10 Reviews / 10 Ratings
Deep India' concert at Taj Vivanta
Deep Forest, a well known world music band were in India for the first time and I was so excited to listen to their new album Deep India!!!
So, the Grammy Award winners Deep Forest dedicated to the rainforests of Coorg, in collabaration with Rahul Sharma, were presenting 'Viva Madikeri'! at Vivanta by Taj, M. G. Road, Bangalore. The Band comprise of Michel Sanchez and Eric Mouquet, who won the award for the album 'Boheme' in 1995. The band is known for 'ethnic electronica', their unique music!!!
Thanks to "SoundsOfTheForest" contest that won me an entry to this high profile Black Dog Scotch events as a blogger to cover the event!!!
One of the worlds finest Scotch Whiskey, Black Dog presented A great evening unwinding and relaxing in a 5 star hotel like Vivanta by Taj, that is perfectly complimented with
a glass of Black Dog Scotch, while enjoying electronica with traditional African instruments and folk influence!!!
Experience that we will remember for a long time!
It was our anniversary and we wanted to go somewhere 'fancy' for dinner.. After a fair bit of researching online, zeroed in on this one, with a little bit of apprehension since, to be honest, we knew it would cost us a bomb and we wanted it to be perfect.. On entering the place I was a tad disappointed since I was expecting a larger seating area with a greater possibility of having that secluded table for ourselves. But instead, we were presented with one which was not so secluded. However, the saving grace was that, despite being a Saturday evening, the place had less than 3 tables occupied which gave us ample privacy. F&B : Being our anniversary, the attendant brought us 2 small glasses of champagne and the yummiest chocolate truffle cake at the end (he even offered to pack the leftovers!!), which was really nice, and yet again stood testimony to Taj hospitality! The bread basket (really yum Focaccia ) with the range of dips were just out of the world. The fig and lettuce salad with sherry vinegar dressing was a huge hit. The tempura was good! The main course, Gnocci, which we decided to split, was good but somehow did not appeal much to me,though by this time I was pretty filled with all the starters, salad and wine. The hubby savored every piece of it, though. We also ordered a side of mashed potatoes (we were told it was a must try), which was the richest I ve ever tasted! The after dinner specialty- choc. truffles (think it was cognac-filled) was a cute surprise! Special mention of Raja, the host for the evening, who recommended the wine, which was absolutely spectacular and did nt make a hole in our pockets! He took it upon himself to ensure that our evening went well and it was an occasion we'll cherish for a long long time! AND, the bill came to around 5 grand, which was fine considering it came with all the anniversary goodies! :))
Graze and Guzzle with Glamour
Consistently voted amongst Bangalore's best European-cuisine serving restaurants, Graze in Taj Vivanta had captured my curiosity many moons ago. In order to suit the schedule for my visit, I made the stars propitiously align on one burning summer afternoon.Soon transiting through M.G Road I finally entered the portals of this hotel with the intention of checking whether these 5-star-wallahs were living up to their rarefied reputation.
In this age of do-it-yourself luxury, Taj Vivanta did not even have a doorman to open its portals. Before this self-service, I had to pass through metal detectors ,past nonchalant securitymen. Screening out terrorists but forgetting hospitality?
But once inside, the cool elegant beauty of a spacious lobby and various inviting passage-ways exerted their appeal. Into the restaurant now..
Ambience: Top-class ,sporting a sophisticated glow and glint. Lighted glass screens of red and white are suspended from the ceiling while walls have elegant hues of dappled slate and dark scarlet.Two amply stocked wine cabinets flank a long beautifully set table in the center of the restaurant,while the kitchen front is visible from the other side of the seating space. Table-top arrangements should have been more deluxe.
You will not find the all-out royal magnificence of the Palace of Versailles, but you will discover a modern stylishly plush space that a king might not mind relaxing in. One of Bangalore's best "Conti" designs.
Service- is easily amongst the finest that I have ever received in India. To give the full picture, I have to add that I was the only guest in the restaurant interior from 1 pm to 2-50 pm- the duration of my meal .A single table of diners sat outside by the pool. Imagine a luxury restaurant where you are the only patron and the waiter stands by ready to cater to your every whim! All the staff I saw that day in Graze were young men. The manager was Mr.Ashvin Singh -a dapper gentleman who engaged me in conversation, even presented a dish to my table while incidentally revealing his good knowledge about the menu at the behest of a casual enquiry, and who sought to dilute my intense solitude by offering a newspaper. Chef Uday Nathan was introduced to me ,and he came across as an earnest professional.My steward for the afternoon was Subba Reddy- a young man who performed his duty with polish,tact and vigilance. He was pleasantly assiduous in enquiring whether I was satisfied with my meal.The glass of water was re-filled with clock-work regularity while cutlery was duly replenished from a ceremoniously carried wooden tray.Summoning glances were promptly responded to,and sometimes I had to purposely not look in his direction so as to not unnecessarily bring him to the table. After the delivery of each course except for the dessert,he would return with a salt and pepper grinder and each time I would decline the use of this extra seasoning. Cavil-caveat: While the wait staff have a reasonably good fund of knowledge apropos the dishes' ingredients, this knowledge is not exact- since my 4 course meal cost Rs.3590 and not Rs.6000 or more,I will forgive this minor shortcoming.
Menu (with prices in brackets)- Graze's compendium is concise and appealing. Starters include Torchon de Foie Gras (900), and Confit de Canard with Milanese polenta (700). Soups have familiar varieties like lobster bisque (500).In the mains, Tenderloin and Lamb (1850) share prime space with Monkfish and Halibut (approx 850). Desserts have options like Lemon Tart Brulee with Vanilla et Champagne Sabayon (500) .Vegetarians can choose from dishes like "blanquette of vegetables", soups ,salads and Italian persuasions like Risotto, Tortellini and Gnocchi.
Grazing on complimentary bread offered with aioli and moong, I noted that they also offered a 3 course tasting menu (2600) and the 5 course version (4000) -these last two rates include tax
Entree - Thin-cut petite medallions of lobster, five stacked dominoes of them, could all be stuffed into a child's mouth in one go- but to be fair to this entree's quality, that child would have also enjoyed an eye-bulgingly good time masticating and swallowing these deliciously succulent slices bathed in the buttery goodness of truffled sauce. Tiny black orbs which initially appeared seemed to be mustard seeds often seen in Indian dishes, turned out to be Tobiko caviar that afforded scintillas of salty tang. The salad was regulation foliage whose dressing was in no danger of igniting revelatory pleasure.
1st main course- The chicken breast's refulgent orange exterior was crisp and distinct,but I was not enamoured by what lay beneath. When availing of the pleasures of the flesh, loss of tenderness is always a tragedy. Compact white cylinders of roasted salsify acted as nominally interesting side-kicks.Sauteed spinach and assorted vegetables registered no show-stealing cameos but the best performance issued from a finely balanced sauce coaxed out from morel mushrooms,white wine and sweet secrets.
Complimentary Palate Cleanser- A Cognac and Tamarind Sorbet was prosaically effective in achieving its function,and tasted like the faintly amusing "lemon-lime-'n'-bitters" ice candy sold in overseas countries.
John Dory -This variety of fish, comparable in mouthfeel to the Indian Lady-fish or Nagli, was velvety soft .'Twas accesorized with "Neeps & Tatties"- a delectably docile accompaniment of potatoes-'n'-turnips mashed and roasted with butter,salt and chives. The artichoke in the Barigoule could not rise above being an astringent,chewy side-player. Garlic foam or any culinary foam for that matter,may be a good new-age technical stunt but it always runs the risk of visual ridicule, and my family launched into an assortment of unsavoury jokes upon seeing this concoction. Overall, Yes this was an excellently rendered fish & mash with a satisfying sauce, but fine-dining fiends expect more- a dazzling dance of flavours or a textural three-ring circus neither of which were in evidence in this largely classicist dish.
Dark chocolate souffle with homemade Vanilla ice-cream- A quenelle of the latter complete with the powdered original product at the base,was strongly redolent of the perfumed bean's essence but 'twas too sweet for its own good. The flavour of the former lacked intense seduction,and was further compromized by an element of stodginess. The presence of both these on the same spoon,however, created a interesting hot-cold double wave of sweetness. This dish was was twice mentioned by the waiter as one of their best desserts -a remark which has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Cognac-Chocolate petit fours: 2 small cocoa-covered balls packed a solid hit of cognac and strong chocolate, thus affording the rich satisfaction missing in the previous heftier sweet.
Tariffs- Highly expensive, going by Bangalore standards. A meal for two people may be placed at an average cost, inclusive of 17% tax but not drinks,of Rs.6000. And Yes I found value-for-money here. Some points of comparison- My main course here cost more than a fine 3 course menu's all-inclusive rate charged a year ago in the highly rated Via Milano in Koramangala. My 4 course meal in Graze was a steeper bill as compared to the 12 course affair I experienced three months ago in the top-rated Caperberry. And finally to put things in international perspective, in certain 3 Michelin star establishments it is not rare to find a single main course offered at Rs.5000
I concede that having consumed only 4 dishes (& 2 complimentary mini-ones) my assessment of this restaurant is not yet complete. But as synecdoches go,my meal was neither gloriously auspicious nor tantalizingly indicative of the overall treasure. I wanted to depart gratified, but actually only left satisfied.There remained an enticing range of dishes that solicited my partaking. Graze's setting and service aid and abet my intention to do so in the future.
Fantabulous - The only word that struck the 4 of us when we started our dinner at Graze. Greeted by a warm Maitre de we were given a cozy corner - surprising thing is that we got it without any reservation. We started with a buffalo mozarella cheese dish to start with and before that got to our table, had an endless array of baskets of warm bread. We at that moment knew, food is gonna be extra super in taste as the bread that was served was warm and just melted in our mouth. Starters on we ordered our main course - gnocchi with asparagus, spaghetti and a chicken dish. Food was heavenly and again we were experiencing foodgasm :)
Where Taj differs hugely from it's other competitors - care. When one of us ordered for a lychee panna cotta, the person incharge of our table came back after consulting the chef to inform us that the dish has gone bad and if we would care to order another one in it's place. So we did, coupel of white & dark chocolate mix and a strawberry dessert. When we were waiting for this, we were given cognac filled and dark coffee powder coated chocolates as an after dinner thing before we dig onto our dessert. It tasted absolutely great as the rest of the meal.
Worth all the money you spend on good food. Will definitely be here again
Wah Taj !
We had gone to Graze @Taj M.G Road for anniversary and the experience was awesome. They initially had asked us abot the occasion and had told us that they will make the evening special and they lived up to the promise.
As soon as we went, they made us comfortable and wished us. After we had ordered our food, they got us complimentary bread with sauce about which I had read in many reviews. Soon, they got us apple and raspberry juice. We were delighted. After that also, they kept giving us some small delicious items to eat.
I was almost full by the time I finished all this.
After this came our food which we had ordered. We took 1 prawn dish which was the best prawns I have ever had. 1 spring chicken which was also awesome.
In main course we had ordered 2 pastas on chef's recommendation. That was also great in taste.
In between, the steward kept asking if we need to refill our juice or we need any more items which was already serverd.
After finishing all, we had no room for dessert. Soon, the steward came with a beautiful chocolate truffle cake with happy anniversary written on it.
He apologized about bringing it in the end as they had made it fresh and thus it took time. The cake came as a surprise and that too was delicious.
We cut the cake and packed the rest for take away.
They really made our day by treating us with so much extra care and in the end we were happy at our decision to have come there.
We were expecting a huge bill with all the extra items and the cake. But to our surprize, they had charged us only for the items we had ordered.
All other extra items plus the cake was complimentary!
All I can say is the evening was great and I would love to go there again.
good food, properly served
We had plans to go to Ice, but wanted to eat first so made an unplanned trip to Graze (it's in the same hotel) - not really knowing what to expect.
The setting is average but comfortable, with an open kitchen and wine cellar on display. The first thing that I was pleasantly surprised by was the wine list. Not only was there a very wide selection, but there was also a suitably broad price range - I've often been caught out by very high prices for imported wine in India. We selected a St Emilion Bordeaux at Rs3200, pricey but a good drop.
There was also a good choice of food, also at fairly average hotel restaurant prices. There are also 3 and 5 course tasting menus available, with or without wine. We opted for the 5 course without wine - reason being, each course was served with only a 90ml glass of wine, which is not enough.
I was a little surprised by the foie gras, which was served as a whole liver rather than as a pate. Extremely tasty but rather odd texture. Another highlight was the tenderloin steak, although it was served with a cut of veal which was best left alone - it was more like stewing steak!
Overall I would say that the menu we chose was good value, and something a bit different - the restaurant is definitely worth trying out.
Just another overpriced, average meal in a hotel
When a friend recommended Graze to me I trusted her judgment, even though I'm not a big fan of dining at overpriced, westernized hotel restaurants.
The only reason I am glad that I went was to solidify my belief that hotel restaurants are not worth going to.
When we looked at the menu the prices leaped off the page. A first course for Rs. 600, a second course for Rs. 700, and a main entree from Rs. 900-1700. Ridiculous! Especially after we ordered, 1 starter to share and the waiter warned us it would be very small. And it was, the servings were miniscule! I was so hungry I ate 4 pieces of bread- at least they didn't scrimp on the bread basket but sadly, the bread, like the rest of our meal, quail, scallops, and monkfish, were average to below average in taste.
The real shocker came when we got the bill and a bottle of water was Rs. 220. Seriously! The mojito was 375 which was on par with other restaurants but I couldn't believe a bottle of water was 7x the price that I could buy for myself. Outrageous. Who ever came up with the pricing/marketing at Graze is clearly an amateur and simply added Rs. 200 to the cost of everything on the menu.
Don't go to Graze- the food is not worth it! Try one of the many other wonderful restaurants in Bangalore instead!
Excellent Food and Excellent service
I love this place. I don't care for the decor. I think it could have been better, but who cares as people say here. I love the food here. Everything I have eaten here is great. The Lobster salad is par excellece. The roe sprinkled libereally. I am a pizza fan and I rate the pizza here even better than the Via Milano Pizza. Excellent!!! As I said earlier everything I have tasted here has been excellent.
The service too is very personal. I feel it is value for money. I would rate this as one of my best food places in Bangalore, along with Bistro Claytopia, as different as they seem... Odd.
Ooohhhh real sirloin.....
Probably the best thing about Bangalore for us is the choice of restaurants, we've had some wonderful meals here and are looking forward to having more, but just sometimes, as a Western ex-pat, you get a hankering for a nice bit of rib-eye or sirloin, and an identifiable pudding. So when we heard of a restaurant that didn't entail travelling right across town for, we couldn't wait to try it.
We were not disappointed. This place reminds you of some of your favourite 'posh' restaurants back home, from the excellent menu full of steaks, lobster and seafood, down to the big wine cooler in the middle of the room, we loved it. I had my first sirloin since arriving here, perfectly cooked and served with excellent mash (I could have eaten a plate of that on its own), and crisp fresh veggies. The grilled prawns were lightly seasoned and came with a good salad, though my husband envied the steak I was served so didn't comment much further on these. We had a lovely bottle of wine - not cheap, but wine never is here, and a wonderful honey panacotta for pudding. Service was excellent too.
I appreciate that this sort of restaurant isn't to everyone's taste, catering fairly exclusively to the Western palate, but in a city with so many other restaurants to chose from I'm sure there's room for at least one that's this good...
"Graze"-ing is acquired taste
After all, we aren't cows! Lame jokes apart, Graze is the new address in Bangalore for "dining on the lighter side of European cuisine".
We are somewhat resentful of the place, because it replaced our favorite bar in town - Jockey Club in Taj Residency. Graze is a minimalist and smaller place - not as spacious and plush like good old Jockey Club. When we got there, it was full - a considerable number of them were foreigners - maybe folks staying at the hotel.
Anyway, we were shown in and asked to occupy an extremely cramped table. By then, we found ourselves seating at the dining bar facing the bustling open kitchen.
We were the only people at the bar counter. That pretty much set us up for the evening and we had a great time looking at the chef and his staff create some extremely good looking dishes.
As for eating them, well - thats a different story. For me at least.
Basically this meant that I couldn't enjoy the foie gras and some shell fish based appetizers at all.
The main course was better. I safely ordered roast spring chicken that was done a tad too dry. My friend had some excellent lamb chops. The dessert - more than anything was stunningly pretty. I had a chocolate mud cake with 'crème Anglais'.
The service was brisk and non-intrusive.
Through out, we had a great time watching the kitchen staff at work. Especially the 'make up man' - I think called the Expediter or Announcer, who finished the dishes. He was a delight to watch - working away diligently at the most sparkling and spotless table of the kitchen.
When we were done eating, we had the Chef saunter across to where we were sitting asking us how we liked the meal. I told him about how the chicken was dry and he said, "Yes madam, I too like my chicken juicy and tender but our Indian guests keep asking for it to be sent back to be over done. Also because of my fear about Chikungunya, bird flu etc, I have instructed for the chicken to be well done. Next time you come by, I will take care to have it made to your liking".
!! Fears of Chikungunya after a Rs 4500/- meal and veiled racist comments about Indian dining preferences!
The conversation actually went on to the foie gras and the chef remarked about what an exotic delicacy it is, how it is his personal favorite and that I didnt have "the tongue for it" - meaning taste for overfed goose liver.
You know, I wish waiters and chefs didn't indulge in small talk - at least with me!
Well, Graze is a smart looking place and expensive. The service and ambience has the usual quality of a star hotel.
As for the taste, I would like to reserve my judgment. I didn't enjoy the meal as much as I expected to.
Who knows? Like the chef said, may be I don't have 'the tongue' for it. Or maybe, we just miss our good old Jockey Club - a place where many an evening was deliriously well spent.
Then again, we eat out a lot and maybe we are right.