28 August 2012

Saturday Dinner at the Raj Pavilion - ITC Windsor

When I received an invite for the 'Your Grill, Your Way' festival at Raj Pavilion at the legendary ITC Windsor, Bangalore, it was a tough one to turn down. We have some fond memories of dining at the ITC restaurants starting from the Pan Asian & Peshawari at the ITC Maratha in Mumbai to the Kababs & Curries at the ITC Kakatiya in Hyderabad. They know their hospitality and they choose their chefs well, no wonder eating there is a near perfect dining experience.

Being a Bangalore newbie, this was my first time at the ITC Windsor, while the husband having lived here and been a regular in their restaurants, was just reminiscing about old times, not that much had changed. Raj Pavilion is their multicuisine 24 hour restaurant and the first thing that strikes you is the massive windows that open into the outdoors and the pool. I learnt later that this was inspired by the 100 year old glass house at the Lal Bagh gardens.

Their regular menu has some beautiful stuff from the Anglo-Indian cooking repertoire and items like the Southern Railway Mutton Curry that you rarely find in many other restaurants. 

Since we were there to try out their grill event, Chef Prashanth explained to us the marinades and rubs available that we could choose from and use on our choice of meat or vegetables. 

We started our meal with some battered and fried lotus root and coloured bell peppers. Crunchy and full of texture, it made the perfect appetizer.

S chose the grilled bhekti and basa, both in a mustard-garlic marinade. The fish were grilled to perfection and flaky, served with a lemon butter and barbeque sauce. 

Grilled Eggplant
Grilled Vegetarian Platter

I asked the chef to serve me a platter of vegetarian grills. My favourite was the stuffed grilled eggplant with bold mediterranean flavours, which I had a double serving of. The other interesting grill was cabbage leaf roll stuffed with mashed vegetables with creole spices. I intend to try this out at home soon. The stuffed bell pepper is always a good option to put on the grill but I didn't find the filling very interesting. There was also a grilled paneer but since I saved it for the end, it didn't taste that great. It is indeed too much expect that cold paneer taste good :)

There was also grilled corn on the cob served with butter of choice but after having eaten a bit of everything, I was already stuffed. The husband ordered a grilled chicken breast with a black pepper rub and he seemed to savour it in silence while I had a conversation with the chef.

While I had made up my mind to give dessert a miss in anticipation of the long hours on the treadmill to make up for all this, the phirni that made an appearance on the table was far too enticing not to try. It was creamy, light, just the right level of sweetness, in short-deliciousness out of an earthen pot. It was tough to stop at one spoonful. 

The serving staff also forced me to taste their best-loved item, the Windsor mousse convincing me that they will only get me a tiny portion and I'm glad I succumbed to the melt-in-mouth chocolatey goodness. I also had a taste of the creme caramel from a friend on the table and it was the perfect ending to a good meal.

I realised that the peace of the dining experience was enhanced by some good music which was playing all along, soothing without being an intrusion to a good conversation. The service was highly attentive, right from the personal welcome every guest got into the dining room to the grace with which it was served to us. 

I am told their Sunday brunch is highly popular because the guests can not only dig into the buffet spread and live counters but also sample stuff from any of the restaurants on the floor such as Dakshin, Royal Afghan and Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs. But for my current fitness regime and training for a marathon, I would be here the very next Sunday :)

ITC Hotels know how to make you feel special, even over a dinner and no wonder we have celebrated most of our special occasions with them.


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Swati said...

grills are always good... being a veggie i love to see nw grilled options and wow... the stuffed eggplant and the cabbge thingy! never tried a grilling a cabbage.. everything sounds interesting! was it an open festival

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