Thursday, March 14, 2013

Redefining Italian cuisine - Sunny's Bangalore

Today let me talk about the worlds most popular cuisine. Any guesses? yes,, it is our very own Italian cuisine. Now olive oil, cheese, macaroni, pastas , oregano, basil, olives, parsley etc are very common everyday ingredients in every Indian house. Reason is simple, easy to make, delicious, neutral taste (nor to spicy, neither very bland) and you cannot go completely wrong with olive oil, cheese and basil, so cooking it is not rocket science.

When I portray this amazing cuisine to be very easy to make and simple, let me tell you that there is another side to this popular cuisine. There are alot of Italian dishes which needs that finesse in the chef's cooking which not everybody can deliver. This cuisine needs a balance of cheese and herbs to get that perfect Italiano flavour. The taste may vary from person to person as we have wide range of brands with very varied tastes to it. So unless its 9/10 no restaurant can be called the perfect place for Italian cuisine. And when I say that only one place come to my mind immediately, its Sunny's (both Indranagar and Lavelle road).

When you dine out, especially when you are fond of fine dining, its very important that the wholesome experience of that outing is good. Sunny's is one such place for sure. This is one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in Bangalore and the most popular among all ages. You can find here an old retired golf playing senior citizen and at the same time kids and teenagers relishing their Thin wood burnt pizza.

So coming to the ambiance. Sunny's Lavelle road and Indranagar, both are  very minimally decorated and when I say minimal it means no heavy center pieces, no shimmer and glitter, no over the top chandeliers, no cozy couches or unnecessary furniture all over. It is very aesthetically decorated. It is divided into one open roof area where metal white table chairs are placed with nice umbrellas in the middle. Very basic but still soothing. And then there is a huge dining hall with a mezzanine floor for the lounge bar. Indranagar branch is comparatively a newer place, and it has mirror false ceiling in half the hall which makes the area look bigger than what it is. On the walls as well, mirrors are used aesthetically for the same effect. The only foreign element or I must say decorative elements are the lucky bamboo sticks which are nicely placed in between the mirrors which gives that natural green freshness to the area. Its a well lit place with lamps hanging quite high on the roof so it doesn't clutter the space as it does in so many other places I have been.

The lounge area in the mezzanine floor is also quite basic and elegant. There are very few couches on the top and mostly that area is occupied by small groups who are hosting private parties.So overall, a simple refreshing place which has nothing over the top.

And being a Sunny's fan I can vouch about the quality and taste of the food. I have visited this place more than 100 times in these last 7 years of my Bangalore stay and every time I am rest assured that the food will be fabulous. Sometimes this place is a party place, sometimes mood lifters, sometimes socializing arena, sometimes romantic outing, sometimes desert evening, sometimes fine dining and sometimes just a reason to splurge on my favourite cuisine. I need no excuse to dine here.

So coming to what I enjoy here most. They have some exquisite variety of contemporary deserts here. Right from apple pie to lemon tart to cheese cakes and Meringue, its a treat for your eyes as well as for your palate. You get the most variety of cakes, pies and tart here. For Tiramasu fans, its a treat. You must try the Ganache tart which is a combination of chocolate tart and sweetened milk. Chocolate tart has a very nice soft chocolaty texture on the top and frozen biscuit y slightly hard texture at the bottom. One of the best tarts you would find in Bangalore(other being Truffles on St Marks Road). What makes this dish special is the condensed/sweetened milk they serve with the tart. Its has the same effect which you get when you put some sugar syrup or warm sugar water on a hot cake. The sweetened milk enhances the flavour of the tart and at the same time it makes it more smooth. And believe me the portions look pretty small, but they are too heavy to be finished by two people, so order accordingly.

Apologize to jump to dessert straight before discussing the food, but couldn't help thinking of them when I think of Sunny's! :)..

So about the food. The first thing they serve you after you place an order is freshly baked bread with a cheese spread. The cheese spread which they serve is the main highlight of the food there. It proves the saying " Good things don't come free" wrong! It is complimentary but still delicious. The spread has a perfect combination of cheese, hung curd, basil, oregano, olive oil and just a dash of garlic. If it was on the menu, I am sure it would have been the most popular dish in itself. Strangely,they are pretty generous with the helping of both the bread and the spread. So don't fill yourself with it. There is alot more to look forward.

You would find alot of variety in appetizers if you are a non vegetarian, but for vegetarians I would suggest you jump to main course directly.

Pizza's here are a treat for those who like Italiano style authentic pizzas. Pizza hut and Dominoz can never match those lovely thin crust wood burnt pizzas which Sunny's serve. You can smell basil, parsley, jalapeno,cheese and olives. As they say, you eat your food with your eyes and nose before you do with your mouth. So I can even change the proverb to " When in Sunny's behave like a Italiano" :P. My personal favourite is Zucchini, sun dried tomato, basil pizza. I am in love with sun dried tomatoes, the zing it adds in your food is awesome. With freshly baked thin crust wood burnt pizza, both basil and sun dried tomatoes are a hit. I have tried replicating it at home, but they have that secret ingredient which gives it the flavour which makes it a winning pizza.

And the usual Risotto, Lasagna, Ravioli are all fabulous and very authentic. But the dish which is a hit in my list is the Vegetable medley with saffron rice. I never thought rice dish in Italian cuisine beyond Risotto. They have really exceeded my expectations from Italian cuisine with this one dish. Very beautifully plated, an inverted bowl of rice in the middle and the sauce spread around it. Very international and very colorful.

It is our very own perfumed basmati rice with mild and lovely flavour of saffron to it. And then there is this awesome sauce full of exotic vegetables from zuccini, broccoli, asparagus, red and yellow bell peppers, basil, onion etc with a very unusual and delicious white sauce which again has a hint of saffron in it. Its nothing like anything we have in our Indian cuisine and I doubt if its an actual Italian dish also. Innovation which turns like this one make history I must say!! Baked eggplant with penne, Baked mini crepes w/spinach, dill & cream cheese  and the other main courses are decent.

The owner of this place is a dog lover and there will be at-least one pet tied up outside the place to show his love for dogs. He also donates Rs 10 from your bill for this stray dogs and monkeys. Though I am not that much of a pet lover now, I still appreciate his efforts on doing this.

So next time when you are in a mood to dine in a fine way, consider this place. Its a little expensive compared to the usual Italian dining places, but definitely worth the while. For wine lovers, they have a range of old wines on the menu. Your steward can even suggest you some beautiful combinations to suit the food. Some say, its a sin to have Italian without that perfect glass of wine. So enjoy your glass with some awesome preparations at this place.

Name of the restaurant : Sunny's
Location : Lavelle Road and Indranagar
Cuisine: Italian
Per person damage : 600-800 Rs

Score Card:
Ambiance: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Food: 4.5/5
Experience in total : 4/5

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