Bangalore restaurant reviews On Invitation

The Tiffin Room - Alila

Tuesday, November 18, 2014Me! In words

Admittedly the blog has been silent a long while - those times when life and work take over and before you know it, the blog doesn't see a post for over a month. Not to say I haven't been eating out. I have a host of places that I have visited and am yet to write about - Hard Rock Cafe, a large post on Miltry Hotels in Bangalore, a mini review of Serafina, an interview with Pat Chapman, founder of the Curry Club, when he visited the city recently for a promotion - well there's all of this and more. 

And with all of this on... its not that promotional invites were not flooding the inbox - they were doing so with a vengeance. But honestly very few sound interesting enough to consider. Alila's invite stood out for the fact that it was a farm to table concept that was being showcased and that this was now going to be present at the Tiffin Room as a new menu. The meal promised to be a lovely sit down dinner and not one of those where you are incessantly plied with food. Weekend traffic was the only dampener, but then, for a promise of good food I will travel. 

A good 1.5 hours in traffic later we were seated at Tiffin Room and were ready to begin. The idea behind the Farm to Table concept is primarily to work with local, seasonal produce and create gastronomical experiences that have a high recall factor among patrons. We began with the Beetroot Carpaccio spiked with a pomegranate emulsion and topped off with goat cheese and pickled shallots. It was a visual treat to begin with - the beetroot was sliced thickly for a carpaccio but with good reason - it was rolled and held its shape because it was baked. The crunch with every bite was audible and the sweet/sour mix of the pickled ingredients and the pomegranate made me, a beetroot hater, think quite seriously about second helpings. The goat cheese added to the textures going on. But I knew there was more to come and so held on. 

To the left is the Duck Breast with onion jam and vegetables with a touch of fresh micro-greens. On the right and skewered were Prawns BBQed with a garlic-yogurt marinade and a tamarind glaze. The Duck scores 10/10 for me. It sliced through easily, was cooked really well and paired well with the slightly sweet onion jam and crunchy vegetables below it. The prawn is a familiar taste as far as the marinade goes, Mine probably spent a little too much time on the grill for me - a slightly charred part aside, it did taste good.  

I know how many noses will scrunch in disdain when you read that we were served pointed gourd next. I too was one of those who ate my veggies and grumbled all through what I thought was an ordeal. It was only when I was in a hostel and then a PG that I actually began to venture into eating everything that God deemed fit in this green world that I took a sincere liking to vegetarian food. Anyways, coming back from my rambling, this little Parwal, was stuffed with the flesh of the veggie and a mustard sauce which bore true testimony to Chef Banerjee's Bengali heritage. I love mustard as much as my undying love for rasam and this was a fabulous dish. The ghee rice bed, though good, was totally incidental to the meal for me. 

Next up was the Kolkata Bhetki wrapped in a banana leaf parcel with classic Bengali spices and placed atop a ball of short grain rice. To the right was a Grilled Chicken with a Mandarin Jus and creamy starchy saffron rice. The chicken was moist and the citrus touch of the mandarin complimented it well. The starchy saffron rice was a smart accompaniment. I love me my fish what with my Mangalorean background and this was done beautifully. 

How can a meal end but on a sweet note? - To the right is the Bitter Chocolate Torte on a short crust pastry and caramel icecream. In the matka is a Baked Yogurt with an infusion of dark palm jaggery. Desserts for me are also just a spoonful and these were really nice. I would have happily done the Parwal again or the Beetroot Carpaccio!

A recurrent feeling through the meal was the fact that everything tasted fresh, which made a huge difference to the entire presentation. The flavours were light, yet blended together perfectly. This new menu will make a for a great treat even on a week night when you just want something nice to end the day on. The menu does go international with a tiny hint of India in it and vice versa, which makes the dining experience very interesting. A meal for two here will be around Rs 2500 ++.

Address: Alila Bangalore, Varthur Road, Ramgondanahalli, Whitefield, Bangalore
Phone: 7154 4444
Cuisine: International/Indian
Wallet factor: Rs 2500++
Parking: Valet

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