Blue Terrain, Novotel, Bangalore Blogger's Table Meet up
The CaL Bangalore Blogger’s Table got together for the first time recently, bringing together a group of like-minded foodie bloggers. As the solitary CaL Team Member in Bangalore, I was super-duper excited (and a little nervous, not being a cooking-type, just an opinionated reviewing type) to get the chance to meet up with the women whose blogs I had been following, and all of whom are accomplished photogs, cooks/bakers, and who can write up a storm at a minute’s notice, documenting their eating and cooking adventures. Now getting together a group of 11, in one place at the same time was not realistic, but we managed to get yeses from 9, which finally dwindled to the 6 of us who were able to make it to Novotel (aka Novotel Bengaluru Techpark) on that Sunday evening.
Novotel has just opened its latest offering, the poolside, outdoor dining Blue Terrain (blue lights and water all around, natch!). So, apart from it being the Blogger’s Table’s first ever meet up, we also had the added pleasure of checking out the brand new restaurant. I’ve been to Novotel a couple times before, and I was anticipating an evening of innovative, well presented and tasty food and drinks and charming service. What we got was all that, and more. Our group was charmed by the drinks and food on offer, and fell for the ambiance big time! The sheets of water gently cascading around us, the LED lights on the table that allowed one to adjust how “moody” we wanted the lighting, the sheer pleasure of dining al-fresco, under a slowly deepening night sky…
The drinks menu offers pretty much anything you want-beer, wine, spirits, and has a number of interesting “bartender recommends” cocktail and softail (my compliments to whoever decided to name ‘em something other than mocktail or virgin drinks) specials. I tried the Wild Voodoo Kick (vodka, cranberry juice, mint and basil leaves, lemon and galangal), while others ordered the very cool sounding (and looking, and tasting) Blue Cheese and Jalapeno Martini and Mango Konexxion-both spicy, unexpected and innovative. Each drink was also accompanied by a little side, be it a jelly to down before the drink or crackers. For my second drink, since it was a chilly evening and there was a flaming shot on the menu, I tried it, without quite stopping to think about the consequences of ordering en flambe in the presence of the wind god! The pictures from the evening prove that I looked like I was in a fire-eating act. In terms of presentation and write-ups, these drinks sure are ace in my book!
Chef Kailash went all-out and sent us everything on the starters menu, with a great mix of veg and non-veg items. This is one place where non-meat eaters will have absolutely nothing to worry about. The range was vast, and not the norm. As the vegetarian members of the table commented on, there and later in print, there was not only mushroom or paneer or potato for them, but yummy goodness that included Honey Glazed Carrots, Maple Roasted Pumpkin, Tandoori Cauliflower and Broccoli, Masala Arbi and Vegetable and Paneer Brochettes with Pimento Marinate. There was also salad and a pizza with grilled eggplant. I loved-loved-loved the carrots and pumpkin in particular.
The non-vegetarians feasted on things like Fish Hariyali Lasooni Tikka, Lamb Sheekh kebab, Zaffrani Makmali Jhinga, Peri Peri Shrimps and Jack Daniel Glazed Beef Brochettes. There was also pizza-but Indianized, and as I’ve written before, not something I care for. The salad was Leaf Lettuce, Grilled Tomato with Honey Mustard Dressing and Orange segments with Grilled barbequed Shrimps, and I have to give a special mention to those shrimp: the sauce on them and the crunch were just perfection itself. At this point we were groaning with a combination of pleasure and satiation, and Chef’s offer of main courses was flatly refused by all. But of course, as everyone knows, we have a separate stomach for dessert, and after some urging, we ordered one of each of the four things on the menu.
I have partaken of Novotel’s desserts before and know they are drool-worthy, so was looking forward to trying the new offerings of: Kilimanjaro (chocolate mousse encased in a mini-chocolate mountain, on a base of crunchy chocolate) , Baked Cheese “ A La Maison” with Yoghurt Sorbet and Berry Compote, Barbequed Baked apple Cake with Caramel Parfait, and Grilled Seasonal Fruits with Toasted Almonds and Rum Ice Cream. The Kilimanjaro was the stand out amongst the lot, which is saying a lot. You know you’ve delivered a winner when six women stand up, crowd around the plate, and dig their spoons in until there’s not a morsel left!
Blue Terrain has a really lovely atmosphere, and is a perfect place to unwind or celebrate a special occasion. I have already recommended it to friends as a great spot to take an out of town guest or to go on their wedding anniversary, and you should try it too.
Thank you to my lovely dining companions who have posted gorgeous photos and their experiences on their blogs. Look forward to more such gatherings!