On August 30, The Westin Mumbai Garden City in association with Te-A-Me, launched the brand new Al Fresco Lounge at their popular Italian restaurant Prego. The extension of this Italian diner is an open-air lounge that offers gourmet finger foods and an array of handpicked exotics teas by Te-A-Me. The launch evening was a celebration of sorts, where some guests were enjoying live music while sipping some Rooibos Creamy Vanilla tea, few tried their artsy skills at the origami counter and a whole bunch of enthusiasts queued up to get their fortunes read from a tea-reader.
The launch was a high-tea soiree and was a gastronomical delight. Al Fresco is open for all, from 9 am to 7 in pm. It serves an assortment of cookies, Masala Butter Puff, Cinnamon Raisin Rusk, Caramelised Puff. Chef Antonello Cancedda of Prego, who is also known as the ‘singing chef’, has carefully designed the menu and a few of the many mouthwatering treats include Harry’s Bar Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Panzerotto Pugliese, Mini BLT, Turkey Tarragon, Prosciutto Apple Brie and Ham Pimentos Cheese.
“It’s an Italian high-tea lounge, so we have picked something that’s authentic, like Harry’s Bar Grilled Ham, which is an extremely popular sandwich from Harry’s Bar in Venice. We have designed this menu in such a way that it has savoury and sweet flavours, which goes well with the exotic range of Te-A-Ma teas here,” said Chef Cancedda, who entertained the attendees by singing the popular song Pani Da Rang Vekh Ke from the movie Vicky Donor, while strumming his guitar.
A comprehensive menu of teas offers an assortment of herb, fruits, flowers teas infused with the choicest black and green tea leaves; along with coffee and milkshakes too. The tea section has Peppermint, Organic Spice, Roobios Orange Cinnamon, Kashmiri Kahwa and iced teas like Wild Berry, Cranberry Apple and Lychee. To provide an authentic food experience to the guests, most of the vegetables that are used to prepare the food at the lounge are imported from Italy.
Though Prego was launched in 2009, what was the inspiration behind launching the lounge a decade later? “This open-air space was always accessible to the guests who visited Prego, but there was no proper set-up per se. We thought this outdoor extension of Prego had the potential of a cafeteria sorts in a luxurious setup,” said Akshay Sood, Director of F&B, The Westin Mumbai Garden City. So, it was decided to open this lounge. “Plus, it’s open-air and is surrounded by lush green trees, which enhances its overall appeal,” he adds.
The lounge surely offers something that’s not very easily available in Mumbai – an outdoor experience. “It allows the guests to enjoy some good time in the open-air lounge, soak in the environment while tasting some delectables. We are offering some freshly baked breakfast pastries and rolls in the early morning; and after 11, there are sandwiches, light salads, puffs – foods that are light,” said Chef Rahul Dhavale, Executive Chef at The Westin Mumbai Garden City.