There are so many different things going on at Grolla it’s difficult to define. It uses smoke in almost all of its dishes and it serves pasta, but it’s not strictly Italian, or any other single cuisine.
Grolla’s is by co-owner and maître d’ Paolo Pirinya and his partner, Lek Pirinya, who is the head chef. A smoked kingfish carpaccio is dressed in yuzu olive oil and flying-fish roe. And smoked duck breasts are decorated with miniature dollops of ricotta and a caramelised-fig sauce. The signature dish is a chunky beef rib with pickled fennel, mustard and green mojo sauce (a spicy, Latin, herb-based sauce). Grolla is about entertainment.
Take the desserts; tiny cornettos with fresh berries, pistachio and peach coulis are served on a bed of salt rocks in half a wine bottle. A superbly constructed mascarpone semifreddo has a mango-and-lime-curd centre and a drizzle of smoked caramel and strawberry dust.
Seats at the bar overlook the antipasti prep and the walls are covered in Paolo’s paintings.