Where: 191, VGP Layout, Opposite Indian Marine University, Uthandi Village, Kanathur, Chennai
Cuisine: Continental, Cafe, Italian
A place at ECR with literally a cheesy name and exquisite ambience, these were reasons enough for me to get curious about Mascarpone. Though the distance kept me away from visiting the place, the unbelievable Nearbuy deal of Rs. 650 INR for a Five Course meal was hard to resist. So I purchased two coupons worth Rs. 650 INR each and paced down the east coast road for lunch.
The five course meal consists of a choice of appetiser, soup, pasta, main course and dessert. The A La Carte menu is vast and they have curated an exclusive menu for the nearbuy customers. So for appetisers we opted for Mushroom Arancini Balls with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Caesar Salad with Char Grilled Chicken, Garlic Croutons & Parmesan Cheese Shavings. The Arancini balls miserably failed in terms of taste; except for the crispy outer crust the stuffing was bland and there was hardly any flavour of cheese. If not for the tangy and flavourful marinara sauce I wouldn’t have completed the arancini balls.
The flavour of the garlic croutons and grilled chicken with the fresh lettuce was delicious; the parmesan was adding the salty touch to the salad but they could have been a little more generous as the minuscule throw of parmesan didn’t excite me.
The hot and hearty soup was much needed for the cosy November winds. The light, clear and tangy Fresh Homemade Vegetable Soup with Cannellini Beans & Parmesan Shaving was a delight, but there were neither hint of parmesan nor I could taste any. And another delicious bowl was the Tuscan Style Lemon & Basil Flavoured Seafood Broth, the seafood aroma and the moist, flavourful pieces of fish did elevate the taste of the soup. But the prawns and calamari were rubbery, wish they were cooked perfectly.
Next in store were some creamy and cheesy hungama; oh yeah, pasta time. So our choices were Tagliatelle with Thyme Marinated Prawns with Sweet Garlic Cream & Cherry Tomato and Penne Intergrali with Plum Tomato Basil or Arabbiata Sauce. The pungent smell of prawn took control over the dish, but the mild sweet and garlic flavour in the creamy sauce were irresistibly good and the Tagliatelle was a brilliant choice for the dish but there were no hint of cherry tomatoes. Also a piece of bread would have helped to cut through the richness.
And the tangy arabbiata sauce was phenomenal in taste; penne and arabbiata is comfort food but yet again I would have been happy if they had served some bread or have thrown in some cheese.
My whole idea was shattered when the plate of Crepes Filled with Ricotta Cheese, Fresh Spinach & Light Tomato Sauce was served on my table. It exactly resembled a dosa and not a crepe, the texture was thick and soggy. Also, the filling didn’t have any slightest clue of ricotta cheese but just the spinach. The bitterness from spinach and the flavourless crepe didn’t make an ideal pair. The spicy tomato sauce (that literally tasted like tomato chutney) helped me to gulp down the crepe; a dish I wish I hadn’t tasted.
Crispy Romano Chicken with Herb Pasta, Fresh Mozzarella, Pomodoro Sauce became a memorable dish just because they perfected the hero i.e. the Chicken. The pomodoro sauce was delicious but the herb pasta was a let-down, I am still figuring out what oil they would have used because that made the dish totally unappetising and for the mozzarella it had its share only in the menu and not in the food.
And I for once was praying that atleast the desserts should wow me. The Mango Panna Cotta with the wobbly and smooth texture and right amount of sweetness tasted delightful. Though I couldn’t sense mango flavour it was good but why on earth did they had mango and chocolate syrup on the top, it was like tasting maaza and it was a spoiler for me. Finally, the Warm Mud Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream was okay. The fudgy centre will gain them a few points; but this again was a huge let-down for a chocolate lover.
If not for the nearbuy deal I personally wouldn’t have been happy about visiting the place. Also, they still have the same deal for Rs. 899 INR whereas I brought two coupons for Rs. 1300 INR (i.e. Rs.650 INR each) inclusive of tax. In addition, the portion size isn’t the same as A La Carte but as you are going to hunt down five courses I felt it was apt and the food wouldn’t go waste.
Breaking Down Points
Ambience: One reason why you must visit this place; the kutcha house dining setup in open-air feels romantic.
Food Variety: Though the food variety for nearbuy deal seemed good I wasn’t happy after tasting.
Taste: Guess they decided to have cheese only in their restaurant name. They must work on their food taste; it was a total disappointment. Except the salad, soup and a well-cooked piece of chicken I could not vouch for any dish.
Quality & Quantity: The portion is different for the five course meal and you will get a bigger portion if you go for A La Carte. But I wasn’t impressed with their food quality; the food description in the menu and what was placed before me didn’t match.
Price: A meal for two would cost Rs. 1200 INR (plus tax) approx. The pricing is reasonable for a casual diner considering the cuisine and locality but the major turn off for me was the taste thus making the experience not worth the money I spent.
So my Verdict!
Mascarpone, the food wasn’t as cheesy as the name. An impeccable ambience; this will be a go to place during my ECR drives if they could dish out some tasty food.
P.S. It is based on my experience at the restaurant using the Nearbuy coupon. The coupon deal would expire after a period but the food items included for the Nearbuy menu is from their regular menu. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.
Let's see if the food is as cheesy as the name - Mascarpone, Chennai Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 21:55 Rating: