Cellar Door Hospitality announced this round of DineFest starting 19th February to 28th February, 2016, and this time it debuts in Bangalore, in addition to running in Mumbai and Delhi – where the event piloted last year, and saw a tremendous success. Taking lead from one of the most popular and largest fine dining events in Bangalore – Restaurant Week India – DineFest brings together a selection of informal dining restaurants, with prix fixe menus, charged at 500++ INR per head, and a nonrefundable booking charge of 50 INR per diner. DineFest will be the first multi-city culinary event in India to be held once a quarter.
General reservations begin from February 15th 2016, exclusively through the DineFest website (www.dinefest.in), with lunch as well as two dinner seating available throughout the 10 days. I was invited for a DineFest preview meal to The Black Rabbit in Indiranagar. It was a Saturday afternoon, not too warm and we decided to sit out in the alfresco. This is one of the few places in Bangalore that are pet friendly, and we saw a couple of pups being brought in, while folks enjoyed their lazy afternoon lunch.
There is a set menu for the Dine Fest. For the meal, one dish should be selected for the three courses. At The Black Rabbit, the food has Indian, Asian and American cuisines covered. To begin our meal, we opted for the Bacon & cheese bombs, and the Baked Asian duck samosa. The service time was quite fast, and the portions were quite good as well. The duck samosas had a fine pastry layer, stuffed with really soft and juicy minced meat. One of the best duck preparations I’ve had in the city. This was served with a delicious plum and soy sauce, a well-balanced sweetness, complementing the duck meat perfectly. The bacon and cheese bombs were also quite well done, the bacon being the right bit of crispy and accompanied by a charred chilli sauce made of habanero and bell peppers, giving this quite a zest.
The mains feature their special burgers, and an Indian curry. Wanting to keep some variety, I ordered the All American Beef Burger, recommended by our server. My partner got the baked halibut fillet in Kerala coconut curry with steamed rice. The Burger was served with fries and crisp baby onion rings which I loved! The tenderloin patty was juicy and the bun was firm –so, easy to eat. It is a medium sized burger, but eating it with all the sides was quite filling and more! I tried a bit of the kerala fish curry and rice that was quite mild on spice, and had several chunky pieces of fillet fish – quite sumptuous. Would recommend both the dishes.
I took quite a break before dessert. The food portions are quite a bit, and I had to make some space for the last course! The warm sticky toffee pudding with a scoop of ice cream in brandy snap was rich, tasted moist and terrific! The Profiterole was a little too heavy, a pastry roll filled with syrup, fudge sauce and was quite a generous helping of sugary sweet caramel. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, would prefer something lighter as a conclusion to a heavy meal. The selection is quite varied and lists their popular dishes, also had ample vegetarian and non-veg choices. Would recommend this place for a meal, quite interesting preparations and very well made.
The Dine Fest reservation is now live, and also features various other restaurants like Matsuri, Ente Keralam, The Red Fork, The Indian Kitchen and more. A very good value meal for a wonderful dining experience – a must try!