Friday, March 4, 2011

Oyster Bay - Food Tasting And Review..

An invite for food tasting at a new seafood restaurant for a vegetarian? Something that intrigued me.  Being a vegetarian, I have the usual reservation to eat at a seafood restaurant as it’s not really a pleasant experience. The smell of seafood can be quite over-powering and can kill the pleasure of eating the best vegetarian fare. The tasting was to be held over the weekend, some of us invited on two different days. It would have been real fun to meet everyone on the same day, but could not happen so. I was looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers Sweata, Reshmi and Shreelakshmi as I had not met them before. Miriam could not make it unfortumately, would have loved to meet her too..

Dimna from PRHUB had reassured me that they very definitely meant to invite vegetarians too for this meet. But there was still that niggling thought in my mind as I set out to Oyster Bay on that Sunday after-noon. Kids at home with hubby and the restaurant being very close to my place was a consolation.

Oyster Bay is located at Koramangala, next to Bhima Jewellers, Jyothi Nivas Road. Its a division of Penver Products Private Ltd, a renowned sea food processor based in Cochin. One of thier biggest USPs they claim is the really fresh sea-food they bring to the table. The sight of the bright and sunny lounge bar was an instant pick-up as were the cheerful smiling faces of Dimna, Sweatha and family. Its feels surprisingly good when people relate to your blog name and then to you, I realized! But then we were not really strangers as we have virtually met courtesy the amazing blogosphere.

The lounge bar almost brings in the outdoors and we enjoyed our mock tails, while we chatted away waiting for the others to arrive. My Virgin Pina Colada was extremely refreshing and it was a pleasure to sip on it. A growling tummy is not most conducive if I must be good company! When Dimna asked if we were hungry, we all echoed a resounding 'yes!!' and she had to agree that it was the wrong question for foodies:-). We are shamelessly, perennially hungry!

We moved into the dining area, very well done with a subtle hint of sea in the paintings and the rest of the decor. The restaurant is quite spacious with a good seating capacity, an open kitchen and a small buffet area and a chocolate fountain. The very efficient air-conditioning gives absolutely no scope for any smell of sea-food, much to the vegetarian's delight.

We asked for a sampling of all the starters in the menu of the day. We were first served a simple amuse bouche, chick peas and olives in mayonnaise based sauce. We then had Cajun Spiced Aloo Tikkis, Crumb Fried Paneer and Jalapeno Poppers. I liked the way the food was plated and of course the lovely platters too...the platters have been specially sourced and hand picked by Mr.Thomas, the MD. The soup comes with a small side dish like mini paratha pizza and the kind, which makes the soup a mini quick meal in itself. The Jalapeno Poppers - gooey melting cheese encased in crispy covering was a dish worth mention. The Crumb  Fried Paneer would have been fabulous if the paneer had been really soft. The Coriander & Corn Chowder with Nachos - the only vegetarian soup on the menu - can be described as an interesting soup with the unmistakable taste of coriander seeds coming through.

For the main course, we had options of Dal Tadka, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala and Vegetable Ghee Roast, to be had with rice or rotis/ parathas. I opted for the Mangalore Vegetable Ghee Roast with Steamed basmati Rice. Though the drinks and the starters came in quite quickly, there was an inordinate delay in the main course being served. Guess this can be put down to the initial hiccups every restaurnat faces. The Ghee Roast was delicious with the aroma of ghee and made a hearty meal, but I could not help but wish that the rice was hot. Can't believe I ate up a good portion of it all by myself:-)

The incorrigible dessert lovers we all turned out to be, we requested for a sampling of all the desserts on the menu. I particularly liked the Missisippi Mud Pie and the Walnut Brownies. There was also Goan Bibinca and Lytichie Bavarian. The Tiramisu was disappointing though, probably my expectation of the dessert was too high..

From left to right.. Reshmi, yours truly and Sweata..

My Opinion: The concept of a sea-food restaurant offering to cater to vegetarians is extremely good. The vegetarian dishes on the menu though needs work both in terms of options and quality. The desserts - the part I tend to remember a meal by - also needs work. The ambience is great, service friendly, but more efficiency would be appreciated by the patrons. Mr.Philip Thomas, the MD promised more additions to the vegetarian menu. If you would want to eat only vegetarian food on the menu, you should visit the restaurant only after the additions are made.

Our non-vegetarian companions were very happy with the food, so there- a good restaurant with good fresh sea food, priced reasonably- that's Oyster Bay for you! 

Thank you Mr.Philip for having us over, we had a whale of a time! Sincerely appreciate the thought for the vegetarians. Wishing Oyster Bay roaring success!!

My special thanks to Reshmi for the pictures!


Anonymous said...

Wonderfully written! Im yet to do mine. This reminds me to sit on it soon :)

Unknown said...

Sure looks like fun. I'm not too big on seafood, so having vegetarian options is always good!

jayashree` said...

I wish I could also have been a part of this meet!
Next time, hope to meet you all in person!

Divya Shankar said...

Hi Suma, Good to see your picture - feels good to see the person I emailed for my oven purchase suggestion. BTW, have tried out Brownie, Chocolate almond cake, German chocolate cake, tandoori aloo, grilled baby corn until now in my new micorwave oven :)

CurryLeaf said...

Suma,I had completely forgotten to send u my pics.Sorry I had forgotten.And also I look so plump in the pic -a true foodie I suppose? :)
Love the review.All the minor details you have mentioned as well.I had posted mine few days back.

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

Oh I again missed this, was away in Kolkata for quite sometime. beautifully written piece suma.

Nachiketa said...

Love these events where bloggers meet up n chat about food n share our lives..... It's so much fun...
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts