Fiorano: An Italian restaurant in Kormangala
This is a vegetarian’s perspective of the restaurant.
Here on, I will not be labeling my outings with my stomach this explicitly, unless they include someone with a meat tooth. My trip to this Italian restaurant, I must admit, was light on my purse because a friend paid for this indulgence. That is the least you expect of someone who has made it to Stanford. And again, hoping that he will turn out to be another Larry Page, you expect a little more.
I am extremely bad with directions, and if you can manage to get to this place despite my attempts at confusing you, congratulate yourself. To cut a long route short, take the left after St Johns Hospital if you are coming from the Forum end, proceed till you see the BDA complex and then the Nandini restaurant on your right. Move a little ahead, and at the next junction, you should be able to locate Fiorano on your left.
The interiors look like the leftovers of a Simi Garewal show – all white. I have nothing against the color of colors, except that it makes me feel so darn guilty when I have to soil the white napkin with the remanants on my fingers. That is, till the bill arrives. And then I feel guilty all over again. Sigh! Coming back to the interiors, the place doesn’t look like it can take in a lot of people, and the prices have been suitably tailored to that effect.
Because this was lunch-time, we dispensed with the liquor menu, and went in for the soups instead. I picked Minestrone, and my friend went for the Crema de funghi, which essentially is the mushroom soup. The italians have a lovely way of classifying food: Pasta and Antipasti. Any food that is not pasta is anti-pasta? Lovely! How about calling all breads without cheese anti-pizza? The antipasti of our desire that day was Crostini – bread crumbs with various kinds of toppings on them.
What we were not prepared for was the bread that came before it. On-the-house, the bread pieces were presented with garlic cloves, basil leaves, and tomatoes. My natural instincts got me to poke each of those vegetables with a fork before the fork’s final insertion into a bread crumb. Natural instincts are not always correct unfortunately. What I should have done, as the waiter politely pointed out, was to rub the bread with garlic, and basil, then add the salt, rub the tomato to spread the salt, and top it all with olive oil before downing it in your throat in a gulp or two. Heaven! After this experience, I will never go for a ready-to-eat garlic bread again.
The minestrone soup was super-stuff. It closely rivaled the tomato soup which I devour with frenzy at Sukh Sagar. I do not have such good things to say for the fungal concoction though. That is entirely due to my distaste for sloppy mushrooms. Between gulpings of soup, aided wonderfully by the chewy Crostinis, the first act went off just wonderful! If you are a frugal eater, and want to order as much as possible, I suggest that you go with so many people, and share the dishes. Each dish can easily satisfy a couple of hungry stomachs.
For the main course, I went for the Tangliolini Primavera, a pasta with a generous dose of vegetables and tomato soup thrown in. You could order a cheese base instead of the tomato soup. only if you are a hard core cheese lover. To be very frank, my minestrone soup and my main course kind of tasted very similar. Maybe you require a connoisseur to tell the difference. Despite that, I should admit, I cleaned up my pasta bowl very well. As a general rule, I do not like the way the Europeans treat potatoes. My friend however, had better confidence, and ordered the Gnochi di patate Agli Spinoci. My middle-class upbringing has ensured that I feel like Aishwarya Rai eating Gadbad every time I waste food. This dish was a mean opponent, and I had to give up after a few spoonfuls. It was a toss between my guilt and throwing up. This has convinced me, yet again, that we need to teach the Europeans a thing or two about potatoes.
The chocolate walnut brownie cake for dessert compensated in no small extent to make up for the potatoesque blunder. The quantity was more than we had bargained for though. It is difficult to appreciate a dessert on a full stomach, but the fact that we did speaks volumes of the extent to which the chef must have gone into making us happy with this final act. Alternatively, try Tiramisu. This is a dessert the chef can’t go totally wrong with.
For three people, we paid around Rs 1500, and with my limited Arithmetic skills, that must be five-hundred bucks per stomach. Not a bad deal at all, especially if you are not paying for it.
General advice for people visiting exotic restaurants the first time: Please ask the waiter about the most-ordered dish. Read the description of the dish and not the name. A Tiramisu by any other description is not Tiramisu.
PS: Am extremely sorry for not taking pics of the place or the food. My plans of buying a digital camera or a cell phone with one should be realized soon.