Raise a toast and celebrate life as you dine at any of The Leela Palace Bengaluru’s fine dining restaurants, each more sublime than the other.
By Namita Gupta
If the royal menu at Jamavar, the infectious vibrant buzz of Citrus, the soulful food at Zen and the classy Le Cirque signature dishes don’t bowl you over then we don’t know what will. Give into a smorgasbord of flavours at The Leela Palace, Bengaluru’s restaurants that offer you an indulgent and memorable meal fix. It’s epicurean gastronomy at its best.
The Sunday brunch at Citrus, The Leela Palace Bengaluru has been pleasing many palates since the time of its inception. Apart from tasty delicacies made with culinary flair you are in for a visual treat that takes you on a memorable fine dining experience, every time you’re here. The ambience of Citrus resonates with its name; peppy and vibrant colours and much like the freshness it exudes in its settings, it also boasts of the best of the flavours in each of the dishes in this multi-cuisine restaurant. The menu makes sure you have plenty of choices, be it the freshly baked bread right off the oven, the goat’s cheese and arugula salad with a delicate orange and maple dressing, or the wood-fired pizzas, each more flavourful and fresh than the other. We recommend you try the regional delicacies served every Saturday. The regional food festival is part of the Saturday brunch, besides all the other continental and north Indian dishes that leave a lingering taste. We applaud Corporate Chef for South Indian Cuisine, Chef Purushotham Naidu’s attempt of staying true to Karnataka’s regional cuisine, by keeping it authentic. The menu changes every Saturday and draws from the melting-pot cities of this region spanning Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Karwar, Dharwad, Coorg, Mysuru and more.
Some of the popular ones include Majjige huli, ajadina, kane, mutton sukka, kori gassi, neer dosa, mamsa biryani, donne biryani, pandi curry, nool puttu, koli curry, bamboo shoot curry, boti fry, boti masala, chow chow bath, puliogare, bisi bele baath, vangi baath, ragi mudde, soppu pallya and bassaru. Wash it down with buttermilk or juice freshly squeezed. There are new decadent regional desserts that change every Saturday. We found the holige, kajaya, ragi manni and akki payasa authentic and bang on the taste factor. “I have travelled to these cities and researched on each of these dishes. Everytime I’m planning a new thematic food spread, I do my research. I also pick up some of the local ingredients like the byadgi red chillies from these cities, peppercorn from Coorg,” shares Chef Purushotham.
Picture this. Chefs skilfully cooking your food fresh right in front of you, using their theatrical skills, juggling, flipping eggs and spatulas, even knives if you please, showcasing their skills and voila with a dash of fire, before you know your meal is served piping hot. Expect all this and more when you plonk yourself at Zen and explore the exotic world of Asian cuisine. A thorough blend of light, space, symmetry, colour and movement, this restaurant has perfected the art of Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisines. Whether you’re craving the signature prawn and bamboo shoot dumplings or the steaming barbeque pork buns, it’s all there at the Teppanyaki kitchen on the mezzanine floor to the sushi and dim sum counters. Also try the Nasu Dengaku, aubergine in a Japanese style preparation with miso glazed sauce, lamb chops, tenderloin, prawns and fresh lobsters.
A team of skilled chefs make Zen’s eclectic pan Asian dining a memorable experience. Find your zen here as Specialty Chef Vadim Shim, a Korean born in Russia, settled in India, cooking Japanese cuisine whips up a zesty Teppanyaki. You have to experience his labour of love to believe how he can transform flavours and presentation skills and take it many notches up. “It’s not just about us cooking rice, noodles, vegetables, sea food, chicken and meats in front of the guests, but also entertaining all their senses. We get seasonal mushrooms from Japan, asparagus from Peru and source a large variety of fresh vegetables, Chilean sea bass, salmon, signature chef’s flambé with fried ice cream cooked on the teppanyaki, tossed right in front of the guests,” shares the charming and vivacious Vadim as he whips up a fantasy. The cherry topping is the chef’s brilliant sense of humour and theatrical skills with his kitchen tools that he displays with such finesse, leaving you completely charmed and making your meal truly memorable.
Named after the intricate brocades of Kashmir, it’s an unparalleled experience where opulence is a part of its settings as it is in the flavours of the food. The refined ambience is enhanced by the Jamavar Wall paintings done with pure gold leaf and vegetable dyes, decorative Jamavar shawls and lavish silver table settings. And when you have taken in the intricate hand-carved screens and the flower-laden urli with floating candles, sit back and surrender to the gastronomical temptations of the traditional cuisines that were once feasted by the maharajas and Nawabs. The menu is exhaustive from the coast of Kerala to the gardens of Kashmir.
We recommend you try house specialities such the Raan-e-Jamavar, leg of lamb marinated in nutmeg and spices or the Lobster Neeruli, a coastal delicacy from Mangaluru made with shallots and tomatoes. You probably deserve that siesta after this hearty meal.
LE CIRQUE SIGNATURE
Revered by critics of New York City, the menu features a creative culinary flair for Italian and French cuisine, complemented by a repertoire of select wines. Located on the 5th floor of the hotel, dining at Le Cirque Signature, Bengaluru is all about refined elegance with the backdrop of a stunning glass arch, offering a panoramic backdrop of the palace’s grand architecture and lush greenery. For a private dining experience you can opt for the elaborate champagne room or choose the alfresco seating, for a charming and casual lounge atmosphere.
For those in between times when you want to satiate your hunger pangs or simple soak in some sweet flavours head to The Cake Shop at Leela or try the Library Bar when you’re in the mood to indulge in an exclusive evening with rare malts and ancient Armagnac. So, next time you’re thinking where to head out for your meal or simply get a taste of the finer things in life, you know where to go.