Part 2 – Food and Drink
At Golden Palms they take their food and drink very seriously. With 4 restaurants serving varied cuisines and Bars at multiple locations on the property, they make sure that the guests are treated to copious quantities of food and drink that emerge from their kitchens.
Their signature palms also play a role in the cuisine with all their coconut chutneys and coconut milk freshly made from their own produce. In season, some of the fruits like jack and mango also find their way onto the menu.
Restaurants and Bars –
The Golden Palms boasts of 4 restaurants which include the Cafe Solaire, the Badshah, the Sorrento and the Hidden Dragon. The food at all these places to a large extent is made up of traditional old fashioned fare that aims to be hearty and comforting.
The in house bakery supplies all the bread and pastry needs and there is also a dedicated kitchen that churns out Indian sweets.
Chef Francis has been with the 18 year old resort for 15 years to date, which is a commendable period of time. Under his able management, guidance and strict quality control policies, they ensure that only fresh and approved ingredients find their way into the kitchens.
A special mention must be made about the serving staff who are present in quite a large number. Unobtrusive yet most attentive and attuned to the needs of every guest, they are by your side in seconds, whether it is to clear your table or to get you what you need.
Cafe Solaire is the 24 hour coffee shop where the buffets are laid out at breakfast, lunch and dinner for both in house guests and walk-ins.
Located by the poolside, this restaurant still maintains its original old world charm with its arches, wrought iron chandeliers casting subdued lighting, blue tiled flooring, glass and wooden counters and counters with walls clad with the strikingly colored ‘Bombay tiles’.
Long rows of chafing dishes bear the various offerings of the buffet, with the soups and starters, a salad section, an array of breads and cold meats, the mains and the dessert counter.
There is also a chaat section that includes a permanent Do It Yourself papdi chaat stand.
The bar glitters in the corner and one can order beverages of choice both alcoholic and non and it also houses the Cappucino machine.
The seating is both inside and al fresco in the open verandah where one has a grand view of the surroundings. While it is more comfortable to dine in the air conditioned comfort of the indoors in summertime, the outside would be more entertaining in cooler climes. 120 people can be seated in this restaurant with an extension towards the poolside in case of larger parties.
Sundays bring forth a grand brunch where the food is laid out both inside and out and there are many live counters too. Walk in guests can also enjoy the swimming pool along with their lunch.
Badshah is an open air dining option that serves Awadhi cuisine. Open mainly in the evenings, their tandoor brings forth kababs that can be enjoyed in the cool breeze of the night, at the tables that are laid out adjacent to the pool with the Cafe Solaire sparkling like a Solitaire in the background. One can order from a menu laden with Shorbas, Tikkas, Biryanis, Indian breads, rich gravies and of course their sinful desserts like Seviyan ka Muzaffar and Litchi ki tehri.
Sorrento is the Italian fine dine restaurant located in the main building at the entrance and can seat over 150 people in its large space both indoors and outside on the corridors.
Originally named the Garden of Eden, this was fashioned to mimic its namesake with several trees (presumably apple) bordering the walls and raising their dry branches heavenwards.
The restaurant is bathed in subdued lighting with ceiling lights as well as those hanging from the trees. The dining area is confined to the left of the large hall and the curved bar counter and dance floor are to the right.
This again is open only for dinner but it can double up as a private party hall for upto 300 people and also serve multi cuisine fare for events and functions.
The Italian menu is reasonably extensive and encompasses soups, breads, salads, appetizers, pasta, pizzas and rather decadent desserts like the ‘unputdownable’ Tiramisu and Panna cotta.
The Hidden Dragon is hidden away on the first floor of the main building and dishes out Chinese fare. Unlike its dimly lit Italian counterpart, this space is bright with pastel shades and vivid Chinese lanterns. Including its Private Dining Room, it can seat 58 people inside and about 15 more in the corridor outside.
This kitchen was initially under the management of an ‘authentic’ Chinese chef. After he passed away, it was then handled by the current local Chef who trained under the original chef. Hence it retains all its earlier popular Indo Chinese recipes.
The Bars –
The large property of the Golden Palms necessitates multiple locations for the bar, for one would like one’s drink shaken or stirred but not spilled in transit 😀 Hence every restaurant has a bar in its vicinity.
Apart from the bar within the Cafe Solaire, the Badshah has the Aqua Bar as its neighbor and as the name suggests this one stands by the poolside where one can sit on the High stools (pun intended :-D), and imbibe colorful liquids that at times also match the blue waters and for some reason, also your clothes 😀
The Studio Bar lies in the main building between the reception area of the hotel and the Sorrento restaurant and this has been labelled thus since it was modelled on the lines of a Bollywood and Hollywood studio set. Remember the Sanjay Khan connection ?
The large and well stocked bar lies along one wall of the dimly lit space where the other wall bears a larger than life 3 dimensional glimpse of Romeo and Juliet.
Figures of Spot boys lie curled up in the rafters, wedged in that same Spot since the time the resort was built !!! Large upholstered cushioned seats and bar stools lie bathed in the orange hue of the spot lights and an aura of nostalgia hangs heavy in the atmosphere. This was aptly named the Nostalgia bar in the past.
This bar can accommodate 40 pax indoors and 40 more in the sit out in the adjoining corridor.
Apart from these bars there is also a Spa bar said to be fashioned in Moroccan style, complete with a jade colored vibrant Moroccan tiled wall and wrought iron chairs. Currently not in daily use, this space is used only for small private parties.
Of course besides all these options, there is always the choice of In Room Dining and their room service is very prompt and neat. Their ‘Balconies with a view’ are a soothing place to enjoy a quiet snack or meal.
My dining experiences –
Day 1 –
Having arrived at lunch time (always a good time to arrive :-D), I headed straight for the buffet at the Cafe Solaire. The spread was reasonably vast and covered all the essentials and then some !!!
There was a good mix of veg and non veg fare and the multi cuisine aspect of the meal spanned the usual Indian, Asian and Continental.
I had a bit of the soup and I picked some healthy broccoli from the salads 😀 For the mains I chose to go Asian with noodles and a mushroom and greens dish that was laden with very generous amounts of Shitake.
The range of desserts is quite substantial but I chose to go with the fresh fruit, a teeny scoop of ice cream and my weakness, the Rasmalai which is made in house and quite good.
Since the chef thought I had not done justice to his meal, he decided that I needed to compensate with High tea and within a short duration after lunch, room service showered me with light and delectable Vol au vents loaded with creamy sauces of broccoli, mushroom and spinach 😀 Deja vu’l au vent ? 😀
Dinner was specially curated for the Begum at the Badshah 😀 for by now I was feeling quite regal.
My meal consisted of the chef’s picks of Kumbh Makai Shorba, an assorted platter with Paneer tikka, Vegetable Sheekh, melt in the mouth Kakori and Galauti kababs, chicken tikka and tandoori prawns that were large and done just right.
Shahi Nalli Nihari with Murg yakhni pulao along with the Dal e Badshah and a velvety Lehsuni chena palak was the main course, accompanied by an assortment of naans and kulchas.
A royal dinner, after which all I could do was to crash out in my Queen bed 😀
Day 2 –
Breakfast was the usual buffet, substantial and covering the South and North Indian as well as the Continental aspect.
Pork is served here only at this meal in the form of sausages, bacon and such.
One can pick from Eggs to order, dosas straight off the tava, idlies from the steamer, a host of breakfast pastries, upma, poori, paratha, pickles, muesli, toast, cheese, juices, fruit etc.
If you want to know what I ate, then take a peek at my plate 😀
The dosa and idli was good but they do need to work on fluffing up their vadas which could not withstand the cooling and turned a tad dense.
At lunch I was in the special company of Chef Francis, Manoj Kumar the AVP and Arenla the Sr Groups and Incentive Mgr who was my friend, guide and willing photographer for the duration of my stay :-D. These people kindly accompanied me at the Hidden Dragon where I was served a sumptuous Chinese meal.
A tangy pickled cabbage kicked off the taste buds, accompanied by watermelons that had been painstakingly and skillfully carved into aesthetically pleasing displays.
We began with the light and appetizing Lemon grass veg clear soup, followed by Tai pai baby corn, Classic cake, Garlic pepper prawns and Chilli basil chicken. The prawns were to die for, luscious and bursting with flavor and as always, this was the only dish that I had more than one helping of !!!
Shanghai fish, Honey glazed chicken, Twin mushroom spinach and tofu and assorted Chinese greens accompanied the Seven jewel fried rice and Hakka chowmein.
The Honey glazed fried noodles dusted with powdered sugar was served with a dollop of ice cream and we also had an excellent Banana toffee for dessert.
Dinner was off the buffet again since I did not want to order an entire meal as room service. The stand out dish of this meal was the Moroccan Lamb chops, generous amount of meat in a thick aromatic gravy.
Day 3 –
On the third and final day, I was to check out after the breakfast buffet but Chef Satish insisted that I should not miss out on experiencing the Italian menu … and when in Rome you just gotta do what they command you to do 😀
So I stayed back for the lunch that the Chef’s team had curated for me.
At breakfast I pretty much stuck to my usual dosa an idli and also a bit of Alu paratha. The pastries were shot only for you people 😀
The background is an old wooden board that I hunted for on the premises and much to the horror of the serving staff, I refused to use their neat looking table cloth. I promised them however, that I would let my readers know that their tables were spotless and this was only for my photography 😀
My final lunch there at the Sorrento was again specially curated from their menu and one that made sure that I would sleep all the way home in my cab 😀
Beginning with a Zuppa di Gamberi infused with Zaffarano, a great way to steal my heart with prawns, I was then served the Fungi Ripieni, large mushrooms stuffed with cheese and batter fried into crisp balls.
The main course had the Filetto de Pesce alla Livornese with Seer fish fillet in Livornese sauce and Pollo con Gamberoni a ‘Push me Pull you’ kind of concoction (if you have heard of the movie Dr Dolittle) with pounded chicken breast rolled up with prawn stuffing and presented with a chicken bone sticking out of one end and a prawn tail at the other 😀
The vegetarian dish was the Melanzane alla Parmigiana, a layered bake of plump roundels of grilled brinjal, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
Penne in Arrabiata sauce, Bbq vegetable pizza and Ravioli with basil pesto completed the mains. The freshly made Ravioli was my favorite, garnished with crisp deep fried Basil sprigs.
Yes there was dessert after this richness, with a decadent Tiramisu alla Veneziana and saffron infused Panna Cotta, both plated with an Instagrammable flourish 😀
Well a meal like this is sure to tempt one to return to the Golden Palms again and again and that was exactly what I planned to do as I departed from the place !!!
Booking and Contact –
The Golden Palms Hotel and Spa is located at –
Address – Golden Palms Avenue, Off Tumkur Road, Bangalore – 562123, Karnataka, India
Email for general enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org
For Bookings connect with the Sales office at – +91 9513533888
Sep 12th-14th, 2018
Please Note – This is a collaboration, based on the invitation of Golden Palms Hotel and Spa, and I thank them for hosting me with their signature hospitality.
The narrative is based on the inputs that I received from various sources as well as my own experiences.