On Invitation Serves alcohol

Smoke house Deli

Friday, March 08, 2013Me! In words

We have been watching the building closely for a while now. Large white and glass facade, the unfurling of a name, until recently hidden behind the debris of construction and interiors, the beautiful chandelier just draping itself down, the small garden sit out being set up... Indiranagar has been waiting with baited breath and so were we... Smokehouse Deli was making a debut in Bangalore and bringing with it several memories of food and good times from its other outlets across the country. We were invited to a Blogger's Table for dinner, a day after Smokehouse officially opened its doors. 

It was the middle of the work week and simply setting foot through those doors brought the weekend a little closer. Smokehouse, Riyaaz Amlani, the restaurateur behind this hugely successful brand, explained to us how the interiors of every Smokehouse brings in the essence of the particular city. Zameer Basrai, the architect behind the hand illustrated Deli formats (do take a look at the interiors in the slide show at the end) spent a couple of weeks in Bangalore researching the city, its pulse and its lore. All of these have been translated into sketches on the every visible surface at the Deli. The idea is that when you wait for your food to arrive, you can instantly Google any of the names you see around you and will be able to get the whole story - look for the haunted house on St Mark's road, the popular bands of the city, the cuckoo clock and more. 

By the time we were done with our tour of the place and settled down, the bartender had our first round of drinks ready... Riyaaz told us of how they brought in a smoke machine into their kitchen... started off with smoking some meats, then thought of using it on their veggies, maybe a dessert or two.. and finally even their drinks... interesting to say the least... there was a lot on our table that evening and so into a picto-review we go. 

Marshmelon martini, Tangerine Mojito

Suffice to say that each of the drinks we served that night were brilliant. They were potent, very generous on the alcohol part, but what I liked was that the tartness of the fruit was never over-powered. Each of the drinks was distinct and even though we sipped each other's drinks to try, I did not feel we were drinking one and the same thing - a feeling that happens when you are out in a big group. 

Kiwi, Cantaloupe Melon, Jasmine + Eristoff at the back
Californian Plum, Star Anise, Lily + Eristoff up front

These two drinks above were as delicious as they were pretty. I, however preferred the Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Jasmine version over the Californian Plum. The Star Anise in it was a little too strong for my liking... Each of the drinks were served in glasses that made you feel like you were having a drink. Not those stingy little bloated brothers of shot glasses you normally see around. 

Smoked pineapple martini and watermelon martini

And then we came to the Smoked pineapple and watermelon martinis. The overall consensus was that the Smoked Pineapple could have done with more smoking... but again, that did not take away from the taste. The winner for me and for most us at the table that evening was the green apple martini you see below. I could happily down me a couple of these anytime...

Green apple martini

Now these are the drinks that went across the table all through the evening. The gaps were well filled in by taster portions of everything that Chef Glyston Gracios, of SmokeHouse Deli (Mumbai) wanted to showcase for us that evening. Chef Glyston is here to help set up the restaurant and its kitchen.

A twist on the basket, a bread bag instead

Devilled Tenderloin Bites to the left - the absolute winner on this platter. It disintegrates in your mouth leaving you with that mushy feeling all over, Peri Peri Spiced Squid Rings in the bowl
and a Chicken dish in the background

 Grilled Mushroom + Bearnaise "Crostini" - really nice, very mushroomy, Paprika Puffs + Wasabi Salsa - now this one, we could have gone on eating. I never thought that a dash of yogurt and wasabi together would make such a brilliant combination. This is why you have got to love experimenting with food.

 Spiked Cottage Cheese Skewers

 Tofu + Sesame Sliders - if you can convert me, you've convinced me. Never been a fan of tofu, but give it to me this way and you will have to keep it coming. 

 Bacon Wrapped Potatoes - this was brought out of special request. I wish I could get how the potatoes were made so soft, so lumpless (as it tends to happens with us at home). Keep this as a must have. 

Salads were next on the tasting table and uniformly the greens were fresh and crisp, the dressing not overly done and the ingredients in perfect balance. 

Oak Ash Chevre + California Orange + Passion-fruit Emulsion (my pick of the three)

SHD Smoked Chicken Caesar

Asparagus + grape with Smoked Fig & White Balsamic Vinaigrette

And then of course the main courses - thank goodness these were tasting portions (though between you and me... I could have easily downed a couple of these dishes on my own.. they were really good and even the alcohol will not really dull your appetite)

House Special Tenderloin Steak + Asparagus - Perfectly medium rare and could be sliced through with a butter knife

Chilli Crusted Cobbler + Lemon + Thyme (first time or newbies to fish eating - pick this basa dish. Because of the kind of fish it is, the flavors of the other ingredients come straight through and that little risotto at the bottom was brilliant)

Spinach + Ricotta - Ravioli (forgive the slight jerk of hand in this photo - this was when my tipple got the better of me - Vegetarians - this is your dish to enjoy

Wild Mushroom Risotto (I would die a happy woman if this were the last meal I ate)

Peri Peri Rubbed Grilled Chicken + Citrus Pimento "Reduce" - Grilled chickens often tends to get rubbery and chewy on the inside. Not this one and that is where the beauty of it lies.

Dessert time - now for the first time in my life I had two other women who don't like coffee sitting at the same table as me. I should have taken a photo with them (next time we meet ladies), because these are one of those rare moments. Chef brought out a Tiramisu first - for me, the coffee hit was mild enough to warrant having more than just half a teaspoon... but coffee lovers will want a stronger dose of the coffee. I stopped at first bite... no matter luscious it tasted, coffee just ain't my thing. 

What really is my thing though was the cheesecake that came out next - outstanding. While the others discussed desserts, I quietly helped myself to as many spoons as I could, before others discovered it. Both the flourless cake and the creme brulee (cracks beautifully - Masterchef has taught us too many things right?) too are lovely. 


Philly + Plum Cheesecake

Flourless Chocolate Fudge

White Chocolate + Orange "Creme Brulee"

Check out the handiwork of Zameer Basrai, the architect behind the hand illustrated Deli in the slide show below

Address: No 1209, Ward No. 72, HAL 2nd Stage, 100ft Road, Indiranagar. 
Phone: 25200899
Cuisine: Continental, European
Wallet factor: Rs 2500 for two (with alcohol)
Accepts Cards: Yes
Parking: Valet Parking

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