Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blanca's Alex Leonard cooks at The Table

Rest : The Table
Loc : Colaba,
Meal : Dinner

Brooklyn's three Michelin starred, Blanca is a hot ticket with a 30 day wait for tables. So when i heard that my current fav restaurant The Table had their Chef De Cuisine down cooking a five course meal, it was a no brainer.

Pre Dinner cocktail was an old fashioned, which was brilliant and what i always get there. They also do a killer Margarita and i had a sip of a stunning pineapple martini which is also a must have. 

Melon Parsley Verde, Radicchio Amchur & Black Sesame, Malai Leeks & Potato. I am not a fan of Melon or Radicchio but all of it was brilliant. Great start, the melon verde was pesto like but for me the malai leek potato was the star here. brilliant.

One of my fav dishes at the table was the parsi cheese which is unfortunately no longer on the menu. This was the farmers cheese with burnt onion and it was probably the dish of the evening. Like eating air and a hint of the onion on there, brilliant. Has to have been hard to do :


Celery Root, Parsnip & Carrot Puree was salty but weird, good weird at that. Again not a parsnip fan but i guess its all about how you cook things.

Eggplant ceviche, baba ganoush, leche de tigre. Brilliant, the leche de tigre was as the name suggests was dangerous. the heat just snuck up on you.

orecchiette with grapefruit and pecorino. Interesting, a little chewy, probably the weakest dish of the evening but still fairly good stuff. 

Peruvian White Asparagus, Coconut and Black Lime. The Asparagus was lucious, brilliant and the coconut was sweet, i wasnt expecting a sweet course so it kinda threw me, still good, the coconut flavour wasnt that sweet.

Chocolate, Parmesan Truffle, boy was this weird. The chocolate was great but the truffle was strong and weird but it was fun to have together. The puffy rice was kinda weak, didnt add anything to the dish but otherwise it was excellent.

Overall, this was quite an experience, the portions were small but in the end youre there for the experience and more than that the creativity. Its great to have a cutting edge meal in the city and its exactly the kind of thing one would expect from a place like The Table, which has so far been super consistent (sad to say my previous fav Thai Pavilion has really dropped their game)

I am glad i had an open mind regarding a lot of veggies i never eat, hell i even had a piece of broccoli off @dharmeshg's plate and it was brilliant as well. Compared to some of the other Michelin star meals i have had, this is def in the top 5. 

Service was quick and prompt and friendly as one would expect.

The dinner was priced at 3500 without drinks and for the dimwits thinking its a steal, it isnt actually considering they serve 20+ courses for the equivalent of 12500 not that i am complaining, it was money well spent.

Thanks to my friend @qtfan (who booked the table and pre-paid risking no shows :) and his lovely wife C, @dharmeshg and @ankitsoni who joined us for the evening. Good Times.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Malgudi Tiffin

Rest : Malgudi Tiffin
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Bangalore Airport

Malgudi Tiffin has been the best dining option at Bangalore Airport and i always have a meal there before heading out. I love the cuisine and it makes for a nice goodbye to have one more meal before heading back. As always i opt for their terrifically value for money Thali. 

Started of with a Rasam & some poppadums. brilliant, peppery red rasam. what is not to like. 

the thali was practically the same as my last meal there so not much to say other than it was good. still dont get the yellow kadi business but the onion sambar was fantastic as was the gravy . the paratha was different from the ones i have had there before. the dahi wasnt tangy this time and neither was the chass. a little disappointed with that. 

Overall, the meal was great, no complaints. if you are there and in mood for a lunch walk in here and you wont regret it. they also have a express counter but ive never even looked at it. 

The service was kinda aloof and surly, i was 10 mins early for lunch service and they werent too enthusiastic about me hanging around until lunch began. i sat down and ordered a chaas anyway until their schedule allowed for service. 

food : 8/10
service : 4/10
damage : 550 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Terrific Food, Fantastic Service at Karavalli, Bangalore.

Rest : Karavalli
Loc : Gateway Hotel, Residency Road,
Meal : Lunch

Yet another Bangalore trip, this time for a wedding which meant most time would be spent in the hotel and with family rather than roaming Bangalore. One of my other trips my SIL took me every landmark in Bangalore in one day (here and here) but since it was her wedding, i was on my own.

Having been to most of the locally famed eateries i thought i would give the cuisine a try in a finer setting. Karavalli, came highly recommended from almost everyone i spoke to and it wasn't a difficult choice. 

Its nestled in a very green spot within the Gateway Hotel, which happens to be in the middle of the city but you wouldnt know it if you walked out back. This much greenery takes getting used to for a Bombay Boy. 

The space itself is very refined yet reflects the local touch. Understated elegance, gives you a  feel for how the patricians of the south must have lived during the Raj. 

The menu was akin to Konkan Cafe, in that it covered a particular region rather than say a Dakshin which has a comprehensive and exhaustive menu covering a great many regional cuisines.

i was determined to get the thali and the thali is what i ordered. Why choose when you can have it all ?

we started off with a little bowl of papads which i quite enjoyed. there was a terrific garlic pickel along which i might have finished half way. 

red chutney was terrific. i think i got em to refill it a bunch more times. 

the rasam was all pepper and fire, just brilliant. Got the appetite going 

So this was the thali, there was yam, potato, lemon rice, yogurt, onion sambar, a veggie curry and a stew.

these were served up with appams or parottas made to order. i had the appams exclusively, and loved em. 

they offer regular or red rice and i chose red of course. 

the dessert was brought out separately, the payasam, i am a big fan of these but i like em cold, but that's a personal preference.

a slew of paans to end the meal. 

Overall, my meal was terrific. a good thali in my opinion has no real standout dishes but works in tandem which was the case here, the dishes were in harmony and it wasn't too rich or complicated. Simple fare is hardest to do right anyway.

The pricing for what you get is terrific value for money. Its almost the third of the price of a Dakshin and nowhere is it weaker in what it offers which is saying something.

I must also say that the service was terrific, from the moment we entered till we got the check, they were extremely hospitable. They insisted we have something to drink, when i refused, they got me buttermilk anyway and then refused to let us pay for it saying it was on the house as we were their guests.

They ensured we knew the meal was not limited and we could more of anything we wanted. Explained all the dishes in detail and like at a family meal, they were nudging us to try this and that and warned us at the outset not to ruin our appetite with too much papad.

A great many restaurants and restaurateurs could perhaps dine at Karavalli if not for the great food, terrific ambiance then just possibly just to learn why they run one of the best service teams anywhere in India

Food : 8/10
Service :10/10
Damage : 2500 for two without drinks. 

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