Bangalore restaurant reviews Expensive

Graze at Taj Vivanta - An all new menu

Saturday, May 23, 2015Me! In words

There is something so exciting when a chef is given a free hand in the kitchen and a whole new menu comes to life. Graze at the Taj Vivanta on MG Road has always been a place to head to if you are looking for a great meal. But there is a special kind of joy when you are invited to partake of a new menu that has been launched, and one that has been thought of so meticulously. 

This was one of the first invites we accepted since Anoushka went on vacation with the grandparents. So the desire to have a great meal was high on the cards. Chef Gaurav, at the helm of affairs for the evening, explained to us how the Graze menu, which once focused fine dining has now "moved the focus to showcasing classic recipes with rustic presentation". Though there is a substantial menu on offer, we placed ourselves in the hands of Chef Gaurav and asked him to serve us a 4-course meal.

The bread platter, as is customary made its way to the table. Some interestingly different breads and dips made their presence known - Three breads - corn bread, the classic garlic bread and pesto rolls were served, each one warm, crunchy and aromatic. The dips had an interesting chickpea offering, which had coarsely ground chickpeas with a hit of olive oil dressing. The olives were marinated in chilli and olive oil and the tomato pesto was tangy and provided the perfect offset to the bread. 

The Corn Bread and Pesto Rolls were my pick of the platter

First course was the Salad Graze - a beautiful creation of greens, asparagus, a touch of orange and the gorgeous crunch of toasted pine nuts. A great salad is always a pleasure, especially when its a visual treat as well - fresh green, retaining all their colour and crunch, the perfect balance of flavours, even when you have multiple ingredients vying for attention - this one was enjoyable right down to the last crunchy bite that was doused with raspberry vinaigrette.

Our evening was also paired with some beautiful wines, all in consultation with Chef Gaurav and what he planned to serve. We began with a gorgeously light Bibi Graetz Casamatta Toscana 2010 - This Tuscany wine is unabashed in its floral notes and made for a great counter in terms of acidity, to the salad we were served.  

You know a chef has found his true calling when he plays magic with a few powerful ingredients. The soft shell crab came up next as an appetizer. With a bit of lemon and seasoning, these offerings from the sea are crumb fried and served with a pineapple jalapeno salsa that gave the dish that zip that completed it. The dish was devoured right down to the last flavoursome crumb. 

And then we moved onto a pasta - Two delicate Tortellini parcels stuffed to the last crease with smoked chicken, placed on a bed of tomato sauce and fresh leaves of argula, with a generous shower of freshly milled pepper. The sauce was a chunky one and that added to the texture of the pasta. But the absolute star of the dish was the smoked chicken inside. You simply must ask chef the story behind - it involves some planning, some coaxing and a cigarette!

This course was paired with the Little Saint James Basket Sauvignon Blanc - I have always liked this French wine, especially since it pairs well with a range of foods and is always a reliable one. 

It was now time for a palate cleanser - and a mango sorbet was presented. It was mildly sweet and refreshingly cold. 

Our main course for the evening was Chef Gaurav's interesting pairing of Pork Knuckle marinated in red wine placed on a airy cushion of saffron laced polenta. The combination definitely works and the crunch of the fresh veggies adds to the medley of textures you feel in your mouth.

This course of the meal was paired with a strong Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Reserva - This was a lovely full bodied wine, went well with the pork. A sip of wine really whetted the appetite for the next bite and brought out the flavours of the meat perfectly. 

Of course for desserts Chef insisted we try the Tiramisu as he had his own special touch to this version - inspired by one of his sojourns abroad - Sudhakar did just that, and enjoyed the dessert to the hilt. The difference is for you to find out in the taste and the layering of the dessert. 

I had the Melting Chocolate which has a 53.8% cocoa content and the singular reason behind the gorgeous lava-like flow of chocolate that comes from this mound when you dig into it. But, the star of this dessert platter is the olive oil icecream you see on the other end. Every cold bite dissolves into the flavour of olive oil without leaving behind a sense of slickness on the tongue. Now that is talent!  being able to tease out flavours from the most unexpected of ingredients!

The entire evening for well spaced, as chef gave us all the time we need to savour each course and reminisce about every flavour as we waited for the next way of goodness. A meal for two here is approximately Rs 3000++. The service is impeccable.

Address: #41/3, Vivanta by Taj, MG Road, Bangalore
Parking: Valet parking
Phone: 49653105
Cuisine: European, Continental
Cards Accepted: Yes
Google Maps Link to Location

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