All new Italian affair at Sorrento, Shangri-La

In a line: Chef Massimiliano Sperli dishes his version of Italian food at the award-winning Italian restaurant: Sorrento.

Cuisine: Italian

Price for two: Rs. 3000(Approx)

Location: Shangri-La, New Delhi

Must haves: Potato, ricotta cheese tortelli, eggplant agnolotti, semifreddo

Think Italian food and the mind gets inundated with images of a beautiful thin crust pizza topped with cheese, pasta doused in a beautiful cheesy sauce, risotto that’s loaded with mushrooms and tiramisu that celebrates coffee in a manner that’s unmatched.

Chef Massimiliano Sperli

A cuisine that elevates every ingredient, Italian cuisine is being taken up a notch by Chef Massimiliano Sperli, who has curated the new menu at Sorrento, the award-winning Italian restaurant at Shangri-La, New Delhi. With extensive global culinary experience, Chef Massimiliano is a master in traditional Italian recipes as well as international cooking styles. His passion for Italian food reflects in his recipes of handmade pastas, aromatic sauces, and delicate desserts. At Sorrento, Chef Sperli strives to bring an authentic Italian dining experience to guests, so they can develop a deeper understanding and passion for Italian cuisine.

After getting to know that he prepares all his pastas, sauces and desserts, daily, from scratch, I knew that I was in for a treat and little did I know that with every dish that flew in, from his kitchen, onto my table, the experience would level up, one step at a time.

We commenced the meal with a beautiful flatbread that was baked in the wood-fired oven and was topped with lots of fresh arugula leaves, olive oil and parmesan shavings. This was followed by binge-worthy crispy zucchini fries that were topped with garlic aioli. Scallops scented with sage, Pinot Grigio and garlic spinach, garnished with sun-dried tomatoes and sauteed carrots, came across as just the perfect dish that I needed in the blaring Delhi-heat.

A French chef's dream
A French chef’s dream

A French chef’s dream of being better than an Italian 1995′, comprised of a braised duck leg, flavoured with acacia honey, citrus zests, eryngii mushroom, Kalamata black olives, Culatello ham, red apple emulsion, Acqualagna black truffle and red onion compote. The way chef was able to bring together all these ingredients and flavours on a plate, with everything complementing each other, is something that definitely deserved a lot of respect and showed his strong culinary background.

Though if I had to pick a favourite from what I had, I guess I’d be in a fix between two dishes, both pastas and both delicious in their own decided decadence. Be it the homemade potato, ricotta cheese and rosemary tortelli with lashings of truffle or the homemade agnolotti filled with eggplant, smoked scamorza cheese, tomato and basil and served alongside grilled calamari, tuna orange carpaccio, mortadella sauté and mint sauce. Both the plates were no less than a piece of art, one, which I had to demolish, and didn’t regret one bit while doing it. Sublime.

To conclude this incredible Italian sojourn, the Chef brought me his Semifreddo. Prepared with Gianduia chocolate, the semifreddo (i.e. semi-frozen) had an orange and pistachio ganache heart, and was accompanied with coconut praline, sesame tuiles, fresh mango emulsion and was drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Oddly enough, the olive oil did add a layer of richness to the dessert, making me conclude my meal on a happy, wholesome, and sweet note.


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