Italian food can easily go right and just as easily go wrong. To understand the techniques, comprehend the culture, and cook each dish soulfully is one way to get it right. At Fire and Ice, Kolkata, you could say this is true. This restaurant is popular for its perfect, bang on thin crust pizzas. Even friends traveling from Italy enjoy eating here.
This weekend I was there for lunch with the folks from The CaL Blogger’s Table. One of the women recommended the Farcita (400), which is essentially a traditional Caprese salad stuffed inside warm bread or in this case, focaccia. The dish looked more appetizing than it tasted. The focaccia was decent and almost a little chewy, though usually the Garlic focaccia’, another favourite, is excellent. The mozzarella used in the stuffing was unfortunately quite rubbery and hard. Unlike how moist and succulent this cheese should be. Next, for appetisers we ordered the Spiedini alla griglia (non veg) (495); nicely flavoured chicken skewers, a little dry, marinated with a thin coat of soft melted cheese, and served with a beautiful garlic-herb infused olive oil-laden zingy creamy sauce. This little addition on the plate strongly lifted this dish, as the chicken seemed a little mundane without it. The grilled pepper in between the chicken pieces was perfectly cooked, except the clove of garlic at the end, which was uncooked!
Our final entree, Rondelle di patate fritte (295) was rather average. They were unevenly sliced potato fries served with tangy tomato and pesto sauces. The pesto left a sour flavour on the palate, as it’s flavours were very sharp, and not in a comforting way. The tomato sauce was pleasant and smooth tasting. The dish overall was not very impressive, but a good bite to go with drinks and Fire and Ice’s intense cocktails. The main course however was more interesting. We started with the Pasta Bolognese (435). All the pasta dishes on the menu come with a choice of spaghetti or penne. The Bolognese sauce was tasty, but lacked the right amount of tomato, thus making the pasta quite dry. The sauce however, was meaty and simple and the mutton was tender and authentic In terms of flavours. The seasoning at this establishment is usually quite authentic and not bastardised by the local palate. The pasta too was cooked perfectly al-dente. The Lasagne tradizionale (495) was also quite average. The winning element in this dish was its creamy Parmesan sauce. As with the Bolognese penne, there was a hint of tomato gone amiss. The pasta used in the lasagne was homemade, and tasted fresh and delicate. The other pastas and risottos on the menu are definitely worth a try too.
The pizza we ordered was a half and half of Pepperoni (263) and Fire and Ice (200) respectively. (These prices are half the price of the topping selection, for the half and half). The pizza, as usual, was perfect: crisp and scrumptious, just the way a good pizza should be, with bursts of fresh flavours in the perfect tomato sauce. The signature Fire and Ice pizza has some very interesting toppings: thinly sliced french fries and red pepper slivers, brushed with rosemary and oregano. They also have a choice of a whole wheat pizza base, which is quite nicely done too.
For desserts we ordered the Chocolate mousse (235) and apple pie & ice cream (250).
The mousse was perfectly set, made using good chocolate, and served at the right temperature. The consistency was smooth and creamy. Lip smacking! Definitely something to look forward to on every visit. Even the brownie on their menu is quite good. The apple pie was average. The tart was well baked and crumbly but the apple filling had an overdose of cinnamon. The ‘softy machine’ ice cream served with the tart made it all together better and more tasty. Other than what we ordered, they have a list of other interesting desserts displayed for customers to choose from, and of course the cute chalkboard with the dessert list written out, only added to the rustic charm of this diner. And you know where to go to satisfy your pizza cravings now!
Photo credit: Kamalika Chakrabarty