There is no better safari than one which involves shooting, cooking and eating … but of course, when the shooting is done with a camera !!!
I was invited to be a part of the truly entertaining Kitchen safari which is a novel concept organised by the executive chef Agnimitra Sharma of the Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur.
(Agnimitra translates to friend of the fire and trivia like this, excites me more than necessary )
Involving an expedition through their various restaurants and kitchens, the trail led us through Shimmer, Paranda, Azure and Caramel.
Donning our safari hats and armed with forks (not pitchforks) and spoons, we began at Shimmer (the erstwhile bar) by nibbling on the delicate amuse bouche, the Pera allo zafferano grigliata con insalata di mascarpone … Pera’haps this would need translating to Saffron grilled pear with mascarpone and candied walnuts
Going on to Paranda the Punjabi restaurant, we were cleverly lured into the kitchen and then made to perform hard labor in order to earn our Karare chatpate kumbh, the crispy mushrooms stuffed with peppers and cheese and the Hare pyaz ka bharwan paneer tikka, tandoor cooked paneer stuffed with spring onion.
The non vegetarians lent a hand in creating the Murg chapli kebab, the shallow fried chicken escalope and the gorgeous Lahsooni jheenga, tandoor cooked tiger prawns that were marinated in garlic, yogurt and cream.
The descriptions should be enough to express how outstanding each dish was. Do make sure to devour the paneer and prawns while still hot though.
Paranda also has al fresco seating in the Verandah … and while I said that just to rhyme one would do well to be aware that one could dine under the gorgeous 150 year old Banyan tree in the courtyard, when the weather is fine.
From here we elevated ourselves to the first floor and on to Azure which has been hitherto serving Mediterranean cuisine. Azure is now set to shift its gaze from the bright blue of the Med to mainly Italian, starting from the 4th of August, 2017.
With an exciting new menu that comprises of antipasti, soups, risottos, hand crafted pastas, pizzas and of course the Dolce (the sweet), it is all set to satisfy lovers of Italian food.
We tried our hands at creating our very own pizzas and even artfully filled and shaped our own tortellini and ravioli which we later had with creamy sauce and butter laden focaccia. Well our calories did need replenishing, with all that hard work right ? Just say yes.
Speaking of calories, our final stop was Caramel the pastry shop and we wended our way down the spiral stairway to arrive at shelves bearing everything our hearts could desire and probably should not
Well we were not really in a position to do any more justice to the food and our Safari’ng was only enhanced by the sight of rows of multi hued macarons, cream filled eclairs, baklavas and a selection of chocolates, pastries, mousses and gateaux that gateus all excited.
But of course we did manage to rise a tiny bit to the occasion and manage to sample from the Tiramisu so decadent, that we even ate up the spoon. Ok that was made of chocolate but you get the point right ?
The purpose of the safari was to give us a glimpse us of the new introductions on the menu and you could experience the same, after Aug 4th.
Jul 29th, 2017
For more pictures see My Facebook – Vivanta by Taj – The Taj Kitchen Safari