Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chef At Large Bloggers Table @ Blue Terrain, Novotel

Chef At Large is India's largest online food network, founded by Sid Khullar. It also has a Bloggers Table which is an exclusive group of blogs and bloggers across Indian cities. Thanks Sid Khullar, am honored to be part of the Bangalore Table! 

 The Bangalore table is quite recent, with Natasha Ali being the sole person who has been covering for Bangalore, her labor of love she says! As part of the bloggers table activities, regular meet ups at F&B establishments are held.. The first table meet was at Novotel's Blue Terrian and I was looking forward to meeting Natasha, Neha Mathur, Chinmayi Bhat, Nandita Iyer and Swapna Ventakesh.Monika Manchanda, Lubna Karim, Swati Raman Garg and Deepasri Deb could unfortunately not make it.


Novotel Bengalru Techpark on Marthahalli - Sarjapur Outer Ring Road, recently launched its Poolside Bar and Barbeque Restaurant, Blue Terrain. On the evening of 27th January, I found myself surrounding by the tranquility and serenity only water can bring. Going by the theme, the restaurant has cascading water features, an al-fresco pool and soothing greenery. Perfect for eating smoking hot appetizers off the grill, daring the winter evening chill to get the better of you!

Natasha and Abanti Banik, the Manager Marketing Services, Novotel, thoughtfully decided to have an early start to the evening. The very attentive and courteous staff handed us their signature cocktail and soft tail menu within a few minutes. I asked for Blue Sky, which was orange and pineapple juices, with coconut milk and cream and Blue Curacao. Very very nice, part from being very pretty to look at and yes photogenic too! The ladies with the cameras clicked away, while Natasha (and me, no camera) kept joking that she would allow them just a minute more before the drinks and food went where they rightfully belonged! 

Picture courtesy :  Swapna Ventakesh

The executive chef Kailash Gundupalli suggested that he would send out everything on the menu for us to taste, which was a great idea. We started off with a salad, Leaf Lettuce, Grilled Tomato with Honey Mustard Dressing and Orange segments - nice, but nothing you would remember. Loved the really thin crust Grilled Eggplant and Onion pizza, fresh and tasty! Until very recently, I never could have imagined my pizza topped with this humble vegetable, I want to try and re-create a Mediterranean pizza at home as well...Pumpkin and carrots don't normally find  a place in a barbeque menu, so it was really innovative to present these as maple Roasted Pumpkin and Honey Glazed carrots. Grilled just right retaining the crunch and texture of the vegetables, kudos! Tandoori cauliflower and broccoli along with the pumpkins and carrots must be mentioned as commendable effort by the chef to be more innovative and creative offering more options to the vegetarians, though there is more work needed on making these more flavorful. But then the very predictable potatoes and mushrooms were conspicuous by their absence, what a refreshing change!

Picture courtesy :  Swapna Ventakesh

The masala Arbi (a surpsrise vegetable again) was good and crisp. The paneer in the Chatpata Panner Tikka and Vegetable and Paneer Brochettes with Pimento Marinate was soft enough considering the heat they would have been subjected to while being grilled. Moong Dal Seekh Kabab was another winner which I took second servings of!

The staff had plans to organize for some bartending with fire, but could not as it was a little windy for this. But then Natasha sent some adrelanin rushing in as she tried the flaming shot. Blue Fire Shoot (Grand Marnier with Sambuca On Fire) A flaming drink to be gulped at one shot, brave brave girl, you had us all really really scared to just watch you!

 Picture courtesy :  Swapna Ventakesh

We were stuffed with all the grilled food and had absolutely no room for the main course. Desserts ? Always room for that! Again, we were served all the 4 desserts on the menu. Barbeque baked apple with caramel parfait - Really nice! I must tell you about this as I really don't like eating cooked fruit in apple pies and the kind. Mushy, sweet-sour fruit is something I don't enjoy. But this one with the apples sweet (US, Red) , cooked but firm sitting pretty on top of a lovely cake stole my heart! I hope the others did not notice me gathering the last bits, lapping it all up with the ice cream! I have changed my mind about not baking an apple cake, I am going to be baking one soon! Thanks Chef for making me a convert!

Baked Cheese “ A La Maison” Yoghurt Sorbet and Berry Compote - was not a total disappointment, but then I am not a fan of graham cracker crusts nor cheese cakes. The yogurt sorbet definitely needs work!

Grilled Seasonal Fruits with Toasted Almonds and Rum Ice Cream was appreciated by the others though I did not taste it. Kilimanjaro which was crisp praline croustillant hiding a mousse-ey chocolate interior served with citrus sauce. Dark, just about sweet - was gone in minutes, chocolate is always a winner! I am really really greedy when it come sto desserts, so I would say, more options on the menu please!

Here is what I would say about the - Extremely pleasing ambiance, great for a quiet evening under the sky with decent grilled food...If you are a vegetarian you won't for once grumble that there aren't enough options. Kudos to the Chef for making this place a joy to visit for both the vegetarians and teh non-vegetarians as well!

On the whole, a pleasant experience when you have a couple of hours to soak in the ambiance and savor some good hot food off the grill! Service is good, the staff and attentive, the food is good if not exceptionally so. Needs work - the sorbets and plating.

Thanks so much Novotel for having us over, thanks to Abanti for being a wonderful hostess, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening!

1 comment:

Archana said...

Wow....sounds like such fun...Its awesome that all this is happening there. Great write up Suma