Chef Hermann Grossbichler and Chef Prakash Sundaram take us through an enlightening culinary journey
Over the last two decades, we have had countless culinary tales woven around the concept of ‘Farm to Table’ but seldom have we had one that focusses on sustainable cuisine. This involves taking it up a notch further by serving not just healthy, organic, seasonal food with natural flavours but also promoting local communities, using nutritious microgreens, to enlightening the local fisher folk about endangered aquatic species. This is precisely the philosophy behind Colony Clubhouse and Grill – one among the three distinct dining destinations at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty. To say the least, the Queen of the Arabian Sea has yet another feather in her cap with the launch of this palatial hotel that resonates style, elegance and luxury! With 264 rooms, 4 villas, 10,000 sq m of event space, parking for 1,200 cars, 3 helipads, 3 boat jetties and more, it has definitely stepped up Kerala’s presence on the world map. RITZ explores the enticing menu offered at this world class diner with Executive Chef Hermann Grossbichler and Chef De Cuisine Prakash Sundaram, who promise to make it an enlightening culinary journey.
Text: Riya Sonny Datson
Photography: Anoop K A
As one steps into this fascinating rooftop restaurant, the panoramic view of the Vembanad lake is what seizes your attention at first. But the tantalising aroma from the grill brings you right back to the diner. The live kitchen displays an array of gorgeous ‘show stoppers’ – the spices, grains, seeds, micro greens, marinades and seafood! “Let the ingredient be the ‘hero’!” explains Chef Hermann, who has been with Hyatt for close to three decades, across 11 countries! “We choose the best ingredients in the market and with minimum masking, we let the ingredient speak for itself. This is one of the crucial concepts we follow at the Colony. The other being sustainability – as that is the future! We involve the local community of organic farmers and fishermen to get the local produce and fresh catch. It is very important to us that we procure seafood from environmentally conscious sources, which is why we work closely with WWF and the CMFRI,” he continues.At Colony, we offer grilled delicacies with a local twist. The oven/grill used here is powered by charcoal and just about everything we cook here can be cooked at your home. We believe in using the best quality ingredient, cooked in the best way, and yet, keeping it simple.”
“The Colony Clubhouse and Grill is a premium dining destination located on the 8th floor with stunning views. The theme of the restaurant has been curated on the lines of a reimagined old world grill room with a lot of focus on fresh produce, micro greens and local catch. The Colony Clubhouse and Grill would be an ideal family dining destination for special occasions and celebrations.” – Girish Bhagat, General Manager at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty.
Every element in this beautiful restaurant celebrates Kerala’s rich history and diverse culture. The décor holds interesting vintage trinkets like the antique gramophone, a mini telescope, an old lantern, a miniature Chinese fishing net to a ship in a bottle – each silently echoing Kerala’s vibrant history of trade and the colonial influence. The menu too at Colony has an analogy in terms of its universal appeal. Though it has a local twist, it offers a choice of exotic dishes that have drawn inspiration from the Middle East, French, Italian, Mediterranean and Western cuisines. Chef Prakash joins us as the starter is served – the Paneer Crisps accompanied by the tangy mango and passion fruit Chutney. One would never guess that the main ingredient in this crispy starter is goat cheese (prepared in-house). The delectable chutney offers a myriad of flavours, a tad bit sweet, tangy and yet spicy – making it a tasty delight. The chunky vegetable broth follows next. As you take the first sip, the distinct flavours of pepper, tamarind and coriander rouse your taste buds. While it might remind us of our very own ‘Rasam’, to an\ Italian, it would taste more like the Minestrone! There lies the magic of the ingredients!
As we chat, the Pomegranate Chia seed Mutable arrives. Another delectable innovation from locally sourced organic ingredients! “The whole wheat pita bread has sunflower, melon and pumpkin seeds in it, which adds to the flavour and nutritional value. The mutable has a smoked eggplant base along with chia seeds, spices and pomegranate,” explains Chef Prakash. The fresh and vibrant tea-smoked Tofu Salad with microgreens is served next and I am reminded of the small pots of fresh green sprouts arranged neatly on the counter. “Them microgreens are highly nutritious and are the quickest food crop that can be grown in our kitchen using limited resources like water and space. Soil can be replaced by coconut husk and the seeds can be sown in it.” I am left amused by the entire thought process that has gone into curating this menu when the ‘Star of the show’, the Mixed grill platter and the Grilled Lobster makes its grand entry! It is accompanied by Coconut rice and Spinach dumplings. The grill lends a distinct flavour to the succulent meat that is soaked in the perfect concoction of spices and marinades! The delicacy is an absolute delight to the senses and a ‘Must have’ if you are dining here! The soft dumplings shaped like the candy wrap, is stuffed with Ricotta cheese and garnished with walnuts. If you don’t like your greens, let me tell you, it can’t get any better than this!
As we wrap up the fabulous meal, dessert is served – Baked Cheesecake garnished with fresh passion fruit syrup and candied cashews! Although, it felt as if I couldn’t take another bite, I had to give in to my sweet tooth! To my sheer delight, the yummy cheesecake felt light and pleasantly filling. The Colony Clubhouse and Grill is indeed a world class family restaurant that serves not just fantastic food but healthy, sustainable cuisine that offers value for money!
Where: Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty
Average Cost for 2: Rs. 3500/-