21 September 2014

TimesCity Gourmet Week 2014 at Cheval Bar & Restaurant

I look forward to 'Restaurant Weeks' in the city. And this seems to be the season with three different restaurant weeks running back-to-back this month. It was flagged off by the Tastes of Europe restaurant week from the 6th-12th of September where I had eaten at Prego at The Westin, Goregaon, and then blogged about it here. This was followed by the TimesCity Gourmet Week from the 15th-21st of this month. And then comes the biggie- Restaurant Week India running from the 19th-28th. (You could check out more information on www.restaurantweekindia.com)

What I loved about all three is the impressive list of restaurants, mainly establishments that you'd only go dine in on occasions because of their price point or difficulty to get a table. These restaurant weeks offer pre-set, gourmet meals which come at a price much lesser than what you'd pay if you went and ordered a la carte. Also they have some specials on the menu which are curated only for the week. 

As a part of TimesCity's Gourmet Week 2014 celebrations, my mother (who also blogs and is crazy active on social media) and I decided to go try out Cheval Bar and Restaurant in Fort. I've only been to Cheval's partner nightclub; Liv, which is crazy and buzzing over the weekends. Cheval is the slightly more sober sister, and offers fine dine and a well stocked bar with slightly lower decibel levels. The place is sprawling and divided into three seperate rooms, each giving out a different vibe. When we visited, only the outer area was full with diners.

The huge 3000 square feet establishment manages to look like a restaurant, bar, and nightclub all in one. Its dimly lit, but not so dim that you need a torch to read through the menu. I loved the chandeliers and spotlights framing different corners of the room.

We were offered a five course, non vegetarian, set meal for Rs. 1000 + taxes. We started off with an Amuse Bouche, that my mom called 'Sev Puri'. They were mini tostadas topped with cheese, spices and tomato. Interesting start to the meal, and we couldn't wait to see what lay ahead.

Amuse Bouche

 For course two, I opted for a Smoked Tomato Soup with garlic foam. The soup was given a twist because of the use of roasted tomatoes which gave it a smoky flavour. I loved the garlic foam on top, only wished there had been more. Interesting version of a classic tomato soup, this was.

Smoked Tomato Soup with garlic foam

 The Beetroot Salad had an artichoke puree, and was topped with spiced walnuts and goat's cheese. I've lost track of the number of restaurants that have a beetroot salad on their menu. This one was fairly decent, nothing to write home about.

Beetroot Salad
Next up were the Z'atar Spiced Chicken Skewers with a Lemon Chilli Dip. The chicken skewers came well cooked, and they tasted fab topped with this Middle Eastern ingredient. The skewers were not stringy or chewy, and went well with the accompanying dip.

Z'atar Spiced Chicken Skewers

 The Spanish Prawns were these tangy, juicy prawns topped with sundried tomatoes and rosemary. The acidity of the sauce complimented the prawns very well. Both the chicken and the prawns were my favorites of the night.

Spanish Prawns

I liked the portion size of each course. Not too much, that you'd feel stuffed. Not too little, that you'd remain hungry. Three courses down and I was feeling pretty comfortable. Bring on the mains, I say! The Minute Steak with oven roasted paprika & rosemary potatoes was the only damp squib in the entire meal. That's because the steak wasn't done like how I'd asked for it. I like my steak medium rare, this one was chewy and overdone. The sauce on top was the only redeeming factor along with the delicious potatoes served alongside.
Minute Steak
 The Lemon Pepper Chicken was average stuff you'd find at a lot of other restaurants too. The lemon pepper sauce added a lot of flavour to the otherwise sober grilled chicken. It came seated on a bed of soft, buttery polenta which created such a contrast of textures as opposed to the solid chicken. The polenta was polished off, the chicken remained.

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Soft Polenta
By now we were pretty stuffed, but no meal is complete without desserts. The Passion Fruit Crème brûlée was a well made custard albeit with a sweet-sour passion fruit flavour dominating. I wish it had some more caramelization on the top, however. (I'm wating for some restaurant to blow torch my Crème brûlée on the table for me. I love theatrics! So far I haven't experienced that anywhere in the city.)

Passion Fruit Crème brûlée with Shortbread
We ended with the Blueberry Vodka Sorbet. I'm not a sorbet person but this one changed me. It made for a pretty picture, bright purple with a golden tuille on top. Smooth and bursting with a blueberry flavour. And this aftertaste of vodka slowly kicks in towards the end. It was a lovely end to the meal.

Blueberry Vodka Sorbet

Overall, Cheval is pretty underrated in terms of food. It comes across as more of a lounge and party place, but has potential to really showcase their gourmet grub and make a mark. 

(The entire experience was a part of TimesCity Gourmet Week, 2014 which is on till 21st September. For more information click here. The review was conducted anonymously)

1 comment :

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