Masterchef Australia changed the way I saw food. Initially, my friends in college raved about the show, but I was like, seriously, why would you want to see that and then go and eat the pathetic food they served at our mess. But then it started airing on TV, and I was at home, eating good food, and it didn’t feel all that painful to watch people cooking good food. I got hooked. Not just to the judges with their adorable accents, but to the whole concept of cooking and plating and mis-en-place. I learned terms like mis-en-place. I discovered food blogs. I began looking for good restaurant deals, and using my few weekdays off to hit lunch buffets at places I would otherwise have not gone to, given their price points.
The buffet lunch at Spaghetti Kitchen started off with vegetable soup with a choice of breads- foccacia, dinner rolls and baguettes, but the best was a mixed spice bread that really brought out the flavors of the soup. For starters, there was chicken calzone, which is basically fried chicken wontons, and pesce al limone, tiny skewered fish that are barely a mouthful. They have a live salad and a live pasta counter, and the Caesar salad the chef rustled up would please the health conscious.
Particular highlights of the meal were the salmon mousse and the stuffed eggs. I’ve never had salmon mousse before, and I didn’t know what to expect, but it was creamy with a strong flavor which some people may not like, but I am not one of them. The devilled eggs looked pretty and didn’t taste too strongly of mayo, which always turns me off, and the aubergine wrap with their crunchy innard were pretty nice too. The chicken margherita pizza, with its thin crust and smoky flavor, was a welcome change from the generic Dominos and Pizza Hut pizzas.
Spaghetti Kitchen’s penne pasta with pesto was pretty blah, but that might be my Indian palate, accustomed to a variety of spices, speaking. But as pastas go, this one seemed more uninspiring than most. The main course, a grilled chicken in mustard sauce and a grilled fish in lemon sauce, was much better. The sauces were not too strong, and the chicken breast was succulent and a pleasure to cut into. I think the fish was salmon, but can’t be sure, because, honestly there wasn’t much of a taste of either fish or sauce.
If you love desserts, you might cry at this buffet’s selection. Both the banana cake and the chocolate walnut brownie were hard, dry and tasteless. The mango fruit trifle had a nice sour taste of raw mango, but the pudding was so horrible I gave up after one spoon. The pineapple pastry seemed to be made from cake mix, and the lemon curd pie, though tangy, had such a hard crust you could chip a tooth over it. The chocolate mousse was not bad, but there is way better mousse elsewhere.
The buffet costs Rs 450 (Rs 350 + taxes) Monday to Friday, and is a decent deal, if you skip dessert.
1, SJR Primus, 1st Floor
Adjacent To Raheja Arcade