GITA HARI says that PICO Express offers fresh food that can relished by the busy urbanites.
No time to linger over a meal, on the move but need a healthy bite, make sure to pack some nutritious salad, sandwich, soup or mains from Pico Express. Nilgai Foods that claims to provide a unique blend of fine dining experience and operates an international gourmet cuisine café chain under the brand name PICO, recently launched a new outlet called PICO Express at Lokhandwala, Andheri. Basically, a take-away joint, it also has a few seating for in-house dining. Cafe Pico at Phoenix Market City, Kurla, is a dine-in experience and is among the five outlets.
“Crafted for the busy urban citizen, the outlets of Pico Express offer fresh and healthy food that can be relished by those on the go through their busy schedules,” says co-founder of Nilgai Foods, Arjun who has worked as a sous-chef in one of the finest Alpine restaurants in the Ski Resort of Bormio, thus now, bringing the practical and personal experience to the table in India.
Since the proof of the pudding lies in tasting it, we got to ordering a few dishes from their limited international menu. All items come from a central kitchen and are packaged. If you wish to savour them at the eatery, your order is microwaved and served. We started with Pesto Chicken and Veg Patty sandwiches – the chicken was tender with pesto marination in the former and vegetable patty was substantial to give a mouthful of flavoursome nibble. We spotted television actor Anup Soni tasting Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Lasagne and he looked pretty pleased after the experience.
The salads are healthy with pearl barley, green beans, cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, feta cheese though barley is not a favourite among many food lovers. It was the turn to dig into a wrap, so we went with Falafel with Yogurt sauce – crisp falafel and slightly sour, creamy yogurt was the right combo enveloped in a naan.
In the mains, Cashew Tofu Rice is a must try for the gentle tangy-sweet essence in the cashew sprinkled rice. Desserts comprise of tarts, cakes, cheesecake and mousse. Pack home the freshly baked Chocolate Chip Muffins, Almond Croissants or Banana Loaf Slice for they are really soft, spongy and yummy.
The credit for Pico’s epicurean fare along with co-founders Arjun Gadkari and Abhay Jaiswal is shared by Nicole Gonsalves, the head chef and also the lead innovator, whose relentless innovation to ensure that she finds and creates the right recipes to cook international food using local produce.
Chocolate Oat Slices
- 100 gm carob bar
- 100 gm hard margarine
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 225 gm porridge oats
- 100 gm sultanas
- 50 gm coconut (desiccated)
Break the carob into a pan and add the margarine and honey. Place the mixture over a very low flame and stir until all the ingredients have melted. Remove from the heat and add in the oats, sultanas and coconut. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased rectangular baking tin and bake at 180°C for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before cutting it into slices. Wait for it to cool down completely and store in an airtight container.
- 80 gm basil
- 30 gm pine nuts, toasted
- 50 gm parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 85 ml olive oil
- 5 gm salt
- 5 gm black pepper
Toast off the pine nuts till they turn light brown. Pick the basil leaves and place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add salt and pepper and refrigerate.