One rainy evening, after spending a week cooped up at home on a severely restricted diet, my friend and I were restless and our gourmandise was at its peak. We set out in search of good food in a tranquil ambience and found ourselves passing Esplanade on 100 feet road. We had seen a write-up about the restaurant the previous week, so it was almost like a sign from the culinary heavens, telling us to check out the restaurant. So even though we hadn’t planned to tread untested waters, we turned around, handed the keys to the valet and walked up the stairs to into the warm and welcoming space, that defines Esplanade.
The restaurant has a rather interesting decor – warm green walls display clusters of vintage photographs depicting Kolkata of the yesteryears, cozy set-ups of deep sofas and comfortable dining chairs across very reasonable sized tables for groups of 2 to 6 people. The lighting, in line with the decor is muted with laps hanging over tables. Even the big chandelier close to the bar is rather restrained.
The entire effect is of entering somebody’s home, rather than a commercial dining space. The decor pleased my senses, and the music completed the experience – an interesting mix of English retro and new age Bengali rock, it was a perfect background for winding conversations over a leisurely meal.
The restaurant is known for Bengali cuisine but they also have selected items of continental and Mughlai cuisine. My friend and I had just recovered from a bout of food poisoning, so we decided to avoid Bengali food which tends to be heavier on the stomach.
We started with Chicken Tulips, a fried dim-sum preparation. A first for my friend who normally avoids dim-sums and a first for me, who normally orders the steamed versions. Fried crisp, the tulips were crunchy and were stuffed with a mix of chicken and vegetables with a perfect balance of tantalising spices.
For the main course my friend ordered a Deconstructed Moussaka, which tasted as good as it looked.
I had ordered the Chicken Stroganoff with fingers tightly crossed, hoping it wouldn’t be too creamy and heavy. I was not disappointed. The Stroganoff was perhaps the best I’ve had in years – the vegetables were cooked to perfection (not too crunchy or soft, just a little al dente) and the sauce was delicately flavoured – and if not for my suddenly reduced appetite I could have polished off the entire plate.
Though stuffed, we couldn’t resist trying the desserts – Bengali, for who can resist Bengali sweets? While I went for the mishti doi, my friend ordered the date jaggery ice cream, a preparation from his childhood. We were both transported to culinary heaven, especially my friend, as he broke into raptures of delight and slipped into a nostalgic reverie of the ice cream his grandmother used to make for him!
Location : 1135, 1st Floor, 100 Feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar.
Rating : 5 out of 5 (it was a complete experience ! 🙂 )
Will I go back? Definitely – this time with more friends for a Bengali evening in Bengaluru!