Bangalore restaurant reviews Food events

Restaurant Week India - Blue Ginger at the Taj Westend

Monday, April 13, 2015Me! In words

Restaurant Week India (RWI) is back with its first edition for 2015. The food extravaganza, will take place between April 17th-26th. In fact, general reservations are open right now and you can make a booking right here. 29 restaurants will be participating in the event this year, spoiling all food lovers in the city with choice! I was invited to a preview of the RWI menu at Blue Ginger, the fabulous Vietnamese Restaurant at Taj Westend which has a 4-course menu for Rs 1200++

Turned out to be a rainy night, keeping us in traffic for a good 1.5 hours for a small distance of less than 10 km. But once we walked onto the wooden floors of Blue Ginger and sat down gazing into the continuously blazing gas fires surrounding the restaurant, all the woes of Bangalore traffic were washed away. 

Restaurant Week functions on a simple premise. A four-course prix-fixe menu which gives you ample choice while showcasing the best the restaurant has to offer. One of us went vegetarian so as to sample everything on offer. 

As is customary at Blue Ginger, every guest is served an Amuse Bouche. This was lettuce wrapped tofu with a tomato-based sauce on it. The mouthful was cold, crunchy and certainly a good start to the things to come. 

The vegetarian soup was  Cilantro scented Haricot and Corn soup. Let me put it this way - Anoushka was offered a bowlful. If my fussy little eater managed to polish off the soup before us, you know for sure it was an exceptionally great soup. 

The non-vegetarian soup was a Cilantro scented chicken and corn soup. Golden kernels of crunchy sweet corn with generous nibbles of chicken made this quite the filler, despite it being perfectly portioned for one person. 

Moving on to the next course for non-vegetarians, we had a platter of Grilled Chicken with Lime Leaf (right), which was a succulent piece with the lovely, fresh aroma and taste of lime. Next was the Papaya and Mango salad (anti-clockwise) that gives your tongue a lovely smack of sour and crunch. Fresh rice paper roll with Roasted Duck (left) a brilliant bite-ful of lettuce, perfectly cooked duck and veggies wrapped in rice paper, with a peanut dipping sauce, adding to the flavour components. 

The non-vegetarian platter comprises of 4 dishes and we were served the Lamb Chops in Sesame BBQ separately so as not to get the flavours mixed. The lamb is moist and needs only a butter knife to slice through. The glaze on the lamb gives the meat an additional dimension. But what really steals the show is the little bowl of ground chilli, rock salt and lemon that is brought along. Squeeze the lemon into the salt-chilli mixture and dip your meat into this. You will not regret it!

This was the vegetarian platter. Apologies for the hazy photograph, but great ambience often makes for poor lighting. The Vegetarian platter has The Butter Garlic Lotus Stem (Right) which somehow managed to hold on to the crispiness of the lotus stem, yet give you a smooth buttery feel as you munch on it. The Grilled Beancurd with Lime Leaf has a crispy exterior and silky smooth inside made all the better with the lime leaf. The Rice Paper Roll with Tofu and is a good counter to its non-vegetarian partner. The salad on the platter is the same. 

A palate cleanser in the form of Mint and Lemon Sorbet

Moving on to the main courses - since we were sampling, we were served both options of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. But I will take you through each offering to give you a better clue.

Vegetarians have a divine Vietnamese Mixed Vegetable Curry. This coconut curry has a creaminess to it that makes it something you want to curl up with and savour slowly. The non-vegetarians have a fish version of this dish that had me contemplating about forgetting my table manners as far as licking the bowl goes. In the centre of the plate above you see the Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion in Lemon Grass Chilli, crunchy and flavourful, mushrooms are always a delight. To the Left you see the Stir Fried Broccoli, Bamboo shoots and Water Chestnut in Saigon Sauce - edible proof that simple flavour combinations go a long way. 

The non-vegetarian main course had Grilled Prawn with Lemon Grass Chilli which you see at the top right of the plate. I found it really interesting how similar marinades used in the vegetarian platter bring out a whole different range of tastes when applied to seafood and meat. The Vietnamese Red Fish Curry that you see below and the Stir Fried chicken in Saigon Sauce were also superb inclusions on the platter - all distinctly familiar but deliciously unique.

The Vietnamese Red Fish Curry with Rice which is divine. 

Two signature dishes feature on the menu - In this case, in the mains section for Vegetarians is a mildly flavoured, yet delicious Trio of Mushrooms with Green Pepper Corn and for the meat-eaters, the Wok-tossed Lamb With Sate Sauce - both completely worth adding to your meal for Rs 200 ++ each. 

There are three desserts you can choose from - To the left is the refreshingly cool Jelly and Coconut Cream. It had bits of jelly, apple, passion fruit in it. The Pabano Cheesecake (at the back) with a layer of mango jelly was creamy smooth and the kinds that you turn the spoon over to suck on so you get every bit. The Chocolate Mousse with Lemon grass Ice-cream (on the right), set in a sesame jaggery tuille cup was rich and can be a meal in itself. The lemon grass ice cream had subtle touch of lemongrass making it a palate cleanser and dessert all in one. 

Blue Ginger has a gorgeous menu for this RWI and one that is a great showcase of its offerings and for a price of Rs 1200 ++, it is an absolute steal. Make your booking right here if you haven't already. 

Address: Taj West End, 23 Race Course Road, Bangalore
Parking: Valet

Phone: 66605660
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Cards Accepted: Yes 

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