. The right amount of texture, not too sweet and will always leave you wanting more!
So there you go! With that we FINALLY ended the meal! And to conclude, the Salads + Pizza + Desserts are in my opinion the stars of the show at Fio Cookhouse & Bar. Cocktails too if you are in the mood. With menu options and portion sizes differing for lunch and dinner and a separate kitchen all-together for the Indian Menu, there are plenty of options for everyone! We decided to go for the European menu simply because I wanted to be a small part of Mr. Wadhwa’s backpacking trips through Italy! That’s him:
As promised before, here are the photographs of how the space looked before it was transformed into the escape that Fio is.
And here is what it looks like currently. Exteriors and Interiors:
Not to forget the chefs, the captains of this boat.
Chef Ravi Choudhary & Chef Rajeev Sethi doing their thing in the kitchen.