On Invitation Promotion

7 Stars 7 Nights at Citrus, Leela Palace

Monday, August 31, 2015Me! In words

There are restaurant experiences and there are restaurant experiences and there are restaurant experiences that stay with you a long time. At a time when every establishment is vying for the attention of the always-hungry-ready-to-experience-something-new-on-their-plate Bangalorean, there are few that stand, out head and shoulders above the others. One such invitation stood out in my mail box. Citrus, at the Leela Palace Bangalore is hosting a "7 stars 7 nights" promotion, where the spotlight is on the 7 chefs of Citrus and the magic they can create. Each night of the week will have one chef create a 4 course menu that showcases a cuisine and takes you on a culinary journey, right from your table. All this for Rs 1800++ per person

I was invited to a media preview of this promotion and had a special menu curated for me that showcased a little of every chef's specialties. My meal was just the tip of the iceberg that you can expect when you visit Citrus.

We made a beginning with a dish from Chef Abhijit, who will showcase Japanese specialties with a contemporary twist - A Spinach and Tofu Salad that quite honestly changed my opinion on silken tofu and the fact that it may be served only in insipid ways. Here, was a mound of finely pounded silken tofu mixed with spinach and a generous helping of Parmesan. This was placed in a bed of Goma (sesame sauce), with dots of chilli oil and topped off with crisp spinach. What did I like about this? Let's see - the multitude of textures - silken, smooth, crisp. And then you had the flavors - nutty from the Goma sauce, which offsets the sometimes monotonous tofu, and the joy of fresh, crispy spinach. The flavor and texture combinations will ensure that you get through the dish much faster than your taste buds would like you to.

Up close and personal - Spinach and Tofu Salad

We moved on to a dish that is fit to serve Poseidon - A flavorful Seafood Bisque poured over a few select items from the bounty of the sea - Scallops, Prawn, Squid, Salmon and topped off with some Ikura (Roe) and a mix of seaweed and fresh Fujiko.

 As the soup comes cascading down from the tureen, the aroma is quite intoxicating...

And the dish in itself, even more so. I did not realize it till I was half way through the soup, but there seemed to be a lovely progression in terms of the seafood presented - from the light scallops and squid to the prawn and then the salmon - each fish played out differently with the soup and each one created a new set of feelings on the palate. The fresh seaweed added a lovely crunch and flavor to the soup. 

The next course is from the menu of Chef Giri who specializes in South Indian Food - Here is an interesting combination of dishes. Christened Stir fried Lobster - the dish consists of squid ink infused string hoppers that sandwich together stir fried lobster that has been tossed in a range of Indian garam masalas. The gravy you see below is a take on the Meen Moili and is coconut heavy. The dish was every bit as delectable as the description - the lobster was perfectly moist despite being stir fried - the string hoppers married beautifully with the gravy and the dish comes together to give you a medley of tastes like no other.

I am going to go ahead and hazard a guess that this next plate of gorgeousness was by Chef Pavan who is going to showcase Italian for this promotion. Any which ways, the next course was the Grilled Black Angus Tenderloin which was served on a bed of onion Carbonara, mushroom and red wine jus. 

So let me break this dish down for you - usually the Pasta Carbonara serves as the perfect foil to a juicy hunk of meat. Here, the chef thought of it a little different and decided to present an onion Carbonara - light, still retaining its crunch, it pairs amazingly well with the medium done meat. The meat, of course, surrenders to the knife in an instant. The mushrooms - oven dried and whole add, that wholesomeness that often characterize mushrooms. A dish that is worth a repeat order on the same day!.

And finally, perhaps by the contribution of  Chef Lokesh, who is the Middle Eastern expert. Banana Crepes, passion fruit ice cream, palm sugar and frosted nuts. This is a massive dessert and one that warrants a walk around the premises before you get to it. Do consider it! The banana infused crepes are delicious and the passion fruit ice cream very obviously hand churned in small batches. Only then can you get such lovely flavors! A great way to end your meal. 

And so there you have it - a week of indulgence that you will take several lovely food memories back home from! Available only for dinner, each day of the week is dedicated to one chef, and his specialty four course menu. The promotion is only till September 17th and is the price range of Rs 1800++ per person.

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