Saturday, June 6, 2009

Caperberry

Finally, we visit Caperberry. We'd heard so much about this place and its use of molecular gastronomy clubbed with fine dining that we were almost compelled to pay this place a visit. And what a visit it was. Our only grouse with the place was that the fine dining section was separated from the lounge area by a half wall and the music from the lounge area was just not suited for fine dining. For three guys in their mid-20s, that may not have been an issue, but I'm just giving the others a heads up.

First up, we knew this place was a touch bit expensive (ok, a lot more expensive) than most other places we've been so far. So when we saw a 4 and 6 course meal, we almost readily jumped for that option. The vegetarian 4 course meal is priced at Rs 1400 and the 6 course at Rs 1800. The non veg 4 course is priced at Rs 1500 and the 6 course at Rs 2000. Mr p went for the 4 course veg meal and Mr VP went for the 4 course non-veg meal while I went all out with the 6 course non-veg (too bad there wasn't a 10 course combine of veg and non-veg :) ).

The traditional, complimentary bread basket with herbed butter was nice and they keep bringing them as and when you finish it, and even in between courses. We were worried that VP would continue eating only this and end up wasting his food, but luckily that wasn't the case.

Mr P and I decided to have something to drink. I was driving back, so no alcohol for me and so we settled for a couple of mocktails - a Snapper, consisting of lemon, lychee, ginger and soda for me and
a Pine Coco, having pineapple, coconut and cream for Mr P it was.

Our first indications of the fine dining concept came with the waiter placing an amuse bouche in front of us - this one being a melon popsicle - which we suspected was the fruit dipped in liquid nitrogen (yes, they use it for some of their dishes) or frozen and then served. Whatever method it was, the end result was pleasant.

The non-veg course had a seafood appetizer, with (from left to right) scallop, prawn and squid served with a salad. I usually have a thing against the large jumbo prawns, but this one actually tasted good although my other grouse is that they have a strong smell and this one was no different. But overall, great way to start off a meal.
The veg course consisted of some kind of cheesy cutlets with a gazpacho, which Mr P said tasted nice. The salad seemed to same and must have been only as a garnish.
The second course followed, with Mr P getting a green pea soup with cheese, which was terrific. It reminded me a recipe I had watched Nigella Lawson use to prepare a cheesy green pea soup with mozzarella.
The second course of the non-veg menu was a duo of gazpacho - classic( r) and melon(l). A gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup from the southern part of Spain, and is traditionally tomato based.

Before the main courses arrived, we were given another amuse bouche, this time a citrus fruit crostini. At this point in time, we were wondering, and praying that the rest of the meal would be as good if not better than the appetizers, because only then would we feel we'd have gotten complete value for money.

The veg main course was a trio of mushroom - shitake at the top of the pic, then some kind of mushroom that seemed to have been stuffed with some kind of cream or cheese, and the last being a type of quiche or puff pastry with mushrooms. Mr P doesn't like shitake mushrooms, and these were particularly strong and the seasoning was a little on the saltier side, but the other two were really good.
Since I had the 6 course meal, I had two more dishes, and one among those was Baked Salmon on a bed of cous-cous and mushrooms with a sauce made from orange juice and ligtly seasoned.
A melon sorbet, served as another palate cleanser/amuse bouche before my other main course.
The other non-veg main course (which is what Mr VP was served as well as part of the 4 course meal) was a duck sous vide, with foie gras on pear and with a pear and cherry sauce. Mr VP didn't like the taste of duck, and I too prefer chicken, but I didn't think duck meat tasted 'bad'. But I was pretty excited to eat foie gras, considered a delicacy and on the do eat list of almost all food lovers. I didn't find it too bad, but I won't go onto describe how it felt or tasted...I'll leave that to you.
I was given an extra dessert (of which I didn't take a pic), which was mahon, brie and pear with olives. For the last course, we selected three separate desserts, making sure we had one type of cryo dessert (dessert chilled with liquid nitrogen). The first was a trio of custards (l-r): chocolate, blueberry pannacotta, and crème brûlée with Spanish flan around it. I loved the blueberry pannacotta, while P & VP liked the crème brûlée best, while all three of us weren't all that impressed by the chocolate one.
The second one of the desserts was a tiramisu, but instead of using coffee powder, this one had green tea powder, along with a garnish of faux caviar. I love tiramisu, and this one with the innovative use of green tea powder nailed it - it was fabulous.
The last dish was one of the cryo dishes, which came with dark chocolate and strawberry
And then came the trolley with liquid nitrogen, all gaseous and looking like it was straight out of a sci-fi flick.
The waiter squeezed out some foam like thing onto a spoon, and dropped it into the liquid nitrogen, and then fished it out and it looked...
...like this! The photo doesn't do justice but it looks way better in real, with 'smoke' coming out of it, giving you the impression that it's hot, but once it enters your mouth, it starts to 'pop'. The only possible drawback is that if it's too cold, your tongue kinda gets numb for a while, but that apart, the experience is fantastic.

Go to Caperberry with an open mind and only if you have the intention to go in for fine dining, and you will be blown away. I'm glad I went there, and the three of us have decided that we'd be back, but maybe not too soon :)

Food: Fabulous
$$$: Expensive
Service: Very good
Verdict: Fine dining at its best in Bangalore. Truly international. If you want to experience western fine dining, visit Caperberry once. The rates may seem exorbitant, but then again, you won't get this kind of food or experience anywhere else in Bangalore.
Extra Info: Caperberry is located within the Tanishq building on Dickenson road, adjacent to Manipal Centre, at the corner of Dickenson Road and M G Road. Valet parking is available.

Caperberry, 48/1 Ground Floor, The Estate (same building as Tanishq), Dickenson Road, Bangalore. Phone: 25594567

4 comments:

Ashwin said...

This is akin to Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck.

Karthik Shetty said...

Haven't been to merry ol' London, and didn't know about the Fat Duck, but upon looking at their website and the menu, I'd have to agree with your assessment.

UPN said...

Karthik,
congrats!..solid job of recording your experience but you need to describe the food in more detail and with more finesse so that you become a restaurant reviewer and not just a food blogger..for starters, you may go through the 4 star reviews of Frank Bruni on NY restaurants on the NYT website. Nevertheless,your compilation of views n pics of bangalore restaurants & dishes is highly commendable..lots of assiduous work on display!..no wonder BM reposes its faith in you..more power to you & keep it up!...tc

Karthik Shetty said...

Hello UPN, thank you! :) I have in fact tried to do that off late, and in more detail, although having a full time job that takes a lot of 2 hours we have in a day prevents me from doing so. But rest assured, I've always got this on my mind, and I'll make sure to do so. Thanks again.