Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Crown - Residency Towers - Jewel

The breeze ruffled my hair; almost a lover's gentle caress over my cheeks; as I close my eyes, I can almost feel you, so near, yet so far! I open my eyes to the vast expanse of the horizon, the water gurgling along in the infinity pool and I wished you were here!

That's exactly what this ambience does to you - the breathtaking view of the city coupled with the lovely weather makes you yearn - for the food! (no.. I really wished you were here :-) )

CFG Bloggers meet at The Crown, Residency Towers proved to be yet another delightful evening - good food, great company and icing on the cake - the weather. Few days of heavy rain made for a cool evening and up on the 14th floor, the breeze is unmatched.

Shadir, Aarti and I couldn't stop raving about how beautiful it was.

Mohan from Red Consulting was there to help us with the seating. He remembered me (although incorrectly :P) and Shadir from Fusion 9. We were earlier briefed that it was going to be a navratri festival, but apparently it wasn't! It was a menu put together to cater to a smaller budget. This menu is on until the 28th of this month.

At INR 500, the veg menu included a soup, choice of paneer / vegetables / dal, rice and rotis, and desserts and.. and... 1 cocktail (choice of whiskey, brandy, rum or vodka). The non veg menu is priced at INR 600.

Chef Sakthivel runs the kitchen. With his vast experience and knowledge, he has revamped the entire menu and now is looking to improvise and build a better customer base.

Usually it's us that bombard the chef with questions; this time around the Chef had a question for us - not being from the catering background, how do you write about the food! So, we launched into an explanation of how the customers aren't from a catering background, and while we may not go into the technicalities of preparation, we do write about the experience, the service, the pricing, the ambience so on and so forth.

Alright, now let's dig in. The cocktail had vodka (30 ml), orange juice, orange rind (a little too much that the drink refused to flow through the straw) and some mint; the first sip hit straight and then Aaroo and I realized that it wasn't mixed properly :D At some point, we asked the waiter to filter the drink and bring it.

The starters (note - this is not included in the set menu) arrived - the mushrooms were succulent and  beautifully cooked. The paneer and cauliflower were as they should be. The hara bhara kebab was good. But the potato was the sore point. Almost a wet flour-y texture and perhaps mashed too much is what we felt. The chef explained that it was coated with roasted gram (pottu kadalai) powder. If I were to go again, I wouldn't order this one. 

The continental starters included bruschetta, stuffed zucchini and a round piece of mozarella on another round slice of tomato. My pick - stuffed zucchini. The cheese, however, was a let down. Last to arrive was baby corn fried with tomato and spring onions and loads of curry leaves. This was sooper duper and is on my list of repeat order! 

The main course arrived in style - 3 types of Indian Bread - garlic roti, plain roti and stuffed kulcha (I think) - with 4 sides - dal makhni, one cauliflower gravy, one paneer gravy and one mix veg gravy. My pick - dal makhni - rich and flavorful! The paneer was rubbery and the mix veg gravy was a tad salty. Having eaten authentic biriyani, I thought this one was okay. Quite a bit of ghee and I loved the fried onion on top! 

And finally, the desserts. I told the chef I didn't want vanilla ice cream, so he sent butterscotch :-) 

Rasmalai, Kala jamun, blueberry cheesecake, mud pie, sizzling brownie and apple cinnamon crumble was on the table. 

My pick - Rasmalai and Apple cinnamon crumble. Rasmalai was excellent and if you love apple & cinnamon flavor - then this is a perfect dessert.

Sizzling brownie was a let down - there was very little chocolate sauce, the brownie was dry and the butter was salty! Kala Jamun was good. Mud pie was dry and bland. And the blueberry cheesecake (after having eaten Aysha's & Sangeetha Potty's cheesecakes) was more of a mousse, with blueberry jam. 

The Chef was there with us, during every course, explaining various nuances, talking about food, business, crowd, improvement areas and ambience among other things.

Bottomline - we may not be catering students or from a catering background but we do know our food, and how each dish should / can / may taste, having been cooking for friends and family over the past 8 years. And we learn everyday from experts like Chef Sakthivel and others, with whom we've had an opportunity to interact during our cookouts / workshops and Bloggers meets.

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