What: Pasta Specials at Spectra
Where: The Leela Palace, Adyar Seaface, Sathya Dev Avenue Ext., M R C Nagar, Chennai
When: 5th August - 21st August, 2016
Elegance and royal glimpse of The Leela Palace awaits you right from the moment you step in. And the never-ending Spectra is mesmerising, their food variety and buffet is interesting as always. For the month of August, it is Pasta-time. The A La Carte menu is exclusively designed for 'pasta specials' and paired with wine. As I was glancing through the menu, the fresh aroma of the baked goodness decorated the ambience. Their complimentary breads are phenomenal, the garlic-chilli toast is a favourite.
If you like wine then you should try pairing your dish with their wine but I was very comfortable with my fresh juice. And the cheesy pasta delights started making their way to the table. As you take a bite of pasta pillows, "Pillow of palm heart and cream cheese", the rich cheese stuffed pasta balances the sweetness of tomato fondue perfectly. Also the kalamata olives helps to beautifully cut down the saltiness, the variation of taste like sweetness, tanginess and creaminess in every bite is a delight.
I hate mushrooms but after tasting different cuisines and food varieties I realise that quality and cooking style plays a major role in taste. And "Wild Mushroom Pyramidoli" is getting added to my list of favourite mushroom dishes in town. The two different textures of mushroom, the crunchy sautéed one and the creamy shredded mushroom ragout stuffed inside the pyramidoli (pyramid shaped pasta) is brilliant. The truffle infusion in the ragout makes all the difference and mends beautifully with the sauce.
Soft and velvety "Pan Seared Gnocchi" melts in your mouth. Each element on the plate compliments each other and lets you enjoy the dish as a whole. The pumpkin puree's sweetness, olive soils grainy texture, soft roasted pumpkin cubes and finally the salty-crispy parmesan crisp to cut through the richness is a blast of happiness in your mouth.
Fettucini, Spaghetti and Ravioli are my three favourite pasta shapes. And the evening felt complete after trying my favourite ones. The lobster and linguine (looks similar to spaghetti but wider), Linguine Aragosta in tomato sauce reminds arrabiata. A simple yet comforting dish, the lobster essence wasn't dominating the pasta so I thoroughly enjoyed the tangy sauce with pasta and juicy pieces of lobster.
Home-made mint Fettuccini with Slow cooked Lamb Ragout, the sticky juicy lamb with fettuccini and fresh cherry tomatoes is another delight with lavish parmesan shavings.
A bacon-less Carbonara Ravioli version just made me immensely happy. Leaving aside the crispy bacon, the cheese and egg yolk ravioli in the white sauce is great. When the yolk's flavour starts to overpower, the creamy parmesan sauce brings back the cheesy richness to the dish.
Cannoli, Cannoli Siciliani as they call it in Italy, is the fried pastry tubes filled with three different creams. The vanilla custard and tiramisu cream were my favourite followed by the chocolate cream. The pastry was thin and crispy but I felt the pastries were bland and I guess I missed the sweetness, a tad higher on sweet note is what I expected. And finally signed off with the refreshing coffee ice-cream.
Seeing my pasta and cheese craze, I always feel I am half-Italian and this meal could not get any better. You can choose from their A La Carte menu designed exclusively for the pasta specials.
They plan on Pasta Specials at regular intervals just to bring some variety and exotic Italian pasta experience for their diners. And Spectra is also famous for Sunday Brunch besides that they host many sumptuous buffets, like Street Food Buffet every Wednesday (only dinner), Seafood Buffet every Friday (only dinner) and Saturday Super Lunch (unlimited beer/soft drinks).
Note: Pasta Quantity - Except pyramidoli and pillow of palm heart pasta, the portion size of other pastas shown in the picture is exclusively made for tasting and in original the portion size is quite huge (almost four times the tasting portion approximately).
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: A royal fort at MRC nagar surrounded by blue beauties with valet parking.
Ambience: Positive. Elegance. Palace alike .
Food Variety: Positive. Handful yet tasty array of pasta dishes.
Taste: Positive. I could hardly fault but I loved the vegetarian varieties over the non-vegetarian.
Quality & Quantity: Positive. The quality of produce used in the making and presentation is top-notch. The portion is huge and would be lavish for a person.
Service: Positive. Flawless.
Price: NA. Expensive. A meal for two, 'pasta specials' would cost Rs.2000 INR (plus taxes without alcohol) approx.
So my Verdict!
The Leela Palace Chennai is hosting Pasta Specials at their restaurant Spectra till 21st of August, 2016. The variety, taste and quality gets perfect score. It's Pasta extravaganza!
For Reservation and queries, call +91 44 33661234.
P.S. On-the-house blogger table for Pasta Specials at Spectra, The Leela Palace. The food and taste experience is subject to the pasta specials alone. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.