According to restaurant lore - or at least Soho House’s publicity kit – Italian restaurant Cecconi’s was born in Venice and became a fixture at the club’s members-only properties all over the world, which peaked fifteen years ago in New York thanks to a Sex In The City episode involving a stolen identity, navel-cut bathing suit and eventual eviction.
Fortunately for us, the newly launched Cecconi’s at Soho House in Juhu is open to non-members and worth a visit, for the pizza and also a potential Prateik Babber sighting - both of which are pretty dishy.
There’s also the uninterrupted, al-fresco view of Juhu beach, as blissful as the lamb meatballs, which are dense without being dry, swimming happily in vibrant tomato sauce. Wash these down with a stellar Negroni, citrus-forward and curiously light, perfect for brunch. Another drink to order before noon is a Cecconi’s Spritz –deceptively effervescent, it masks a generous dose of gin.
Our tuna tartare, made table side with parsley, capers and chilli, is a downer. The fish is chopped too fine and lacking salt, woefully overwhelmed by a thatch of rocket leaves. Even the acid from freshly squeezed imported lemons can’t rescue this dish.
But look, here comes a gorgeous wild mushroom and taleggio pizza, earthy and acidic at the same time: we only wish the pie was a little airier. House-made linguine is totally worth the shame of eating carbs in this restaurant filled with impossibly slender people – a perfect, nutty combination of basil pesto, pecorino and pine nuts.
For those of you determined to be good, the menu offers faro broccoli with almonds, beetroot tartare, even lamb chops. That pizza, though.
All through our meal we drink copious amounts of red wine, plus an off-menu Manhattan made with bourbon, which adds a nice hint of caramel. To end, we order tiramisu, decadent with the perfect balance of coffee, cream and cocoa. In a city where too often tiramisu consists of whipped cream, it’s refreshing to taste one made with mascarpone.
Why, it’s almost as if we were in Venice.
Getting There: Soho House Mumbai, 16 Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, call 6213 3333. A meal for two with drinks is approximately Rs 8,000-9,000.
Accessibility: There is a short flight of steps to get into the building.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was conducted by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and travel writer.
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