Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chiu Chow Festival at The Lantern- The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore

 The Lantern at The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore is a magnificent place that you would love to visit again and again. Last weekend I posted few pics in different online platforms along with a small write up about the experience I had at The Lantern. Recently they had a Chiu Chow Festival (18th April - 24th April) with a special menu were they served Teochew, Cantonese, Szechwan, and Hunan food. I was invited through my friend Arijit Choudary for a special tasting session. Located in one of the busy roads in Residency road, this five star restaurant is not difficult to find. The Ritz Carlton is a popular fine dining hotel in Bangalore and If you take top luxury hotels in the world, The Ritz Carlton will be one of the name you will see.
Once you enter 'The Lantern', the first thing you will notice will be the decor which will transport you to China. This place has its all, when it comes to style- decor, porcelain and pottery vessels, beautiful lanterns, glass walls and rustic wooden flooring with alfresco seating. They have given a different dimension to the fine-dining concept.

Incense cocktail
I was glad to attend the Chiu Chow fest. Chiu Chow is the cuisine originated from the Chaozhou region which comes in the east of Guangdong province, which includes the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang. Their cuisine has some influence from Cantonese as well as Fujian cuisines. The techniques and styles used are almost the same. Chiu Chow cuisine uses a lot of fresh sea food and vegetables in their dishes. Its always a great feeling to attend such food fest and to know more about different cuisines from across the world. Ritz Carlton Manager Nitin and the person who served us Krithi was so helpful in describing the dishes. They have a special Chef all the way from The Ritz, Shenzhen - Chef Luo Haiming whose in-house specialties are Sauted Turnip cake with Xo sauce, five spiced venison, Taiji vegetable soup, braised lamb with garlic shoot etc. Xo sauce is made of dry shrimps and it's a heavenly sauce.

Hot and Sour Szechwan soup (Chicken)

Pork and lotus root soup

Chef Jeremy
We started with hot cup of soups - Hot and Sour Szechwan soup (Chicken) and the festival special Pork and lotus root soup which was a slow cooked pork soup for almost 12 hours. I am not a pork lover, but when I heard about the efforts which goes in to the making soup, I thought of tasting it and I just absolutely loved it. While enjoying the soup, Chef Jeremy spent some time with us and explained us about the Chiu Chow delicacies. He made sure that, he sends best of the best dishes out from his kitchen. Next we had the appetizers which took us to a gastronomical extravaganza. Every single dish served was so damn delicious.

Crab meat, Prawn and Chicken Xiao long Bao

Lobster Money Pouch Caviar

Spring Onion Roll
Shanghai Dumpling

Shrimp Dumpling

Baked Barbeque Pork bun

Seafood, Chicken & Taro Spring Roll and Deep fried Prawn Wontons
After the sumptuous starters we didn't know there was more on our way- the main course.
Main course served were Steamed scallops with rice noodles and garlic, Spicy king prawns with beans, garlic, green peppers and bok choy, Sliced chicken in mahalak sauce, and then veg special - Lotus root, asparagus, snow peas and broccoli in Kim Yam sauce. All the main course were served with Burnt garlic rice (Egg) and their in-house made Hoffan noodles special dish, Fried rice noodles (Chicken).
Fried rice (Egg) with side dishes

Spicy King Prawns with beans, garlic, green peppers and bok choy

Sliced chicken in mahalak sauce

Lotus root, asparagus, snow peas and broccoli in Kim Yam sauce

Fried rice noodles (Chicken)

Steamed scallops with rice noodles and garlic

Xo sauce

Main course served
After the main course, we were so full but there is always room for desserts and especially when it's a special dessert, how can I say no? I had Mango pudding with Sago and Custard bao with Vanilla Anglaise. Mango pudding was very seasonal and it has got chunks of mango pieces and tiny pieces of grapefruit which added an extra tangy taste to this blissful dessert. Pudding was definitely a hit. Custard Bao was also good along with the yummilicious Vanilla Anglaise.

Mango pudding with Sago

Custard bao with Vanilla Anglaise
Drinks I had the best ones at 'The Lantern'- Incense, Samurai and The Lantern. Incense was more of a citrusy cocktail with strong taste of mandarin. I love Orange and vodka combination. Samurai was another version of Pina Colada cocktail which was also good. But the show stopper was their signature drink - 'The Lantern' which gave a hit to all my senses. Smell was so divine, so as the taste of this cocktail.
Signature cocktail- The Lantern
Overall it was an evening to remember lifelong with a top-notch hospitality and an awesome spread of food. My experience at 'The Lantern' at The Ritz Carlton was truly delightful that I will recommend this place to all my friends. They are going to have a 'Smile Asia Week' from May 2nd - 8th. More details coming soon on my blog.

The Lantern - The Ritz Carlton
99, Residency Road
For reservations, contact - 080 49148240/41
For more details, check out The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Relish the celebration of Songkran Food Fest (Thai New Year) at Sake,The Zuri, Whitefield

Sa-wat-dee pii mai (Happy New Year in Thai)

Pic courtesy: The Zuri
Sake, The Pan Asian fine dining lounge at The Zuri is celebrating the Songkran Food Festival from 15th April - 24th April. Songkran is the Thai New Year which is celebrated from 13th- 15th of April. The word Songkran from Sanskrit language means 'the passage of the Sun from one Zodiac sign to another (Pisces to Aries). Songkran falls in mid of April and the festival is celebrated in Thailand, Cambodia and many other Southeast Asian countries. It's also known as the 'festival of water' were people splashes water on each other and the belief is that by doing this, it will wash off all the misfortunes from the previous year and also to welcome New Year with a good start.

When I got an invite for the ongoing Songkran food festival at The Zuri, I was more excited about the Thai food they serve. This was my first time at The Zuri and I am sure I will go back there again soon. Thanks to my friend Arijit who invited me for this food fest. We had a great time at The Zuri. Some of the highlights of this place were the ambience; which is perfect for a five star hotel, quick service, courteous staffs, and more importantly they serve authentic Pan Asian food.

Pina Colada

We had a 5-course meal which consisted of soups, salads, appetizers, main course and desserts. I started off with a glass of 'Screwdriver' cocktail which was Vodka with Orange juice. While sipping the cocktail, they served us soups- Tom kha gai (a refreshing coconut milk soup with chicken) and Kaeng jued woonsen pag (clear soup with glass noodles and vegetables). Soups were really good and refreshing.

Next on the menu were the salads. Salads are always good for health and with an increasing 40+ degree celsius weather in Bangalore, we need more of this kind of food to cool down the body a bit.

Some of the salads we tried -
Yum Kai which was Thai chicken salad with fresh mint leaves.

Yum woonsen, a spicy salad with glass noodles and fresh vegetables

Pag phad bai gaparow which was stir fried crunchy vegetables with chilli and hot basil sauce.

Neva phad naam man hoi which was tasty thin sliced tenderloin in oyster sauce (not in the pic).

All the appetizers were so delectable and were a blend of sweet and spicy combination (mostly on a sweeter side). Chicken, lamb and spring rolls were my pick of the night.

Gai pad nam prik pao, a stir fried crispy chicken in roasted chilli paste)

Pe pad namprik pow (crispsy fried lamb tossed with roasted chilli paste)

Po pia thod pag (Thai vegetable spring rolls with glass noodles)

Hed yang (marinated grilled mushroom which was Chef's secret recipe)

Main course served were Kaeng khiao wan (Thai green curry with prawns and pea eggplant), Kaeng phet (chicken in Thai red curry with bamboo shoots), and Kaeang phanaeng (Thai style phanaeng curry with peanuts and cumin) served with steam rice. Coconut milk was the main ingredient in all the main course we had. I loved the freshness in the curry which was so tropical.

Dessert - Tam tim krob which was chilled and cubed watermelon with sweetened coconut milk- a perfect Thai dessert with flavors at its best.

While having dinner we had a quick chat with Chef from Sake and he was happy to hear the positive feedback from us. Another name worth mentioning is the young lady,Thangi who made some amazing cocktails. Manager Vineet Nair was the person who was in-charge for the evening and he made sure everything went well and we had a great time there. Songkrang fest is happening till 24th April, 2016 (dinner and only 'a la carte' menu available). Try this place for a delightful rooftop dinner experience with an awesome spread of Thai food.

The Zuri Hotels
244, Hoody Village
Rajapalya, Whitefield
Bangalore - 560048
For reservations, contact +91- 9620335599
For more details and other events, check out The Zuri, Bangalore

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Le Cirque, The Leela Palace, Bangalore

Yet another restaurant week is coming soon. Restaurant Week India gives you an opportunity for the best fine dining experience in your city at a best price. They started in 2010 and now it happens very often in cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata.

Assorted Italian breads

I can’t wait to book a lunch/dinner at a restaurant from my wishlist. When I think about one of the previous restaurant week experience and the fabulous dinner I had at Le Cirque restaurant, first thing comes to my mind is the taste of fresh Italian herbs- thyme, parsley and rosemary. Then the taste of mushroom Crostini, Seared Shrimp, Vongole, Grilled Chicken Paillard and an awesome Carbonara sauce stuffed Ravioli.

Seared Shrimp with black Truffle sauce


Ravioli Carbonara


Lemon Sorbet

Orange Sorbet


Grilled Chicken Paillard

Creme Brulee

Lemon, Orange Sorbets were really refreshing and to end a brilliant dinner we had the tastiest desserts- Crème brulee and my favorite Tiramisu. A surprise will be there once you finish the Creme Brulee- recipe for a perfect Brulee. Isn't it so cool?

The Le Cirque at Bellagio, Las Vegas has won a Michelin star. So nothing can be compared to the service they offer. From the time I booked this dinner, Leela staffs used to constantly give me reminders and also they enquired if my better half or I are allergic to any specific food. So if you are looking for an unforgettable fine dining experience, then this is the restaurant you should hit. Drinks were not part of the restaurant week menu. Chef Giuseppe Mandaradoni curated menu was fabulous and I had the best Italian food. You are the best Chef! Take a bow :) I will set 'Le Cirque' as the benchmark for Italian restaurants in town. This time, its 'Zen-The Leela Palace' which is included for the 'Restaurant Week India' along with other top restaurants in Bangalore.

Le Cirque
The Leela Palace
23, Old Airport Road
Contact no: 080 25211234
Check out their website, The Leela Palace, Bangalore 

To know more about Restaurant week India, check out Restaurant Week India

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