In a nutshell:
A tiny Spanish Restaurant in Gurgaon that came as a pleasant surprise. With a hands on Super interactive chef, this restaurant serves some good & mostly authentic Spanish food from not a ‘run of the mill‘ menu at sub Gurgaon prices.
Address & other details: Pintxo
Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Thank god someone thought of doing something different in a mid segment restaurant. Else continental in mid segments has few good places and really very few stars. The only other options for this cuisine r the restaurants in 5 star hotels – those r of course expensive. So not really too many options for the food adventurers with a small budget. This one is one of the few that offer good continental food at affordable prices (by Gurgaon standards).
Outside the Restaurant, there is a white board on which ‘highlight food of the day’ is mentioned. The glass window pane of the restaurant also had items of the menu scribbled on it.
As we entered the restaurant in the day, we realized it was small but furniture very smartly laid out. Furniture was made with thick varnished wood. Simple & good. The tables were too close to each other – so close that u cud enjoy the soap opera happening in the adjacent table. The ceiling had an old world feel to it & so did the chandeliers. The bulbs, as pointed out by the Chef, only had the filaments visible. Lighting during evenings r dim but nice.
Peppy Spanish music played thruout. It was non-intrusive but enjoyable. One cud enjoy a chat as well as the music.
At Pinxto we came across an unusually super interactive & hands-on chef. He tried to understand our taste direction and said he cud tweak the preparation that way, if need be. He was of course happy to serve the way the Spanish have it. He himself came to note the order, discuss it in detail, went back to the kitchen to help the junior chefs prepare the food, came back & served the food & he was the one who prepared & got the cheque for us. Another guy just cleared the plates for us – he was not much trained though. In short, it is still a ‘one man show’ – Kudos to the Chef for being so super active & attentive to everything that was happening.
Alcohol is not yet served here. They however have some very good soft drinks.
The menu card was short & crisp. It had the dishes mentioned in English as well as spanish.
We loved the food in general. There were some that were too bland for the Indian palate. But those tastes grew on us after a few bites. Rest of the dishes were super hit from the first bite.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started with Virgin sangria. It had tiny cubes of pear, crunchy apple & orange peel steeped in a chilled fruity base. I quite liked it. It had good flavours. It was not out if the world but was very good. Its tate got better as we kept sipping into it for 30 minutes. I rate it 4/5
We started our meal with Steamed bun with slow roasted pork belly. Loved it. The pork belly was soft, juicy, not melt in the mouth but just right texture. The flavours were outstanding. Every bite was a delight. The bun baked in-house was very nice, soft and had a mild fermented feel to it. Do not remember having anything like this in delhi. Great. I rate it 4.75/5.
Potato fries served with the dish were a different cut than what is usually served here. They were optimally salted, quite crispy on the outer side and soft within. It was infact so addictive that we had to set it aside so that it does not fill up our tummy space.
We moved on to a vegetarian dish – Eggplant caviar with goat cheese. On the initial bites the goat cheese did not make its presence felt. However as we moved towards the middle, we started enjoying the flavours of the cheese. A bit more of the cheese cud have been better.
The base for the dish was tomato but it was done properly and hence it did not end up being tomatoeee. The dish was a bit in the sour side but did not at all cross over to the ‘irritatingly sour’ side. It felt almost like a ratatouille placed inside a scooped aubergine. I rate this dish 3.5/5.
The next dish we ordered was Trout with Serrano ham in almond sauce (Pescados de la trucha con jamon Serrano).
It was a whole fish with head, but central bone removed. It had a layer of super thin Serrano atop. The fish had small bones in the rib area & had skin as well. The dish was subtle, had good flavours but had two issues. First was I guess execution related – it had suboptimal salt. No amount of sprinkling of rock salt did any good. The chef said that the Serrano is supposed to lend salt to the dish – hence no / not much alt is added to the fish. Yes, the Serrano did have salt but it was not enough to give a salt balance to the dish.
Second, the bones in the fish can b challenging for those not used to eating fish with bones. It might also b challenging for those used to eating fish with bones but not with fork and spoon.
The Serrano atop the fish was also not easy to cut with the set of knives provided coz the fish was soft and the Serrano placed atop was stronger than the fish. It just tended to get a bit messy if attention was not paid – eating this dish was not effortless.
Fish was fresh and very good. So was the ham. The whole package I think cud b reworked a bit more. It was in the right direction & overall good. I rate this 3/5.
We also tried Roast beef sandwich. It was super-duper good. I do not remember having it so good except in some rare 5 star hotel restaurants. The sandwich was sloppy & messy but absolutely delicious. We were finger-licking.
The meat was fibrous, chewy but soft & juicy with an amazing taste & it had fabulous flavors. The sloppiness was from the mayonnaise & also from the overflowing juices of the beef (everytime I wud bite into it). Super loved it & rate it 4.75/5.
For dessert we had Poached pear with ice cream. It was a very good pear, the graininess of the pear cud b felt. The sauce had cinnamon flavor and was very thin in consistency. It was unidirectionally sweet, though not too much or too less. The ice cream gave a bit of robustness to the otherwise super subtle taste. I liked it but am not confident too many people will like it. Those with a wide palate will surely do. Those used to only strong indianized taste might not like it. I give it a 3.5/5.
Rating of food at Pintxo averages out to 4/5 for Day 1.
We ordered Valencia Paella – shrimps, pork belly & chicken (read tehmenu card). Chef told us that in place of Pork Belly we wud b served Chorizo & we were totally fine with it. I have had quite a different paellas in India but none like this. To begin with, it was made from marvellous imported Arborio rice that is usually used to make this dish.
The Paella was full of different flavours . It was different in every bite. It had Squids, prawns, amazing chorizo, chicken & bacon. All seafood was soft (perfect texture) and flavorful. Very few occasions have we had such good chorizo in India.
Salt in the dish was minutely penultimate. In fact the level of salt was like it is in Europe. For Indians used to strong taste, a mild sprinkling of salt might just do wonders.This time around I realized that the ‘penultimate salt’ is not an accident but by design consistently over time across many dishes at Pintxo, to stick to the authentic taste & feel.
Super liked the flavor and the taste. Rate it 4.5/5.
Next dish we ordered was Pork chops with Apple / apricot sauce with sautéed veggies in black pepper and garlic and mashed potato. The mashed potato was awesome by any standards but a bit over salted (I realized later that it was by design). The sauce being apple was obviously sweet. The sautéed veggies was mildly over salted. The pork was low salted. The idea is to eat the low salt pork with the high salt potato, thus balancing the overall thing. Salt and sweetness at the same time. Once all of these went into the mouth at the same time, it was heaven.
The meat was not super soft but soft enough to be enjoyable. Flavours were excellent and so was the taste. I wud warn that not everyone wud b able to appreciate this. This taste usually grows on one. People used to European dishes wud obviously like it & Europeans wud surely appreciate it. That is why everytime I go to this restaurant, there r Europeans dining here. Among Indians, those who wud appreciate it wud like it a lot. Rate it 4.25/5.
For dessert we had Chocolate Mousse with strawberry Compote in a Brandy Schnapps basket. Unlike most places, the basket was made fresh after we ordered it. When we asked the Chef if the mousse was from some other place, he actually got his full Mousse bowl to show us that it was made inhouse.
The strawberry compote was rich, sweet & predominantly sour. The Mousse was super rich, intense, mildly bitter & of course sweet. It was one of the best Mousse I have had recently – freshly inhouse made of course has its advantages. The basket was ultimate – I think best I have ever had in town. The combination was lethal & way over expectations. The tastebuds gave a standing ovation. Rate it 4.75/5
Average rating of Day 2 is 4.5/5
We ordered Gazpacho – a refreshing cold soup , something not very common in india. Made from raw tomatoes, this soup is kaccha – uncooked but put thru a series of processes. Result – smooth cold soup that has a nice flavor of tomato without being tomatoeeee. Finely chopped tomatoes and cucumber had to b added to the soup b4 having it. Rate it 4.25/5.
Next we ordered chicken wings. It turned out to b the best ever chicken wings I hv had in my whole life. Perfectly cooked and spiced, Soft and juicy inside, charred and burnt on the outside, finished in a hot sweet and salty strong sauce. Garnished with aioli. Rate it 4.5/5.
Then we went for pastrami – open sandwich with layers of awesomeness. super crispy bread at the bottom – compressed garlic bread. 1 inch bread compressed to 5 mm, thus removing all air from it. Layers of mustard, cheese, pickled watermelon rind, fresh lettuce leaves, some other sauces and topped with super awesome cured beef pastrami that was further marinated in sauces. Absurdly juicy and unbelievably tasty. Rate it 4.75/5.
Last dish of the day was Salmon with skin in a watermelon curry with carrots French beans. This surely is a connruisseurs choice, first timers pls do not order it. Sweetish sauce texture bordering a gravy. Non sweetened fish atop a bed of watermelon cubes, immensely juicy fish from inside and mildly charred from outside. Super loved it. I commented – this will win a critiques choice award but might not b a box office hit. Rate it 4.25/5
We also loved the dessert – flan. Simple but very good. Wud not recommend to those who appreciate only strong taste in desserts. Rate it 4.25/
Rating of food at Pintxo over Day 1 & Day 2 averages out to 4.25/5. I wud surely revisit here to have croquettes & Australian lamb chops – both of which I have heard, r very good. How has been ur experience?