Food events On Invitation

The Sum-mit of Good Food - Le Jardin, Oberoi

Wednesday, June 15, 2016Me! In words

There is something nice about coming back to where it all began, as I am sure Chef Sumit Batra feels. This alumnus of The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development spent a few years within the chain and then spread his wings internationally. After stints in Sri Lanka and the celebrated NoMad New York, Chef Sumit is back to where it all began, bringing with him an enhanced skill set and ideas that promise a very satisfying culinary journey for all his guests.

Chef Sumit's return to The Oberoi brought to mind something interesting that Gary Mehigan of Masterchef Australia recently told me in an interview about a trend he had noticed among chefs. He said that Australian chefs from 20-25 years ago all left the country to learn new techniques, flavours and methods, and then returned to Australia to apply their new found knowledge much to the delight of the locals. These travels and returns continue to happen, only to enhance the repertoire of a chef. If Chef Sumit's launch tasting menu (available till 24th of June) is anything to go by, his international sojourns and inspirations are going to go serious places here in Bangalore. I was invited to a preview of this tasting menu and here is what it was all about.

The vegetarians and the meat eaters have separate menus. Though I opted for the meat version, we did manage to sample most of the vegetarian menu as well. The first course was the Carrot Tartare with sunflower seeds and multigrain crisp. Finely julienned carrots laced with sunflower seeds gave this very fresh dish a lovely crunch. A light hand on the seasoning ensured that the focus was entirely on the freshness of the carrots balanced very nicely with the crisp.
I can't possibly see oysters on the menu and opt for something else. And so, my first course was the Oysters with Mignonette Snow. Freshly shucked oysters with the Mignonette sauce converted into a 'snow' (an inspiration from the NoMad kitchens) in the form of ice crystals that held together all those wonderful flavours of shallots, pepper and vinegar. Be sure to suck up the oyster as soon as it hits the table if you want to taste it the way chef wants you to. And don't forget to sip on some of that tangy snow that melts into the shell.

My second course was the Sweet Pea Chiffonade with Pancetta, Onions and Parmesan. Again, the crispness of fresh snow peas, piled to the side of the plate with shavings of parmesan and a generous hand with the diced pancetta was exceptional. The freshness of the snow peas, the saltiness of the pancetta and the sharpness of the parmesan make this a wonderful dish. The nicely done chiffonade aside though, as the regular diner, I would have preferred something I could spear easily onto my fork. This dish required some concentration to complete.

Now though this was not my dish, it was one I wished I had asked for - Avocado gazpacho with scallops, cucumber, yoghurt and frost - a cold soup with an avocado and yoghurt base, cucumbers and in the seafood version, with scallops. This entire dish is about multiple ingredients that come together in harmony and in complete balance of flavours and textures. From creamy to crunchy to sweetish to tangy... its all there and then some.

 Champagne sorbet - do I really need same more for this palate cleanser? Don't forget to drink up what you can't eat!

 Main course time saw my dining partners have the Chilean sea bass with Nori Mushroom puree, green peas and basil nage. The sea bass scored a full 10/10 for freshness. It honestly needed nothing more to make it fabulous. That being said, each of the accompaniments on this plate were great- starting with the nori mushroom paste. You would think that the mushroom would overpower the taste of nori; on the contrary the balance was great. The basil and green pea nage made for a good bite bringing on the subtle flavours of the seafood stock it was poached in. A lot went into this pretty plate and with good results.

The Lamb with squash, quinoa and carrot miso puree was my main course and no regrets in this choice at all. The meat surrendered to the knife with no resistance, a testimony to quality of meat and the love it was treated with to get it that nice medium. Who would have thought the crunchy quinoa would make a good pairing with the meat. It did, in a lovely way as did the grilled squash. The touch of carrot miso puree along made for a great moist factor for every bite of the meat.

Dessert was the Textures-Espresso Affogato - a different take on the classic icecream and espresso combination. For someone like me who doesn't like coffee in the least, the flavours here were not overpowering or strong, which can work both ways - great for those who prefer subtle coffee and not so much for those who like a punch to it. 

Now, till the 24th of this month, would be a great time to check out Chef Sumit's 5-course tasting menu at Le Jardin. It's priced at INR 1,975++ per person and is available only for dinner from 7.30pm onwards. You can make reservations on 080 25585858.

You Might Also Like


Contact Form