No matter whether you find themed menus cute or overly cheesy, you can't help but notice the creativity at Romano's. I first noticed the new Italian restaurant at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar when social media posts appeared on their all black menu. A few weeks later, they came up with a new one called 'Paint me Love', just in time for Valentine's Day and which is how I found myself headed to try out this restaurant last evening.
Just for this week, Chef Roberto has put together an all red and pink menu. You kick off with rose centrepieces and sparkling pink wine. The appetiser, a watermelon and feta salad with baby spinach and sweet apple 'mustard' is a great start. It leads to a dish that speaks of the chef's Italian heritage - a roasted tomato soup that comes with an excellent toasted bread and homemade burrata. The white asparagus course is also well executed and the meal ends with a strawberry mousse sitting on top of crunchy oats. Chef Roberto mentions he adds rose syrup to the biscuit base to make the flavours more familiar to an Indian palette.
This is simple, honest, flavourful Italian cooking. But while there is little to fault in chef Roberto's food, the service alas lacks the polish befitting this kitchen. They're super nice and well intentioned at Romano's but that does not excuse the confusion on how long it should be between courses and when the drinks should show up. Plus I am pretty sure they entirely missed serving one of the courses on the tasting menu.
Full points though on sending the Valentine diners away with ring boxes full of plump, pink hued macarons. The Valentine special menu ends tonight but do go anyway to try the fantastic potato bread that chef bakes. Or wait a few weeks until he sets up his pizza oven. He took me to the main kitchen to show the oven that's just about ready to be set up so in addition to pastas and risottos that are already on the menu, some Roman style pizzas should be up there soon.