Far, far superior than a location in a food court at a mall would suggest, Fresc Co is an Indian branch of a Spanish chain of Mediterranean restaurants. However, it does not serve Spanish food as I had thought — you get pizzas, pastas, grills and salads — in fact, if Fresc Co represents the food of one particular country, it would be Italy.
From opening time till around 4 pm, there is a lunch buffet on offer. It appeared to be extensive and looked fairly good — perhaps the best in the NCR in that price range (Rs 395), but be warned that while it is on, you cannot order from the menu.
The best item on the à la carte menu is the non-vegetarian tapas selection (Rs 295), for which you get dolmades (pine nut pilaf filled in vine leaves), ham on baguette (the breads are their weakest point — some rethinking is urgently required), prawns in a salad cream, tartlets with potted shrimp, a delicious tapenade and a creditable hummus, all serving two persons.
My pan seared sea bass (Rs 545) was one of the three most expensive items on the menu and is served with a light drizzle of lemon butter and parsley. What is billed as imported tenderloin (Rs 675) is a steak that comes from Brazil and is a good option if you are a meat-and-potatoes sort of person. However, Fresc Co is not only about full meals. You can also visit for a pizza or a sandwich.
I would rate the pizza far higher than the sandwich. My quatro formaggi pizza (Rs 415) was tasty enough and more than passed muster for a casual restaurant in a mall. The different cheeses were not apparent though; in a specialised pizzeria, the four different cheeses would be sprinkled such that you would be able to taste each cheese more or less separately. What did surprise me was the heavy hand with which dried herbs were strewn on the pizza, as if trying to drown out the flavours of the cheese.
Much less successful was my sandwich (Rs 225). Though the menu specified three types of bread, I wasn’t asked for my preference, and a rather ordinary baguette was filled with generous batons of barely grilled chicken, topped with melted cheese and bell peppers.
With an open kitchen and interactive counters running along one wall, you would think that they would have asked how I would like my sandwich. The bread is woefully inadequate for a Mediterranean place; one of the rolls in the bread basket had bits of candied orange peel in it! Also, the so-called olive oil is a disgrace to the Mediterranean region. Yet, for value for money, this place is way above average.