I'd been longing to visit Via Milano ever since I heard that the near-iconic Italian fine dining restaurant from Bangalore had opened in Hyderabad, thereby giving the city it's first Italian speciality restaurant.
Via Milano is difficult to miss. Located in Jubilee Hills, it overlooks Road #36 from the 4th floor of the building right next to Heritage Fresh and ICICI Bank.
I decided to call ahead and make a reservation, partly to prevent the unlikely possibility of not getting a table and partly to confirm if the restaurant was open - an important consideration given the vagaries of the current socio-political climate in Hyderabad.
My significant other and I arrived at VM a little after 7.30 PM on Sunday evening and were quickly seated at a nice table next to the wall-to-wall glass panel affording a panoramic view of the Jubilee Hills area.
The interiors are elegant and comfortable : white tables with blue runners, temperature just right, wood panels, cream walls with imprints of the Colosseum, piped opera, you get the picture.
Our steward promptly lit a little candle at our table, handed us the menus, got us bottled water and managed to set a favorable impression from the word go.
A basket of bread served with vials of olive oil, balsamic, red chilli infusion, mayonnaise, pesto in olive oil and tomato salsa kept us busy while we waited for our food.
Here's what we ordered:
1) Cream Of Broccoli with balsamic infusion and cheese tuille : Creamy, simple, tasty and light. Rs. 160
2) Antipasti of thinly sliced turkey breast and tuna served in a thin caper mayonnaise : I loved this dish, the turkey tasted great and the caper mayo was almost addictive. Rs. 275
3) Farfalle with smoked salmon, fresh cream, cherry tomatoes and dill : Was the dish as good as it sounds? You bet it was! Rs. 390
4) Mixed Seafood Platter : This was the piece-de-resistance. Fillet of red snapper, fillet of grouper, prawns and squid. The seafood was wonderfully fresh, mildly seasoned, perfectly cooked and served with roast potatoes, brocolli and veggies. A very reasonable Rs. 450
5) Lemon Meringue with Strawberry Coulis : The presentation was truly world class and we spent a suitable amount of time admiring the dessert before "defiling" it. A very reasonable Rs. 195
6) Vanilla Pannacotta with a Fruit Minestrone : Beautiful presentation and hands down the most perfectly made panna cotta I've eaten. Perfect texture, delicate flavour complimented by the dices of fresh fruit in a thin honey & mint soup. A very reasonable Rs. 195
The only disappointment was the absence of a wine list (or liquor list). I would have loved a glass of white to accompany the food and hope that they remedy the liquor situation as soon as possible.
A truly fine meal is enjoyed not once but three times, in anticipation, in consumption, and in remembrance. I'm glad to report that Via Milano gets three strikes; and for once that's not a bad thing.