Pre-Valentine’s Day Event
Last week, the good folks at Burrp & The Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) invited us for a bloggers meet at the Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park Hotel. Burrp have just re-launched their online presence with a new avatar. You can download their app available for IOS and Android to find out more.
Aloft is a part of the famed Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide chain and is conveniently located inside the Cessna Business Park off the Marathahalli Outer Ring Road. The Hotel is perfect for both business and leisure travelers with a nice modern, bright touch to its interiors.
The event we attended was to showcase some of their new Vodka infusions and the talents of the culinary team at Nook, headed by Chef Sandeep Kumar.
Chef Sandeep is the Executive Sous Chef at Aloft and has over 12 years of culinary experience having worked for organziations besides the Starwood group such as The Leela, The Raddison White Sand Beach Resort, Carnival Cruise Lines, The Taj Palace Delhi, The Westin Gurgaon & the Westin Sohna Resort & Spa.
His diverse experience had led to his innovate out of the box ideas which certainly make food more enjoyable.
The WXYZ bar’s mixology team have been experimenting with several vodka infusions, which they plan to introduce to their bar menu shortly. Using a base vodka there are several herbal, spice and additives that are added to the vodka and take anywhere from a week to a month to finish. They plan to introduce over a 100 of these infusions mind you – something all of us can look forward to.
We got a chance to sample 18 – an opportunity I jumped at along with my fellow alcobev blogger, Charnelle Martins who runs the Alcohol Analyzed blog. We really felt it was our duty to sample, savor and give constructive feedback about what we were trying to the staff.
Sampling Method – Small shot glass with 5-10ml of vodka. Palate rinsed with sparkling water before trying the next sample. We were looking for aromas, then initial impressions on the palate and the finally the finish.
I’ve marked the top 3 infusions in Orange. These were simply amazing.
The Coffee infusion is something you can either drink neat or use in a cocktail of your choice – a must for every coffee lover – words cannot describe the aroma and flavor those infused beans add! This is something I’d add to my coffee in the morning or better yet do as a shot to get me going!
The White Raspberry Tea infusion is a delight – soft, delicate and at the same time has subtle fruity notes, as well. This I would think is best enjoyed on its own, neat!
Kaffir Lime – if you’re a fan of anything Thai then this is the shot for you. The lime just adds that wonderful depth to this infusion and really makes it come alive. This shot is refreshing and could be (should you insist) used in a cocktail.
What about the others you ask? Well, it all depends on your palate and what you like. Each infusion had its own unique flavor and character. Some infusions need a bit of tweaking but are definitely on the right track.
Well done mixologists at Aloft! Cheers.
The mixologists wanted to give us a cocktail demo but we spent so much time sampling all the infusions this had to be skipped.
Instead, we got a fire show – they made us a Flaming Lamborghini.
Lamborghinis are typically are made with Kahlua, Sambuca, Blue Curacao and Baileys and will always get the crowds attention.
You can watch the video here
While the vodka infusions were being tested, the staff brought around a few appetizers including:
- Mutton turkish seekh, garlic labneh
- Clove infused chicken galaouti
- Prawns sui-mai
- Smoked Salmon Crostini
Tasting 18 vodka infusions takes time and focus. Alas, there was only time to try out one of the appetizers – the Smoked Salmon Crostini. Very well executed and I chose a Peroni to pair this with and the combination worked well. The subtle crisp and clean (mildly hopped) lager works well with fish and chicken by not interfering with delicate flavors.
The feedback from the other bloggers is that the other appetizers especially the Mutton sheekh were all very nicely done.
Set Menu at Nook
Chef Sandeep Kumar and his team really pulled out the stops for this meal. Each one of these dishes was delightfully paired with an appropriate wine. There was a set menu for vegetarians, as well.
Asparagus cappuccino with and Parmesan Crisp
What can I say – anything with foam or froth (more fitting) that has is mellow, earthy and light works! The Parmesan Crisp was a nice touch – crunchy, crispy and gooey all at the same time.
Surf & Turf
Pan seared chicken, sun-dried pesto risotto served alongside Grilled prawns, blood orange, mint flavoured corn mash, saffron aïoli
The chicken was nicely done – moist with lots of good flavor and worked well with the bed of finely diced vegetables and sun-dried pestorissorto.
The Prawns didn’t have the greatest aroma at first but the combination with aioli, orange and corn mash worked. Lots of contrasting flavors that came together well.
Chef’s special surprise trio of desserts
This was the highlight of the evening, judging from everyone’s reaction to the dish when it was served. Top marks for presentation – one couldn’t help but think that eating this would destroy a lovely piece of artwork!
I am certainly not an expert on dessert but the red velvet cheescake, chocolate mousse and the fruits were all delightful and fun to eat. Well done guys!
The team at Aloft presented each one of us a lovely gift box with cookies, chocolates, tea and various other tit bits including a portable bluetooth speaker. Thank you team for a wonderful gesture.
This was my first visit to Aloft Cessna Business Park and despite the commute from the CBD, this was certainly an enjoyable evening – the infusions, appetizers, wonderful set menu and the hospitality were memorable and if you’re in the area, do visit for a drink or a meal.
I trust all of you enjoyed reading this review! Don’t forget to follow Tales Of Froth for more interesting eateries, events and of course Beer/Liquor filled fun.
There is a Kashmiri Food Festival starting Feb 15 to the 26th at Nook. I’m sure Chef Sandeep and his team have gone to great lengths to curate authentic Kashmiri food.
Lunch & Dinner at Rs. 1,099 plus.
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