Sometime ago Taj Vivanta Yeshwantpur invited some of us bloggers for an evening with cocktails and Mediterranean food at Shimmer and Azure, I was so looking forward to the evening with company like Swaps, Swati, Natasha, Neha, Suma and some more friends that came along and food from Azure it was a promising evening.? We started the evening at Shimmer which true to its name was well shimmery
We were given a demo of three cocktails and encouraged to go behind the bar counter and try our hands at it and yes I did try my hand at making one of them.
The first drink we started with was Oliveto a combination of Olive oil , lemon and egg whites along with Gin before it started getting made we were fearing it will be mayo like after we had that drink I thought may be mayo would have been better. Seriously if the balance of the flavors would have been anywhere close to any balance at all it may have tasted like a good cocktail alas what we got tastedjust like mausambi juice in a weird way
The next drink up for the demo was Watermelon and Basil Bramble which I was hoping will redeem some of the disappointment we had from Oliveto but unfortunately we weren?t so lucky, this drink too was way off the balance mark and it was so strange that two glasses were being passed between several people with no one wanting to finish the drink at all and yes that was another thing I found a little strange, when you invite people for a review you don?t hand over a glass and ask the guests to share. I would have been fine with less of the drink, may be they should have served in shot glasses if they had a constraint on the number of drinks they want to serve the guests but somehow the idea of handing over the glasses to us and asking us to taste from the same didn?t go down too well with me.
The last drink Rosemary delight unfortunately couldn?t change my mind about Shimmer either inspite of the fact that it looked oh so pretty
With a heavy heart and great expectations from Azure (since I have eaten there once before and quite enjoyed the food and in general I love Mediterranean food) we moved to the first floor hoping the food will make us forget the experience at the bar but I guess we had all left our lucky stars back home that day since the usually good Azure fair was below average in most accounts. I think the only two dishes that stood out for me that day were the sea food broth, where the flavours were fabulous and the shrimps and the clams in it perfectly cooked. The other dish which I have a strong and good memory from that day is the?Plum tomato confit, artichoke and cured buffalo mozzarella with french dressing. I have to say this was the dish of the day for me, one of the best confits I have had and the tomatoes were so nicely cooked that there was a discussion on the table on just how they managed it and what have they done to it, unfortunately it wasn?t my dish but I did steal a few bites from Swaps who was sitting right next to me
The beef carpaccio with onion jam and truffle oil was a beautifully plated dish with a good onion jam apart from this in the starters I liked the Falafel
which was crispy and crunchy, Maqaali which I found severely lacking in flavors infact I don?t think I understood the dish at all , the Shawarma came inside the pitas and was a bit too dry for my liking, chicken liver on buttered brioche had a good sauce but the liver was chewy, the panko crusted chicken was a dish that didn?t make any impression on me, according to me it?s a dish that has been placed there to please kids which is perfectly fine. I can actually imagine my? 5 yr old son eating it with great relish.
There were also the quintessential Mediterranean dips namely tahini, hummus and?baba ganoush, my heart actually pains to say that none of the dips were really outstanding. Yes they weren?t bad but a place which calls itself a Mediterranean joint you certainly expect better.
By the time the journey to main course had started I was very disheartened and was so hoping for the dish that will blow me away a dish that will change my mind into writing a stellar review (I hate writing bad reviews), I ordered Baked Prawns and its a sad day when you leave one of the three jumbo prawns that you have been served because they are overcooked and rubbery and I really struggled to finish the two and did because I was really hungry and didn?t want to go back home and cook again. Sadly the fate of others on the table was similar, I saw people leaving lamb chops and tenderloins because either the meat was over cooked or raw. Another dish I was really looking forward to was the?Tajine but as soon as I got to know that it was only served in the tajine vessel I actually felt cheated, I am wondering how the person who ordered it felt.
And with this we moved to the last course of the day, the course I am so so critical about yes I am talking about the dessert. By this time I had no hopes what so ever and the fact that Swaps told that their baklava was not so stellar last time she came just killed whatever little hopes I had and I have to give it to her because she called that baklava not so stellar according to my view it was BAD. The beauty of baklava for me is the gorgeous layers of phyllo pastry with the crunch of nuts and a fair amount of ghee/butter. Its the explosion of textures and flavors in every bite that makes baklava what it is.? Sadly this had none of it, to be fair to them it had a lot of nuts may be a little more than what usually is there in a baklava but if I had to eat nuts I would fry them in ghee and eat. The warm chocolate fallen cake with organic vanilla ice cream was certainly a little bit of save face for them. It was a decent chocolate cake but it was the ice cream both which came with the cake and which was served as gelato which fell on its face. First I don?t think they were different ice creams atleast there wasn?t any taste of flavor difference between them which is strange since one was the vanilla and other was red wine gelato and two they had big ice crystals in them. So disappointing
In the end with a very heavy heart I have to say that the day had more misses than hits and there were only a couple of items that left mark in my mind such a pity that they had a bad day on the day they had invited bloggers for an evening there. I sincerely hope this was just one off day and they get their act together fast