Alba, the Italian restaurant at JW Marriott, recently hosted a tasting of their new menu especially curated by Chef Marou Rahali. This menu brings together some of the finest food from Italy, weaved together in a lovely culinary journey. I have visited Alba for brunch a while back, read the review of the experience here. Alba has a beautiful and palatial décor, making the luxury dining experience here quite distinct and a class apart. The main dining area has a large gallery like display of variety produce, olive oils, vinegars, chili oils, artisan breads and cured meats. We sat down in a private dining space, and had the chef brief us on the lineup of dishes. And Robin suggested some good wine to go along, I asked for the white, while the others started off with the red.
This meal had a set menu, and we started off with the antipasti – Burrata – a refreshing serving of mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes with a dash of basil and olive oil. The cheese was fresh and had a lovely texture, a good start! This was followed by Insalata di rucola salad with baby rocket, aragula, pine nuts with a drizzle of balsamic dressing and topped with parmesan – I am not really one for salads, but this light one went well with the wine. The soup Veluta di Pollo e funghi that followed was a sublime blend of chicken and mushrooms in truffle essence – one of the best that I’ve had. And we meanwhile had several replenished baskets of the fresh made breads, warm from the oven. The Italian classic Minestrone alla Ligure zuppa came next had the essence of the slow cooked vegetable had the right taste and consistency.
The next dish was mine and Tapash’s favorite – Triangolini di Pollo – chicken ravioli in creamy mushroom sauce topped generously with parmesan – an amazing dish, made to perfection. The ravioli with the right texture, soft chicken fillings, and the creamy sauce complementing this just beautifully. The next dish perhaps, faded slightly in comparison. The Spaghetti Affumicati was perfectly al dente – under-cooked, kept slightly firm. The taste however lacked the right taste, though the tomato sauce and smoked ricotta was quite graceful. The Gamberoni was the fresh Grilled Jumbo Prawns in citrus sauce was delicious – the right balance of juicy, supple prawn meat in a mild tangy flavor – well done!
Look out for: Salmone Tutti Aromi – chef’s take on this dish was inspired and my recommendation for this new menu. The salmon is marinated with confit cherry tomato, Baby potato and Taggiasca olive, and served in a sealed jar preserving the aromas and array of flavors quite well.
The new menu promises many such gourmet delights, and Alba is one of my favorite destinations for authentic Italian food. Chef Marou brings true culinary flavors from his home country, with some thoughtful modern renditions. I would recommend a visit, whether for a romantic dinner or a lazy Sunday Brunch, Alba promises and delivers fine dining at its best.