Pasto is a reinvention of Masala Magic – a very drastic and total transmogrification actually.
Looking for a bite after treating myself to a new phone (Nokia E62) we decided to finally try Pasto. On all earlier occasions I have avoided the place thinking it would probably serve different renditions of the cliched and ubiquitous ‘pasta with cheese’. Whatever I may have thought, nothing, I repeat, nothing could have prepared me for the experience that lay ahead.
The decor has been changed since Masala Magic. It is still minimalistic and nothing too fancy, but looks good at the same time. Still around 30 covers in the area I was seated. Chilli flakes, mixed herbs and a combo container of olive oil and balsamic vinegar at every table.
The owner was here again (I like the way he can be found at his restaurant – unlike most others) and guided us through the menu. He was also nice enough to treat my daughter to a bowl of penne in a cheese sauce. The menu was a single page, with 4 separate sections (or was it 3). I *love* small menus since in my experience they turn out to be backed by good food and this was no exception.
Anyway, here’s what we ate – Chicken Stuffed with Ham, Tuna in a creamy sauce and Herb encrusted Grilled Chicken. Each dish had a distinct taste and and was quite good. The chicken was actually slices of breast stuffed rolled with ham, sautÃ©ed or grilled, with some mixed vegetables (quite nicely cut I must say) and topped with a delicate sauce. It was served with a mini helping of spaghetti and two slices of crisp bread with garlic butter. Beautiful to look at and even better to eat. I didn’t get to eat the wife’s tuna, which she devoured, all the while complaining that the portion was too large. My mother in law though couldn’t manage to finish the large portion of herb encrusted chicken. I couldn’t make out the composition of the crust… well actually, I was too busy making sounds of appreciation and chewing the chicken slathered with generous portions of the accompanying sauce of sun dried tomatoes. My daughter too gave up and handed her pasta to me, which I proceed to consume with the same gusto. Here too, the cheese sauce was very delicately flavored (basil?) and an absolute delight.
Did I mention the bread basket with home baked, warm bread and herb butter served whilst our order was being processed?
Pasto certainly doesn’t figure in the economical range of restaurants anymore (unlike Masala Magic) and my eyebrows did go up a tad when I saw the prices, but after the meal I happy signed the card voucher and also added a little something for the excellent service. It is so nice to hear words like ‘balsamic vinegar’ coming from a person waiting on you in a restaurant rather than the grunts and monosyllabic replies to simple questions.
Meal for two: INR 700 – 1000