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Explore the continent

Graze, the new restaurant at the Taj Residency, offers European cuisine with a contemporary Asian flair

Photo: Murali Kumar K.

Try it The ambience is classy without being intimidating

There’s no question about it. As Bangalore has grown, so has the city’s culinary landscape. And nowhere is this sudden profusion of variety more visible than in the fine dining genre of restaurants. Adding to that list now is the Taj Resi dency, with Graze – a restaurant that aims to be modern and European, offering the range of European classics with a contemporary Asian flair.

Certainly, the hotel seems to have taken pains to ensure that every aspect of Graze gives off the same air of contemporary Europe. Thus, everything from the crockery to the glassware to the silverware, right down to the table linen boasts a designer tag, each being imported from a region of pedigree. Even the Chef de Cuisine Steven Liu comes with pedigree, having worked his way through The Dorchester and The Savoy, and doing a stint with acclaimed chef Gordon Ramsey before finding his way to Bangalore. If that’s not enough, the restaurant is also offering an impressive list of over 200 wines, as well as a host of designer vodkas and premium tequila. And with glass cabinets within the restaurant displaying a sample of what’s in the wine cellar, customers are free to take a good look at what’s on offer before making their choices.

But lest one be intimidated by all this, the restaurant’s open kitchen, where customers can watch Chef Liu put together their meals, makes the whole affair more intimate and comfortable. And if one would like to take that comfort forward, the restaurant also boasts a central chef’s table, where Chef Liu will interact with customers and customise the cuisine specifically to their tastes.

It is this same contemporary spirit that pervades the cuisine too. Thus, there are the traditional must-haves such as the foie gras. This dish is beyond compare, with the rich smoothness of the foie gras being perfectly balanced by the impudent sharpness of the spicy nashi pear. And with a wonderfully sweet Chateau D’Yquem with a very short finish to wash it down, the foie gras is definitely the highlight of the meal.

So too is there the requisite component of steaks, including a rather luscious Angus rib-eye steak that one just can’t keep one’s hands off. The crab bisque is rather delightful. But in keeping with the restaurant’s emphasis on light and easy, every soup here (including the bisque) only serves the frothiest and hence lightest portions. Thus, the bisque, while retaining its characteristic flavour doesn’t become heavy and overly stuffy. Instead it gives a measured taste of its flavours and moves on rather quickly.

There is also the wide range of premium seafood on offer, from the very Asian tempura prawn (which, although slightly batter-heavy, was nicely complemented by the tart ponzu dressing) to the pan-seared Atlantic cod with crushed potato and crab beurre blanc. The highlight, though, is the pan-fried John Dory with olive mash and chive veloute. The John Dory, easily one of the finest fish on offer, gets here a sublime undertone thanks to the chive veloute.

For the vegetarians too, there are more than enough interesting options such as the home made tortellini with mushroom, goat cheese and sage or the asparagus and caramelized baby carrots tossed in anise and tarragon jus.

Among the desserts too there are interesting innovations. Thus, the soufflé glace grand marnier comes topped off with a dollop of exquisite jackfruit ice cream. One would hardly associate the jackfruit with ice cream and yet here it is, its overwrought sweetness is nicely balanced by the subtle flavours of the caramelised orange compote.

Graze at Taj Residency can be contacted on 66604444.


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