On Invitation Pan Asian

A Gourmet it Up Experience at Shiro

Saturday, February 14, 2015Me! In words

There have been so many times when I have stepped into a fancy restaurant for a meal and have been plain flabbergasted by the menu. Sometimes everything sounds so good, you want it all, sometimes, you just can't figure out what combinations will work, and sometimes you just want to order and be done with it to get on with your evening. 

That's where a service like Gourmet It Up can make a world of difference. Already believed to be quite a phenomenon in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. The concept is simple. You sign up for the service with your email ID or your Facebook ID. Choose a city of your choice. Browse through a series of uniquely curated menus (created off-menu) primarily for a fixed price. Make a reservation, walk into the restaurant, enjoy your meal and pay the restaurant directly. Gourmet It Up, does not charge you for its services. 

The plus points - great menus from some classy restaurants that showcase the best that the restaurant has to offer. A pre-fixe meal that allows you to enjoy good food without agonizing endlessly over an extensive menu and the ability to budget yourself well, which I believe is always an integral part to a gourmet meal (at least for me). With the variety on offer to choose from, a meal for two allows you to sample several dishes off the menu. 

The service is new to Bangalore and I was invited to experience the Teppanyaki meal at Shiro. We got there at the scheduled time of 12.30PM and were settled at our table immediately. Chef Prem came out to greet us and offered us a copy of the menu for us to glance through. However, since this was a sampling, he offered to give us a taste of multiple dishes, in an effort to better showcase what you will get. 

At the table, with a range of sauces, just in case we would like to perk up our meal on our own. Though the sauces looked great, we did not really need to use the sauces which says a lot of good about the chef. 

The menu - where you choose one soup, one main (veg or non-veg) with your choice of sauces, rice or udon noodles to accompany it and a choice from two desserts. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians have a good choice.  

Drinks are not part of this package, but you can definitely add some to your meal. I had the green apple martini and Sudhakar had their signature Fig Mojito - My pick would definitely be the Fig Mojito - who would have thunk the combination of fig, demarara sugar and alcohol would work so well. The martini was nice too. 

There are two soups on offer - The Chilli Lemon Shiitake Soup that you see up here and the Miso Soup below. The balance of chilli-lemon was spot on and with that dash of coriander made for a nice beginning. The Miso soup was loaded with scallions and the dashi base was a nice one. Would have liked more tofu and wakame in mine though. 

This vegetarian salad with mushroom, scallions, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mayo and schichimi powder sprinkled on was a nice transition to the main meal. 

The beauty of a Teppanyaki meal is the theatrics involved in the creation of your meal. Chef Prem was good with his jugglery, his fire creation, the actual cooking and serving. He made for engaging conversation about the food as well, which is what the experience is essentially all about. 

First up was the Mixed vegetables with Soy Garlic sauce. When the basics are done really well, you know the rest of the meal is going to be fantastic. The vegetables retained all of their crunch, a fact that their time on the grill just heightened. The light hand with spices and the sauces ensured that everything came together perfectly. 

The Teppanyaki Fried Rice, considering it was the Valentine Week soon enough. Again, the rice retained a bit of its bite and that's what I like about nicely done Asian styled rice. 

This rice was teamed with Chicken in Chilli Bean sauce - a mix sweet and spicy, with the mild rice is a delicious combination for you to select. 

What turned out to be really fun was the fact that as soon as Sudhakar and I got the menu, we were putting together our own choice of meat and sauce combinations. When Chef Prem began to serve this combinations without us asking for them, we knew we were on the right page as far as choice went. What you see above is the fish with ginger and scallion - perfect combination of ingredients for a Teppanyaki, off the grill and into the plate experience. 

The Teppanyaki Udon Noodles 

This, the prawn with lemon and scallions was by far my favorite dish. It paired well with both the udon and the rice, both of which I saved to try with each accompaniment that was served. I always lean towards rice. 

The fillet of Tenderloin was done medium rare like we asked. The cut of meat was brilliant and that is almost 3/4th the battle won. 

There are two desserts on offer - The Mississippi Mud Slide (above) and the Coconut and Pecan Tart below. Both serve as great endings to a meal

Again, this menu from Gourmet it Up allows you to experience the Teppanyaki at Shiro with a 3-course meal priced at Rs 1000 per person. It gives you great gourmet experience.

The joys of a meal of this kind is that it involves theatrics, which takes care of your entertainment. Add to that good food, a nice ambiance and a chef paying personal attention to you and the formula is unbeatable. Gourmet it Up makes this even better with a menu that is large enough to give you choice, but not so much so as to leave you dazed. With a nice roster of gourmet restaurants and good concierge services, this concept really does have the potential to take off in Bangalore. 

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