Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Bombay Brasserie Chilli Festival at The Taj

We are great curry fans and we like curries of all types, meat, chicken and vegetarian. So we were excited to be invited to The Taj Hotel for the Chilli Festival currently being run in the Bombay Brasserie. They sent a car for us, which meant that John could really enjoy the wine and beer paired with the food and not worry about driving home.  This small but perfectly decorated restaurant seats, on average, only 40 people, and has lots of well trained staff of character and good manners. We had a wonderful time
Mountaineering up our steep street to ‘mount’ the huge Range Rover sent by the Taj to fetch us. Royal treatment indeed
The glamorous Bombay Brasserie
A choice of cocktails
or some interesting Craft beers which do match curry very well
We decided to taste and share a Robson’s Durban Pale Ale as our aperitif. It was excellent
First a Tazza platter of crisp Indian nibbles, poppadoms and crackers and crudités served with a tomato dipping sauce
Then an Amuse. This is a Chaat, a popular street food in India - a dumpling filled with finely ground lentils and covered in sweet yoghurt and a mango chutney
The Chilli Festival menu
And the  Vegetarian options. Many are the same. We each ordered one version and shared the dishes that were different on each menu.
Seeing the rather extensive menu, and you do get all the courses, we were relieved that the soup is, thankfully, a small portion in a cup. It has a tomato and lentil base with tempered spices and pink peppercorns which add a lovely flavour. We were served small wine samples in ISO glasses and with the soup came the Sterhuis Astra white blend 2009
We meet Harpreet Longani, the Executive sous chef, who is married to the Executive chef. They have been at Bombay Brasserie since it opened in Cape Town and both are from the Punjab
The restaurant has some lovely touches, like the decorations on the back of the comfortable chairs, the huge glass chandeliers and the marvellous Indian mirrors
Restaurant manager Stephen Petersen
The starter platters. On the right is the vegetarian option: Tikka paneer tossed in warm Jwala chilli powder, a salsa of corn, pineapple and Degi chilli, topped with popped sago and spicy fried broccoli. On the left a prawn coated in yellow chilli, a moist and tender piece of fried butterfish with birds eye chilli and a spicy chicken ‘ stick’ kebab. This was served with a rather oxidised Nederburg Viognier 2004 which had a sweet perfumed peach nose, but was more like a dry sherry than a table wine
The non Vegetarian selection of starters
The Vegetarian platter of starters
Tatiana Marcetteau, Sommelier at The Taj, talking to us about the wine pairings
What steaming delight is heading our way?
It's a beautiful refreshing palate cleanser of lemon and lime sorbet on a bed of dry ice.
Main course is a selection of three curries, pilau rice and a butter nan.  The vegetarian options were a delicious and very warm mushroom and water chestnut curry, a soft and gentle yellow dhal spiced with patti chillies and Bhindi (ladies fingers) served with fenugreek leaves and Byodgi chilli.
The non vegetarian options were a mutton and lentil dalcha with Taddapolly chillies – taste resembled a good Rogan Josh, Chicken morsels in a creamy red pepper curry with Red peppers that were really smoky like Spanish smoked paprika and the Bhindi. The pulao rice had peppered dumplings and potato in it. The Naan was really delicious and so difficult to resist. We had this course with two wines: The Goose 2008 Expression red blend, which was very fruity and smooth and a Nederburg entry level Winemaster's Reserve 2012 white blend.
A special treat was served with dessert, the Double Gold Nederburg 2012 Noble Late Harvest, based on Chenin Blanc with a touch of Muscat de Frontignac
Dessert was a soft and squidgy fried pancake spiced with fennel and black pepper with a vanilla custard, a chilli kulfi ice cream and a fruity chilli ‘splash’. Two coffees and our chauffeur was waiting outside to take us home
A lovely evening, thank you all at the Taj
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

No comments: