I’m still smiling. It’s been two days and I’m in love. Love with food that is. It’s not that difficult to find food that gratifies your stomach, but coming across something that satisfies your soul to the very core is almost unheard of. Mind you, this is no Michelin starred restaurant, nor does it boast of a location in a hotel where your dinner costs as much as your room; No! The Pasta Bowl Company is a tiny little eatery in the unassuming Cross Point Mall, Gurgaon.
Note: Cross Point Mall now hosts four of Gurgaon’s best known and highly rated stand alone restaurants with Di Ghent, Cafe Delhi Heights, Fat Lulu’s, and The Pasta Bowl Company.
Being tiny, yet surprisingly it doesn’t come across as crowded, and because the place has gained quite a positive reputation, one have to get there early in order to find a seat. I reached The Pasta Bowl Company on a scorching hot weekday afternoon to find it completely empty, but by the time I left, all but one of the tables were occupied. The interiors are cute, that’s the only word that comes to mind; Simple and comfortable seating with a summery and Mediterranean feel to it all. The service is casual and prompt.
As the name suggests, The Pasta Bowl Company serves Italian food and proudly announces that their ingredients are kept fresh all the time with no leftovers spilling onto the next day. The menu is quite extensive with ample choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians and the option to “create your own pasta” will surely satisfy the most fussy of eaters. I did find the menu card a tad confusing with the placement and font, but that’s something minor and can be overlooked when the food that came out of it was so exquisite.
But first the thirst quenchers; The Granny Smith Fizz with apple slices is a refreshing drink that you’d be better off ordering two since the first one will be gulped down instantly if like me you just braved yourself to go out of your house on such a hot day. The Chilled Melon Mint on the other hand captures the redness and freshness of the watermelon without the added sugary taste. My initial reaction of the drink was that it isn’t sweet enough, but then a couple of sips more and the natural taste of the watermelon takes over and is extremely comforting.
The food at The Pasta Bowl Company is in a league of its own. What strikes the most as the dishes arrive one after another is the presentation of them all. Again, just like the decor, there is inherent beauty in the subtleness and simplicity in the way the food is presented. Take the Salsiccia Toscana with the sausages hidden in a forest of fresh looking and shining green beans, cherry tomatoes, black-eyed beans, onions, and garlic bread to perfectly counteract the slight spiciness that looms over the entire dish.
The Lamb Lasagne was one of the best I’ve ever had. Baked to perfection, the pasta would just melt inside the mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever had pasta like that; forget the slight chewiness that is expected, it just dissolved leaving behind an after taste that worked in conjunction with the soft and juicy lamb filling. The sauce leaves a sweet and tangy feel at the back of the tongue so as to enjoy each bite just for a little longer after the food has gone down. The garlic breads that accompanied all the dishes were toasted to the right amount of crunchiness that everyone loves biting into and enough softness to soak in the leftover gravy as you finish the food.
And then there is the Mezzelune Alla Panna, fit to be anyone’s last supper, with its white sauce, mushrooms, and bacon (we all know that bacon is responsible for half the world’s happiness). The dish exuberate romance with its half-moon shaped soft and deliciously filled pasta floating around in this rich creamy sauce that makes you want to take a deep satisfying sigh and take it all in with each and every bite.
Now, the quantities at The Pasta Bowl Company are moderate at best which means it leaves enough space in your tummy for dessert. The Mango Panna Cotta is the perfect summer addition to any menu and this Italian creamy dessert was well formed (although not as wobbly as the folks over at MasterChef would expect it to be) and came with freshly cut mango on top and a sauce which adds the acidity that brings the entire dish beautifully together. The trick though is to try and get all the three components together in each bite.
At roughly Rs. 2200,- for two (without alcohol), a meal at The Pasta Bowl Company is slightly more than expected, but the food with its exceptional taste, freshness, and preparations certainly justifies the cost.
Be it their name or their logo, which I think is simply ace, The Pasta Bowl Company is foodie heaven. It’s a place where one can easily while away time gossiping over deliciously indulgent food provided you can get over the stares of all those people waiting outside in line to take over your table.
The Pasta Bowl Company should be your destination of choice if you demand good food. NO, make that deliciously lip smacking food. OH! Who am I kidding; forget that, it should be the place to be when you want food that will make you go like Meg Ryan in that infamous restaurant scene from When Harry Met Sally…enough said.
… and now for some photographs from subsequent meals at The Pasta Bowl Company