Words by Kamalika Mukherjee
BKC or Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai is known to house some of the finest restaurants in the country and one fine afternoon, I found myself at what could possibly be the best brunch/dinner place in town. CinCin, an upscale Italian restaurant that boasted of an extensive wine bar, stood in front of me as I anticipated a breeze of rustic dishes and endless liquor flow. While it offered both indoor and outdoor seating, the sun wasn’t the most forgiving so I scooted indoors with my friend in tow.
As I seated myself, I realized that the restaurant had a stylish yet casual approach. The space exuded warmth and the atmosphere was inviting. The beautiful façade and al fresco seating, landscaped with fragrant shrubs and lemon trees certainly was a one way ticket to Italy. Sunlight trickled into the restaurant and the diners were busy enjoying their meal as drinks flowed, people got chatty and soon I looked up the menu.
Executive chef Daya Singh promptly joined me as we decided on a smattering of various small plates that would give me an insight into the rustic-ness of fine Italian cuisine. The restaurant draws inspiration from the potent flavours of regional Italy to deliver seasonal, ingredient-driven food. From 30 odd cicchettis to a large range of hand rolled pastas, meat specialities and Napoli style pizzas on the menu, I wondered what could ever go wrong. I do have to admit that sitting at the bar with a drink and enjoying the breeze would’ve been a stunning idea, in the evening of course.
We began with a glass of CinCin Blush (their in house rose wine) that was poured in a stem-less glass and was light and crisp. With 38 wines on offer, from sparkling wines, rose, white wines and reds; CinCin also featured a wine wall along with a wine table. For appetizers, we ordered the Burrata e Prosciutto and Gamberi – goes without saying, fresh burrata on a bed of fine prosciutto with olive oil seemed like the perfect way to begin the meal. Soon, a bed of river prawns on crashed potatoes joined us at the table. Gamberi, a prawn dish was equally delectable.
The prawns were juicy and the crashed potatoes had the perfect spice level to counter the sweetness. I sunk my teeth in and instantly took a liking to this dish that left enough room for what was to follow. Soon, head bartender Mattheo came over and encouraged us to try a few of their signature cocktails and I gave in to Aaina – an Earl Grey-infused gin, honey, lemon and lavender based cocktail which was as good as having tea but infused with alcohol, hence I took long sips. My friend had ordered Camminata Nel Bosco which was a Jim Beam Bourbon, house-made thyme liqueur; and berry shrub based drink that gained his seal of approval in no time.
Next in line was the Pollo Piccante which I reckon most would know as a chicken dish with garlic and chillies. The flavours were spot on and the spice played on the tongue a little bit longer than you’d think. However, the Funghi e Tartufo was my absolute favourite as I dug into the pizza. While the mushrooms had enough flavoor of their own, the shaved black truffles enhanced it by ten folds and I couldn’t get more of it as I happily munched on. At this point in time, I requested a small portion of Spaghetti Carbonara which came to my table laced with bacon bits. My ideal test for an Italian restaurant is to try the Carbonara, and CinCin did a fabulous job of standing up to my expectations as I basked in the happiness of an almost food coma.
The chef then brought out the Risotto Ortolana which was a vegetarian dish and my eyebrow shot up in surprise. He assured me that it was the best way to end the main course and I agreed as the cooked vegetables in Carnaroli rice and Parmigiano Reggiano set the stage for a near perfect ending. The risotto was mild, comforting and hit home in more ways than one. However, I didn’t hold back on the desserts and ordered the Panna Cotta, Tiramisu and Bigne (baked round puffs filled with pastry cream, chocolate or pistachio) as per the chef’s recommendation. The Panna Cotta and Tiramisu were certainly the best in town as I dug into its creaminess and chocolaty aftertaste.
At this point I did want to finish off with a refreshing drink so I requested Matteo for something light and he brought out Lillith – a vodka based drink with mint and elderflower, topped with prosecco that seemed to be the ideal way to end the light yet hearty dining experience. My friend got lucky with his drink and savoured the Pazza Idea, a Gorgonzola- infused gin based drink finished with passion fruit, honey and cinnamon. As I finished my drink, the chef joined me and after a solid attempt at expressing my delight, I left the restaurant, quite content at the offering.
Address: Ground Floor, Raheja Towers, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra-East, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Phone: (022) 6137 8070