Innovation and showmanship is a norm in the restaurant space these days, some namesake like the overdone smoke or the fancy crockery phenomena or the excess of molecular gastronomy and a few which evoke interest. Innovation in food could be interplay of flavours, textures, visuals and most importantly engagement. Roberto Zorzoli of Romanos at the J W Marriott, Sahar is currently experimenting with extracting incense from everyday kitchen ingredients and he has showcased his work in a promotion called the Aromas.
I walked in to see 10 perfume bottles on the table alongside the ubiquitous balsamico and olio in an Italian restaurant. Sage, nutmeg, orange, saffron, thyme etc read the tag on their necks. Still didn’t make a lot of sense to me until the burrata arrived, a rich yet relatively neutral dish to take on some flavours. Burrata with two sprays of orange and a refreshing morsel followed by a spray of oregano and yet another morsel, the haze over the concept was clearing out, dining was getting more fun. I felt like a creator! I tried many aromas with one dish to figure one or a combination that worked well. Sage with watermelon feta, saffron with gnocchi in mascarpone, coffee, vanilla and a hint of nutmeg on the deconstructed tiramisu were my choices. I got suggestions of aromas from fellow diners, I gave mine and the dinner was interactive, the topic of discussion being food.
Zorzoli enchanted with his chocolate inspired 4 course meal last time and this time with the aroma experiment. Spraying aromas in the bartending world is common and this being incorporated in food is smart. I’m sure this will trend soon in the city and will become a norm. We Indians love condiments, don’t we???