Monday, 23 March 2015

New Menu @Dakshin, ITC Windsor, Bangalore

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What pulls me back to a restaurant is either I loved the dining experience or an introduction of a new menu. What makes it really exciting is when both the criteria's are met. Such has been the case recently with Dakshin; the south Indian specialty restaurant at ITC Windsor. After a rendezvous with the colorful flavors of Chettinad; I was back here a couple of weeks ago to try out new dishes introduced to the menu at Dakshin.

With Chef Shankarnath taking charge of the kitchen at Dakshin; there are new and delicious inclusions to the Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala sections of the menu. If I have to showcase or experience South India on a plate, Dakshin is that one place which provides the much needed diversity all under one roof.

Our meal for this evening started with the signature and traditional beverage called Muneer. Muneer is a bright green drink made of jaggery, coconut water, honey, sandal syrup and Khus syrup providing the color. Its sweet, an instant cooler and tunes the palate to welcome an upcoming scrumptious meal.

Traditional in its approach, we looked forward to the customary start that begin with assorted papads, fries, mini banana uthappam and a variety of chutneys to munch on. Off all this, it is the mini banana uthappam that I looked forward to for it's distinctly sweet marriage with the assortment of the chutneys. It's called Dakshin Vishesha and gets dished out from the famous Iyer's trolly.

I absolutely loved the non-vegetarian starters that were dished out. One was the Kozhi Roast which is nothing but the famous chicken roast. Marinated and cooked in chef's special masala, the slow cooked chicken was succulent, fresh and well balanced in flavor. Enjoy it is with a side of raw onions and a glass of chilled beer; Perfect!

Chapa Vepudu was a classic pan seared king fish preparation in a marinade of red chilis. The fish was easily the freshest catch I've eaten here in Bangalore. It's easy to over cook a fish and drain it off its moisture content and here's where the skills of the chef come to a test. The fish was perfectly cooked, lovely flavors and really smooth to savor.

In mains, it was the fabulous 'Veg Stew' exuding the rich texture and flavor of coconut milk with vegetables simmered in it and the tomato pappu - a traditional Andhra delicacy which tasted good but was too dense in texture for my liking. 

On the non-vegetarian plate, there was also 'Veinchina Mamsam' and 'Royala Vepudu'. 'Veinchina Mamsam' was a delicious preparation of boneless lamb morsels in a rich gravy of brown onions, coriander and spices. 'Royala Vepudu' was succulent, fresh and perfectly cooked prawns tossed with brown onion, ginger and green chilis. This preparation had a nice crunch to it and tasted relish in every bite. 

The main courses were best enjoyed in the company of idiappam, appam and Malabar paratha. The appam was nice and fluffy in the centre and around it was a fabulous layer of crunch or crisp appam. I loved the sweetness exuded by the appam. No points for guessing, the appam and stew tasted heavenly and I could make a meal from it. The Malabar paratha was light, flaky and involved the use of minimal oil for it's making. 

Desserts are usually considered to complete a meal but for me even before we head there; a biryani is mandatory. So came from the kitchen a freshly prepared Andhra kodi chicken biryani. It was succulent chicken cooked in a spicy fragrant rice the perfect blend that makes for a delightful Andhra Chicken Biryani.

Moving on to the desserts was really a task but picking what to have; was the easiest it can ever get. We asked for the Dakshin classic; rather their signature - Elaneer Payasam. It was light, thin, rich in coconut and cardamom flavor. To me, this surely was the perfect end to a lovely meal.

An experience for two at Dakshin can be enjoyed at an average of Rs. 3500 plus taxes. I use the work 'experience' considering the overall package of:
 - A lovely and fragrant welcome at ITC Windsor's plush and rich lobby
 - A sophisticated yet traditional setting at Dakshin
 - Top notch service standards
 - Really high standards of quality of ingredients, meats, seafood, etc
 - Needless to say the flavors and portions too

Address: Dakshin, ITC Windsor, 25 Windsor Square, Golf Course Road, Near Sankey Road, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 2226 9898

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