Dinner for two @ Grasshopper
My last blogger event of 2016 had a romantic set up and a 7-course Euro-style meal by an in house chef.
Think of a quaint little place, tucked away from the sheer madness of Bangalore city. You might have to brave some bumper to bumper traffic to reach this destination. But let me tell you, it's all worth the effort. A mini farmhouse/ jungle retreat like entrance, with a restaurant serving only 5 tables. That's the exclusivity this chic restaurant offers.
Ask any true blue Bangalorean as to where one should head for a romantic date/dinner - this place will top surely top their list. Each table well spaced from the other, offering complete privacy for your conversations. Just some light jazz music to elevate one's mood as candle light sways to its own melody, throw in some stars and moonshine (if you're lucky) to create their own quintessential magic.
Fresh flowers from the garden, adorn as a centrepiece with simple cutlery while you surrender yourself to a secret chef's menu - a surprise, each dish spectacular and appetising than the other.
This is Grasshopper to me :)
Grasshopper is located near Arakere, Bannerghatta Road. I would suggest you make your reservations well in advance by checking with Sonali (Owner) along with your dietary preference. This place has an understated elegance about it - surrounded by nature, a restaurant tucked in a corner with a boutique by its side. I have personally never had a much more romantic dining experience than this one.
Please note this place is known for its exclusivity, attention to service and continental food. If you like your food spicy, have a strong Indian palette and love masaledaar khanna - then this place isn't for you. Also, they do not have an a la carte menu - chef's use finest of fresh ingredients to cook a dish they get their hands on and of course basis your dietary preference, which is noted as a part of your reservation. They aptly call it as "Surrender to the chef". One can choose between a 5 course/7-course meal. The overall dining experience is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace - no hurries, no deadlines, no plan B. Just you, your loved one, some good food and ambience that strokes a match made in heaven. So be ready to spend a good 3 hrs here.
I had the pleasure of feasting my senses with a 7-course meal and here's what Grasshopper served us.
Welcome drink - Ginger mint ale, a fresh lemony drink to soothe your palette before you kick start your dinner.
This was served with some homemade Whole grain, mixed herb and wheat bread. You can also carry your own alcohol as the restaurant currently stocks Wine of Indian origin. Your server will be happy to chill it for you and ensure that your glass is never empty. Don't satiate your hunger with those bread slices - a 7-course meal is a long way to go :)
The first dish - Chicken liver pate with microgreens, capers and caramelised onions.
Loved the presentation, as it was at par with any 5-star restaurant and looked very pretty & inviting. The chicken liver normally has a strong after taste, which few people enjoy. But roasted pine nuts and caramelised onions acted like a culinary blanket to camouflage this strong flavour. The microgreens cleansed my palette with a burst of fresh aromas that linger on until your next course arrives.
Second dish - Prawns in ginger, sesame, butter sauce with seaweed.
The tiger prawns were cooked to perfection, had the right amount of crunch. The sauce was buttery smooth with very little hints of black sesame and ginger. As seaweed adds on its unique flavour to the overall dish.
Now pause for a while, bask in the sheer beauty that this one of a kind ambience has to offer, sip some wine and enjoy some plain old Jazz. If you like clothing made from natural fabric, go ahead and browse the inhouse boutique section - who knows you may like something and buy a pair or two of those stunning asymmetrical clothing.
If you think their following course is going to be made of bite-sized portions like the first two, you are so wrong.
Dish # 3 - Salad of Oranges with black olives, mixed greens roasted nuts (walnut & almonds) and oregano.
This salad was a citrus medley with various types of oranges, rocket adding a sense of bitterness along with black olives and fresh watercress paired with lettuce leaves. The roasted nuts used here were Walnuts and salted almonds bringing out a crunch to this overall zesty salad which will surely fill you up to the brim. And is an excellent addition to white whine - Chardonnay.
Dish # 4 - Smoked duck breast with butter beans, plum sauce and nusturtium leaf.
The smoked duck was resting on a bed of sun-dried cherry tomato, finely diced yellow bell peppers and butter beans - which are quite bland yet have a right amount of saltiness without overpowering the yummy plum sauce that laid over pieces of smoked yummy duck.
The duck meat was well cooked with simple seasoning and plum sauce was a delight on my palette with every bite of that smoky goodness. The butter beans, bell peppers and sun-dried tomato created an umami flavour through variation in textures, that each ingredient had to offer. Overall this was my favourite!!
Dish # 5
Sea bass with tarragon, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.
This fish was a beauty soaking in a yummy butter sauce that only got better with every bite. It was moist, juicy, not over-spiced and the wine made it soo much better. Sun-dried tomatoes and chives added in a zingy tang when one doesn't want to get overwhelmed with a simple yet soft flavoursome fish.
Dish # 6
Lamb rounds with a spiced wine sauce.
My favourite part of this dish was Zucchini strips tossed in olive oil which complimented tender well cooked, soft and oozing with juices - lamb circles. Wherein the wine sauce took my tasting experience to a whole new level. Foodgasm if I may call it :)
Potato wedges were crispy on the outside and soft within. But let me highlight this - that wine sauce was amazingly delicious and the whole black peppercorns just made a perfect spice pitch for those juicy, deliciously well-cooked lamb meat circles.
So we've come to the end of this extravagant dining experience. I am so full right now but hey we all have an extra tummy for desserts right?
I chose Dark chocolate mousse with mustard ice cream. Yes, you read that one right - mustard ice cream. This ice cream was prepared inhouse, tasted like the mustard sauce in a vanilla ice cream. Which leaves your mind confused yet you are licking the spoon off with every bite. That explains how delicious it was. The dark chocolate mousse was well set, bitter, creamy goodness - perfect for my liking!
You can also try their wiggly, jiggly perfectly set orange panna cotta as well along with few more flavours of ice cream like Lemongrass.
Here's wishing you all a splendid 2017 - Happy New year!