Friday, April 27, 2012

The Island - A Review

Uncharacteristically scorching, unrelentingly hot, this is not the Bangalore I have known! The discomfort, the constant need to keep the fans whirring, guzzling gallons of buttermilk and water. Water as a drink, a sight and sound is so welcome!  An invite for dinner at The Island could not have come at a better time. Why, the name itself sounds like fun, the pictures of the restaurant charming. Well, few will not want to dine beside a cascade of water, the low tables set on raised platform, water gently flowing underneath, hammocks completing the picture. There is also an upper deck seating which gives you a view of the area below. Casual dining in a very pleasant, relaxed ambiance , think a casual party in your garden. A place where you don't need to 'dress up' for a meal out. The concept here, as the owners Mr. Kay Mikado and Mr. Pankaj Bhatia emphasize, is a casual dining lounge, affordable good food in a very nice beachfront kind of ambiance. The cuisine - Mediterranean, Fusion and Continental.

We were greeted by Priyanka of Avian Media and Mr.Vipul Khurana, the manager of The Island. Sweata, Aliena and Monika were yet to arrive. Once all of us assembled and settled down, the cool drinks were first of course. All of us opted for mocktails - The Bartender's special, Strawberry Pinacolada, Island Special and Fruit punch. They were pleasant enough, but a little too sweet to my taste. All of us could not help but notice a slightly predominant bubble-gummy flavor, almost over-powering the flavor of the fruit in the mocktails.

The Spicy Cheesy Corn Soup with Celery and Parmesan, served with bread was extremely tasty, quite spicy and quite unlike the ubiquitous corn soup. Don't go by the seemingly small portion of the soup, its quite heavy and you can't have one serving all by yourself unless you intend the bread and soup to be your entire meal. Definitely worth trying! There is a Chef's Special vegetarian soup and a couple of more non-vegetarian soups. We tried the House Chef Salad - greens with marinated cheese, olive, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, oregano and vinaigrette dressing. Substantial, with lots of crunchy greens, I would have loved more of sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and asparagus in the salad, but there seemed to be almost none in the portion served, at least on my plate. I found the dressing way too sharp for us, am not sure if the salad is intended to be that way, so check before you place an order for this. If you fancy tequila, Fuji Apple and Fig salad with smoked almonds, honey, lemon and tequila dressing may interest you.

An assorted platter of appetizers was recommended by the staff as we could not decide on what to taste! The Beer-battered Onion Rings were crisp and perfect, so were the Spicy Rub Potato Wedges. The delicious Nachos (a huge serving at that) disappeared quickly, the gooey melted cheese on the crisp tortillas perfect, a very appealing contrast of textures and taste. Spicy, cheesy, gooey, crispy all at once! The Island Delight which was crispy fried vegetables in smoky BBQ sauce was truly good. The seasoned cottage cheese cubes, though very soft, tasted faintly of cardamom, but no other flavors came through, hence did not leave an impression. The Fried Cheese Balls were OK, or probably too cheesy for me. Moroccan Fried Mushroom, Bajan hummus, Per-Peri Grilled Baby Corn and Mushroom are a few more appetizers on the menu.

Predictably, our stomachs were creaking under the weight of all the food we had eaten and there was hardly any (note, I only said hardly, and not absolutely ;) space left for the main course. If Priyanka and Michelle, the internal PR Manager, were shocked at our enthusiasm to taste most of the stuff sent to us, they were too polite to show it :). The Penne Alfredo with roasted vegetables was tasty, but a tad too dry, I love my creamy pasta with lots more sauce. The Thai Red Curry with steamed rice was appreciated by the others, but I am not much of a Thai food lover. We absolutely loved the vegetable sizzler with aromatic and very flavorful rice and it was a shame I ate it when I was full (meaning when I had space only for desserts) otherwise, I would have surely loved to eat more of this. Do try this if you visit.

Now the most-looked-forward-to part of the meal - I must confess, while I am still ordering appetizers, I must have a quick peek into the deserts menu :) Dessert was sunken chocolate with a sweet coffee sauce. With a brownie like texture, barely sweet with a nutty, coffee flavor, it was a winner topped with the creamy coffee sauce. I don't know how the recipe works, but I would surely try recreating this at home - slightly sweet brownie, with a not-very-sweet sauce. Can't wait to try! There was a pineapple and coconut based dessert which was quite pleasing. There was another cheese-cake kind of textured dessert which was quite tasty as well. An enjoyable meal in great ambiance, good company and rounded off with good desserts!

Mr.Kay Mikado also plans to introduce Sunday brunch for kids with food, fun, magic and other fun activities. The idea is to get kids have a good time and great food, while the parents get to enjoy a quiet meal perhaps? A place to visit again for sure, may be when its cooler.

There is also a buffet priced at Rs.299 plus taxes from Monday to Saturday.

Go for a very pleasing ambiance and good food at affordable prices. The service was quite quick, valet parking available.The USP - the ambiance. Needs work - more desserts!  The seating can be more comfortable.

Meal for 2 - Approximately Rs. 1,200 plus taxes.

The Island is at

#3, 80ft Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore, India 560038.

Apologies for not updating any food pictures here. I was not carrying a camera, the pictures above are courtesy Avain Media and  Burrp.


Divya Shankar said...

This one is just 5 minute walk from my place. I stay close to 80ft road, in Tippasandra. Had seen the ambience and a glimpse of the place when travelling by BMTC. Nice review/write up.

Archana said...

The place looks beautiful...nice review Suma...Now that I am in Bangalore, will go check it out...

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