Last month saw the much-awaited launch of Lapis in The Oberoi Bengaluru. Lapis is the all-day restaurant, opened up in place of Le Jardin. True to its name, Lapis has a rich and deep blue interior, with three striking pillars – creating an indoor sky affect. The windows from Le Jardin overlooking the lawns have now been opened up as life size doors – and the restaurant includes an alfresco dining area as well – celebrating the gorgeous Bangalore evenings. There is also a private deck, in the midst of the verdant gardens – perfect for a romantic dinner.
We were part of the wonderful launch conducted by The Oberoi team, and absolutely enjoyed the drama and unveiling. Last week, Pinky invited a few of us over for a meal – to taste and experience the new menu and the various aspects introduced. While primarily Lapis is a buffet restaurant, I love that there is an a la carte dinner menu. It offers Indian soul food, cosmopolitan selection of international cuisines and a variety of grilled meats from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. The dessert menu also deserves a special mention. It showcases a fine balance between global classics and creative renditions, as well as diet specific dessert options.
Our meal started with Chef Hitesh Pant, Senior Sous Chef talking about the menu, concept and the tasting line up created for us. Pinky spoke about the introduction of small plates. These were crafted in order to allow patrons to experience more from the menu. The menu features a very relevant quote by American author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau – Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influence of the earth. It’s a very relevant message close to a century and half later, as we struggle to maintain ecological balance and realize that sustainability is the only viable way forward.
The first dish was a Rockstar, and my favourite – Brulée of goat cheese and herbs. The texture and taste were both just perfect. It had a side of a crunchy wafer made with flaxseed and pistachio and topped with passion fruit vinaigrette. A few other highlight dishes from the tasting were the pork belly coorgi style. This had kachampuli, slightly toned down, but you could still get the hint Kodava style cooking. We got a Chicago deep dish pizza with peri peri cauliflower and jalapenos, that was both indulgent and rich, really must try!
Then there was the delicious and equally well presented – Lucknowi dhungar masala. It is smoked lamb loaded with onions and served with chur chur paratha. The 21-day spiced duck was also quite rich and intense with citrus flavours. The desserts of this meal were clearly the stars. The caramelting hearts with hazelnut ganache and praline crisps were beautifully plated to perfection. The unbelievable apple is an artwork in itself; bound to delight you – with cinnamon mousse inside, apple jelly and a subtly roasted walnut ice cream. I could just go there for the desserts – Chef Sangeet, well done!
The cocktails in Lapis are conceptualized and inspired from the Periodic Table. So balance of flavours, colours and the chemistry – all integral to a well-crafted mixology. We had the Aurantium – named after the element gold made with gin. Also, Cubanite, after Barium – was a delicious gold rum and lime with a bit of mint. I can’t wait to see the whole table complete!
The Last Word
To me, Lapis is about the versatility of space as well as innovation in food. The fluidity of the space and décor allows different moods and experiences to be easily adapted. And the food focuses on the world trend of source local, celebrate regional and explore global. The buffet pricing is INR 1695, and there is a salad and dessert buffet at INR 995. Average pricing for a la carte for two adults will be INR 3200. All prices mentioned are exclusive of taxes.