Expensive MG Road

Polo Club's Menu Like You Have Never Known It!

Thursday, July 13, 2017ruthdsouzap

When I was working full time as a reporter, I remember coming to the Polo Club at The Oberoi and holding interviews with scores of personalities who visited the city. It was the one, and continues to be, that central place, which had a fantastic space to look over - whether you are talking to a pharmaceutical giant or sitting with your photographer waiting for an interview slot that is getting unnecessarily delayed. 

One of the things I remember the most is the endless cups of tea I have had here and how that tea sometimes was the only thing saving me from nodding off during a boring interaction. And that one time when I ended up skipping breakfast and lunch thanks to work and a very fabulous Club Sandwich at the restaurant came to my rescue!

Anyways.. that was a long time ago and since then, The Polo Club menu has had its fair share of revisions to bring in newer trends, newer approaches and some great food. Just one such wave of change has been steered right now by Chef Ajit Raman, who has recently taken over the reins in the kitchen. The idea, he says, is simple - the food business has seen enough of grandiose displays and gimmickry - its time to go back to what its really all about - simple, good, wholesome food. And it is this very approach that you see in the new menu that now features. I was invited to experience the new menu at Polo Club for lunch a while ago.

To understand the menu, you have to know that The Polo Club goes through a few avatars during the course of the day. It begins as a space for breakfast, in the beautiful landscaped environs and around the indoor space - where you can have a leisurely one, or a quick one when you are dashing out for your meetings for the day. Come lunch and you see everything from friends catching up to business luncheons taking place. Early evenings, the mood lighting kicks in, guests settle in with a drink in hand and the food choices can be varied.

Now the food experiences offered have to change to suit the need of the hour. The new Polo Club menu does just that - so if you are a solo diner looking for a meal that gives you the freedom to try out a few dishes at one go, the small plates on offer help you do just that. Or if you come with a ravenous appetite like when the Club Sandwich came to my rescue, you have several hearty meals to choose from. Healthy salads - check, filling gourmet burgers - check, something to go with your drink - check, decadent desserts - check. And oh yes, some delightful new cocktails - doubly checked!

So let me tell you all about what I enjoyed that afternoon with the lovely Pinky Padmaraj.

Let's start with the very interesting set of Barrel aged cocktails that are now on offer - 7 of them to be precise. Imagine your cocktail, created and then aged in wine barrels for a minimum of 21 days before being chilled and presented to you. Let me tell you, you will be sipping on it as though it were an aged single malt, taking in the deep flavour infusions. I started with the Angel's Share, that brought together Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire and Martini Rosso. Since it was a working afternoon I stuck to the one drink, but the Ruby Spritzer, the Cantaloupe Cooler and the Sea Buckthorn Reduction are all on my wish-list now!

Complimentary nibbles with my drink are definitely not run of the mill - Spiced Lotus Seeds and Ragi Chips. Fair warning - both are highly addictive and you can end up filling yourself up, which you don't really want to do. 

I went through a fair number of dishes that afternoon and for the purpose of this review, some of what I was served was in tasting portions. I am a sucker for good salads, and the choice here is not going to disappoint at all. Beginning with the Tomatoes and Whipped Feta (L) with Hyacinth beans, spring onions, toasted ciabatta. A cold mound of whipped feta with a sprinkling of crushed fresh black pepper, tangy tomato wedges and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Look at the picture, and the ingredients, do I really need to say more? The Iceberg wedges (Top Right) were up next. - This hearty salad packs in quite a bit - Hearts of palm, barley, moong bean sprouts, blackend chickpeas, sunflower seeds - all tossed up in a buttermilk ranch dressing. So much of good health in such a delicious way. The Greens and Grains (bottom right) salad has Broccoli, a generous set of organic mesclun, crunchiness from bamboo seeds, texture from quinoa, and some lovely flavour from chia and raisins - all of this wrapped up in a balsamic dressing.

From this we moved on to something for which you definitely want to switch off your cellphone, cut off from the world, stop talking and enjoy. The Artisanal Burratta, over asparagus and mushroom in a truffle broth with potato roesti. Let me tell you that after this dish, a small bit of nirvana was definitely mine!

 Chorizo Fritters - now these are little babies of fried goodness are good company any time of the day or night.

There are some good things about this menu - like the wide focus on food that is close to the heart and the local region. With some inspiration and ingenuity comes the Military lodge lamb Madurai style Uttapam - a Chettinad preparation, where pounded and spiced mince tops a thick uttapam with some chutney and coconut. Hot, spicy and spot on.

Pinky and I shared the Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger- Crumb fried chicken (with none of that annoying fibrous messes that tend to come), chicken ham, and some gorgeous gruyere that flows out the patty when you bite into it. The burger is layered well, with the crispness of the patty staying intact and the structure staying put till the end. The lettuce and pickles come on the side, just the way I like it.

 The trio of desserts that came our way began with the Churros with chocolate sauce. Crispy, sugary, cinnamon laden and that chocolate sauce completed the deal.

The Mini Summer Sundae is a complete party in a dessert bowl and you will like the fact that you are the only one invited to this one!

And when you want to go all prim and proper, yet treat yourself to something sweetly indulgent - the Berries and vanilla gelato is your best bet. 

The new menu at Polo Club is something you want to try. Good thing is, just about any meal and any food craving in between will be amply satisfied. A meal for two here is an average of Rs 3000++

The Polo Club
Address: The Oberoi, 37-39, MG Road, Bangalore
Phone: 080 25585858
Cuisine: International
Parking: Valet
Location: You will find it here

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