Lifestyle Food and Recipes 07 Jun 2019 How the ‘tiger bre ...

How the ‘tiger bread’ earned its stripes

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ASLAM GAFOOR
Published Jun 7, 2019, 6:40 am IST
Updated Jun 7, 2019, 6:40 am IST
The artisanal cocktails blended by assistant bar manager Abhishek Shevade are simply not to be missed.
Chefs Vivekananda Saha, Stephane Calvet, Dirham Haque
 Chefs Vivekananda Saha, Stephane Calvet, Dirham Haque

Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy One, 8, Bellary Road, Ganganagar
Buffet price per person: : Rs 1,600+lunch & Rs 1,900+dinner

Stephane Calvet, the executive chef at the newly opened Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru, exudes a sense of high energy and passion as he walks us through the interactive kitchen stations at the stylish all-day dining restaurant, CUR8. We are wrapped up in a delicious world of food and beverages as we follow Chef Stephane on a culinary trail in this expansive, light-filled restaurant replete with natural touches.

 

Prior to his new home in Bengaluru, chef Stephane's culinary journey crisscrossed from his Catalan home in Southern France to Sweden and further East to Japan, China, Vietnam and then Thailand. He clearly owes his early cooking lessons from his grandmother while she prepared Sunday lunch for the family.

Designed by HKS Architects and Studio u+a, the gleaming steel and glass Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy One stands tall in the center of a mixed-use cluster development located close to Mekhri circle.

Back to CUR8, first up, we notice the custom designed, circular charcoal grill which takes centre stage in this 239 seater. Chef Stephane explains, "This grill is fashioned after the Spanish parrillada and is, perhaps, the largest grill in the country inside a restaurant, 1.8 meters in diameter.” Crackling with charcoal fire and a glow of sparks, we salivate at the sight of the smoky lamb chops simmering on the grill grate. We'll have ours medium rare! There are grilled tiger prawns and succulent roast chicken options too.

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We fell in love with the tiger bread for its looks and taste, served complimentary with chunky tomato salsa or a mustard dip, Warm and crusty outside and soft inside, the Instagram-friendly striped crust earned the bread this name. We couldn't help but ask for a second helping.

If you are on a health trip, then we strongly recommend you make your way to the tartine station for the crispy bruschetta with tomato salsa, avocado and corn relish. You may next graduate to the make-your-own salad station featuring the most exotic of ingredients, including fresh leafy greens, cold cuts and artisanal cheese. Our favourites here are the burrata with pesto and the arugula salad with aged balsamic vinegar and Parmesan shavings.

Vivekananda Saha, chef de cuisine of CUR8, tells us the hotel team has been quite selective with their choice of kitchen equipment which dots the different corners of this open layout restaurant. Take, for instance, the super-sized pizza oven which can make around ten to twelve pizzas in one go and the two in-restaurant bakery units. Dishing out a thin crust or charcoal sourdough gourmet pizzas with the most imaginative toppings, the wood-fired oven is enabled with double doors making it easier to work from both sides. Two of our favourite pizzas on the menu are the smoked salmon pizza with red onion, cucumber tzatziki, raw fennel and dill salad, and, the BBQ jackfruit pizza with spicy avocado spread, tomato and mesclun.

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Then there is the large professional oven for baking fresh breads, croissants and Danish while the second family style oven is used for customised orders of soufflé, frangipane and special desserts.

If you want to enjoy the lovely Bengaluru weather, we suggest you choose a seat in the airy outdoor terrace at CUR8. However, for a corporate or family get-together, the two dining rooms seating 12 to 35 people could be your best bet for the intimate gathering.

Moving on to the mains, we take executive sous chef Dirham Haque's recommendations from the Indian section and settle for a comforting home-style butter chicken, tandoori bharwan aloo, kadai paneer, and the signature black dal, all scooped up with the fluffiest naan we've encountered in a while.

The artisanal cocktails blended by assistant bar manager Abhishek Shevade are simply not to be missed. The unusual Beda tonic with a mix of gin, betel leaf, pomegranate, and tonic water won our taste-buds, while our other favourite turned out to be the refreshing Corgi Colada with a blend of whisky, homemade coffee syrup, lime and pineapple.

The dessert station is as delightful as it can get with a choice of colourful pastries, confectionaries, Indian sweets and homemade ice cream. Think black forest roulade, Madeleine's, baked cheesecake, rasmalai and more. As we dig into our banana caramel ice cream, we notice the inviting sight of the shimmering blue swimming pool with a cascading waterfall enveloped within a lush garden and make quick plans to return for a staycation sometime soon.

— The author is a Bengaluru based hospitality professional, food lover and travel enthusiast

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