Park Plaza is a property in the Marathalli area that has some unique and hidden gems wrapped away in the many folds and facets of the hotel. They have 4 restaurants and 1 sports bar in the hotel premises. One of them is Melange, where I was invited for a meal during the holidays. Melange is a beautiful restaurant, warm and welcoming in the seating area inside, and pleasant and sometimes, windy in the patio outside. They serve Indian and Western food, a true culinary blend, as any.
This meet up was organized by Burrp, and it was quite interesting to get together, sit down and talk about where food industry and trends were leaning, and how we perceive food photography, writing and so on. Vaishali, a journalist herself, was quite the conversationalist, striking up these interesting discussion. Our menu that day was quite festive, with the New Year just around the corner then. The set menu for us had mocktails and cocktails, mostly shots, and a 4 course meal. There were options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I, of course, ate everything! This was a special menu curated by their award winning chef, whom I met later in the evening.
Our meal began, when impatient and hungry stomach insisted that we start the dinner off before everyone arrived, with a delicate mushroom and porcini cream soup. With a dash of basil oil, and served with leeks and bread, the soup was really delicious. I like creamy soups and mushrooms usually do the trick, and this was light and the perfect start.
In the appetizer, there was the panko crusted chicken strips, quite zesty. There was also the salmon mousse. Yes the Norwegian salmon was presented as a small pastry mousse, mounted with herbed garlic. The combination of the salmon with the garlic cream was radical to the palate, sublime and ending with a brief tinge. The vegetarian counterpart for this was asparagus and broccoli mousse, and a leek and stilton tart. The tart was quite nice, consistent and creamy, while the mousse wasn’t really what I expected.
And there, quickly enough we arrived at the main course. Now this seems a little hurried, and I confess, I had tickets to a 10 pm movie, and it was already quite late! But I couldn’t leave before the turkey now, could I?! The maple glazed turkey, roasted deliciously, and served with broccoli and water chestnut was one of the mains. The turkey was brilliantly done, not syrupy, yet a sublime glaze, and flavorful without seeming overdone. The sides weren’t really my focus, as I moved onto the other main dish, scampi with fettuchine in a light marinara sauce. The dish was well balanced, with fresh sea food. Nothing could make it better.
While my friend Prapti and the chef really got the dessert quickly for me to taste a bit before I ran off to the movies, I probably can’t be too objective about my opinion of the dessert. But I distinctly recall the plum pudding, a wonderful creation with cognac sauce accompanied by fruits. The fruit and black cherry sorbet on the other hand, was quite a bit of a contrast – a spicy sorbet with a twist.
Now before I let you go, I must write about their new director of food, aka Head Chef Narender Singh. He’s the Hotelier Awards 2015 Winner – Chef of the Year. As you can probably guess, this is the most prestigious awards for chefs in the country, and it’s a very big deal. And his menus, conceptualization and presentations each represent a unique, radical interpretation of food and the dishes. Definitely worth a visit.