Thursday, 19 June 2014

"In a Shell" - Seafood Festival @ Bene, Sheraton at Brigade Gateway, Bangalore

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My love for the food at Bene has been quite evident in the previous blogpost(s) made. My visits here have been frequent and have continued to enjoy the food coming out of Chef Hemanth's kitchen. What appeals to me about Bene is the sophisticated and elegant ambiance, wonderful service and the consistently great food being dished out in each of my visits.

In my most recent visit early this week, I went on to explore the new menu at Sheraton that has been crafted for the ongoing festival 'In a Shell'. This 10 day long sea food festival boasts of dishing out exotic offerings from the oceanic life in a traditional Italian form. The menu is is not extensive but apt for a 10 day festival which is on till June 25th, 2014.

Our evening started off with the traditional serving of bread and spreads, a customary beginning at Bene. Keeping us company was a wonderful Australian red wine from Jacobs Creek. Over the course of dinner, I switched to a white wine by 'Two Oceans' from South Africa. 

Our  food course started with Anti-Pasti, 'Duo of Bruschetta' - One being slow poached prawn with a fresh cherry tomato and the other being steamed crab meat with pickled onion. Both were really nice but for me it was the steamed crab meat bruschetta that provided a kick-start to an evening of deliciousness. The meat was sweet and perfectly steamed to a melt in mouth consistency. The bread though was too thick for my liking. Meat as is but a slightly thinner bread would have made for a perfect marriage rather bruschetta.
Prawns Bruschetta
Crab Meat Bruschetta
Oysters in its raw form are the most commonly eaten form of oysters. In this form, you will either love it or totally hate it. Here, it was 'Oysters "Reinvented"', yes the name of the dish. It was fried oysters with agrodolce, fennel, onion and peppers. It was not slimy as I expected raw oysters to be but of course these were fried and not raw. I will probably have to eat more of it to really write more about it. 

Primo - For me the highlight of the evening was clearly the 'Seafood Chowder'. This was still the second course and I had made up my mind already. It was all fragrant and delicious bowl of earthy tomato base seafood broth with fresh clams, mussels, prawns and crab meat. Actually, I also remember seeing squid rings. I could have made a complete meal of just this one course which I will do on my next visit before the festival comes to an end.

Secondo - In the mains, my pick was 'Lobster, Asparagus & Pasta' which was a delicious looking open faced lobster ravioli with asparagus, vilted spinach and zucchini sauce. The lobster was perfectly cooked and was really easy to cut and melted in the mouth with no effort at all; clearly a preparation with a lot of love and care. The lobster came together very well with the pasta and the zucchini sauce which was of a wonderful consistency. What didn't work for me and and some friends on the table was the overpowering asparagus which actually killed the smooth and subtle flavors of this dish. Without the asparagus this dish is a clean sweep.

On the table, was another main which got rave reviews 'Smoky Pasta and mussels'. An innovation form the kitchen, the pasta was smoked and served with clams, mussels and crab meat in a tomato and basil sauce. As I dug into this, the smoke flavor was really clear and comes through very well. The seafood in it brought in a nice balance and texture to the dish. While many loved this dish, for me it was the Lobster ravioli that did the trick.
Smoky Pasta with Mussels - Shared between a couple of us for tasting
Dolce time: It was 'Walnut & almond tart' which came served with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream. I dont enjoy nuts in my dessert and this tart was too nutty for me. So for me this was a 'No'. For you? Well, I must tell you it was really rich and gooey though. So, if you like nuts, this one will sure please you.

A lovely coffee is a perfect and befitting end to a lovely Italian meal. So 'Cappuccino' it was.

Bene and award-winning restaurant by Sheraton at Brigade Gateway needs no introduction and especially if you have been following my blog or the FaceBook page, you know it all. As for the seafood festival, its delicious, is different in its offering and definitely a lot more that a mere fish festival. What impresses me is the pricing which is clearly the standard pricing of the regular menu at Bene. Yes, the prices here are not jacked up just because it is seafood festival yet, as one would expect from a brand like Sheraton - freshest of the seafood is procured each and every day. 

An average meal for two at Bene will cost about Rs. 2500 plus taxes and charges. It is definitely worth it and I urge you to go give this limited period menu a shot. 

So what are you waiting for? 25th June is the last day...

Address: 4th Floor, Sheraton @ Brigade Gateway, 26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleshwaram - Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560055
Phone Number: +91 80 4252 1000

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