Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Israeli Delights at Nook; Aloft Bengaluru CBP

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This revisit to Aloft was much looked forward to for the history of experiences I've always cherished from here; be it the Launch of Aloft Bengaluru CBP, the stay at Aloft, their annual event 'Project Aloft Star'. 

Having missed numerous celebratory food festivals at Aloft; I was determined to visit back to create another memory of a really good evening at Aloft with a buffet celebrating the 'Taste of Israel' till the 28th of August by an international Chef. Chef Shachar having grown up in Israel, lived and worked in different parts of the world sticks to his roots of mastering the art of preparing and serving Israeli food. 

Falling on the Eastern belt of the Mediterranean Sea, the vegetation of this land is known to produce olives, tomatoes and the likes. The cuisine gets its influence from the Mediterranean region, and the influx of different cultures like Arabs, Jews and so on which happened with the formation of the independent state of Israel in 1948. 

The culture lays emphasis on family and sharing and this is clearly visible from the way food is plated to be shared on the table rather than plated for individuals. With this, lets move in to the highlights of the evening that showcase #IsraeliDelightsatNook #AloftBengaluruCBP.

The evening started with a note from Chef Shachar himself about Israeli food followed by an address from Consulate General of Israel who also happens to be the wife of Chef Shachar. This was soon followed by an array of kebabs and other pass around starters from the buffet spread at Nook that moved around the floor in the company of an extravagant spread of infused vodka and shots I have ever seen. 

Before we got to our table at Nook was another special act by a specialist from behind the bar who set up a Diablo trail of Jäger bomb in two forms - classic and Aloft's creation. 

What followed was the main highlight of the evening and sure did elevate the experience that evening. It was our turn to head to the table at Nook to Savour the Mediterranean, Arabic and East European delicacies prepared by Chef Shachar and the talented pool of chefs at Aloft Bengaluru CBP. 

It all started with an array of dips and breads from the buffet spread. Referred to as Mezze; this included Labne, Baba Ganoush, Amba, cabbage salad, Tahini and more. If this was not all, the buffet had a wider spread of different dips to go along with the breads. These dips were enjoyed best with freshly baked assortment of breads like pita bread, challah, Jerusalem Bagel and Fricassee. 

Jerusalem Fricassee
This course did not end with breads and dips. There was more to go along like the fresh Israeli salad, whole baked cauliflower, beetroot carpaccio with a topping of white cheese, grilled egg plant topped with tahini and a serving of the freshest Tabbouleh salad I've eaten in a long time. Most of what I ate was vegetarian but surprisingly I didn't miss the meat yet. That's some good news for you vegetarians out there because there's a lot of vegetarian fare on this buffet.
Grilled Egg Plant with Tabbouleh
Baked Cauliflower
Beetroot Carpaccio
Up next we noticed a trolley being pulled towards our table and moments later chef showcased the preparation of hummus followed by a custom made hummus was served to me just the way I like it. This one came topped with boiled egg, olive oil drizzle, fresh lime juice, pine nuts and sprinkling of Sumack. 

It was not just food that stole the show this evening. There were concoctions to keep company and one in particular that kept good company to both food and me was the one in the picture below. The balance of the rum infused with coconut, the pineapple juice and the balancing mixes surely had me imagining an exotic beach destination vacationing.  

For mains, we headed back to the buffet counter and there was the warm and mildly spiced Israeli Pilaf which I enjoyed eating (by chance) with the fresh and cold Tabbouleh. Among the Israeli herb stuffed chicken, meatballs with olive and tomato sauce and fish tahina tomato, I least preferred the fish dish only because the fish used was 'Basa'. The whole food industry seems to be fixated on the Basa and I fail to understand why so? Aren't there any other fishes left to be caught? My recommendation - please don't do this as we love the real fish enough to settle for Basa.

That's not all, the live station had Shawarma too that was custom made to liking or the traditional way in which it is sold in the streets of Israel. You make the choice. For me this was nice but because I love shawarma, I was expecting more. One mention though - the meat / chicken was perfectly marinated with spiced and cooked to succulent perfection.

The buffet did not end here. There was more for the vegetarians amidst the buffet that extended to other cuisines like Indian, continental and Chinese to name a few. This course led the way to another important course of the meal and yes this reference being made is to the desserts. 

Strictly sticking to Israeli treats; sweets and candies were served to us on the table and the visualisation, the colours, textures and the variety was a real treat to have awaiting to be enjoyed. Without much ado, this large platter was relished with some treats bringing back memories of childhood. Another highlight was fig with fresh cream and caramel which was simplicity at its best.

For the grand finale, there was a creation of dessert art on a table sufficient for a community to share. This was a delight to watch as the team from Aloft put up a splendid show to create an art that was edible and delicious. This last one was for the joy of sharing.

So with this, I headed out for a long drive back home satisfied and happy with the evening spent at Aloft Bengaluru CBP relishing the Israeli delights at Nook. I definitely recommend a visit here for a lovely Israeli meal before 28th August for this special showcase is only on till Sunday evening between 7PM and 11PM all days of the week. Here are few more reasons for which you should make a visit - Shakshuka, Minced chicken liver, an Israeli street Favourite Falafel and more.

Address: Cessna Business Park, Sarjapur–Marathahalli Outer Ring Road, Kadubeesanahalli, Bellandur Post, Bengaluru - 560103
Phone Number: +91 80 4510 1010
Website: Aloft Bengaluru CBP

Note: This visit to Aloft Bengaluru CBP was on invitation but the opinions expressed are solely mine and are absolutely unbiased nor influenced by the brand in any way.

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