Sunday, October 30, 2011

European Art of Taste - Caperberry

A few weeks back, my friend the Wicked Witch of the Feast invited me over to Caperberry, where there was a dinner being held to showcase Italian art and food, in association with the European Art of Taste (EAT) in conjunction with the Italian government and the EU. I was thrilled to bits, and even though this was more a Page 3-ish event, I couldn't have cared less and made sure nothing else was added to my calendar. Suman's post on this event can be read here.

The event was like this: art was going to be showcased, art that was inspired by food, and in turn Chef Abhijith Saha had prepared a 4-course meal that was inspired by the art (that was inspired by the food)... see where I'm going with this? :) Every dish was to be paired with a wine from the IGM, a consortium of wine producers, and also needed to have pasta, provolone cheese, or extra virgin olive oil. Each course had two options and each diner could select which one of the dishes they'd like to be served.

Amuse bouche - Tomato & mozzarella

In the first course, there was a green apple, arugula and walnuts with provolone cheese salad. The crunchy apples, mildly acidic, combined well with the oily nuttines of the walnut, and the cheese added a new angle to the taste. The dressing seemed to be done only with olive oil (extra virgin), and it was a pleasant surprise that there was no vinaigrette added. I guess the zing from the apples' acidity was sufficient. The photo I took of this came out blurred, and so apologies - but then again, it's a salad, so I'm sure you won't have to let your imagination run wild :)

The other dish in the first course was a seafood soup, a Ligurian seasfood stew (Liguria is a coastal province in the north-western part of Italy). The seafood stew was a rich, thick, tomato-based soup with (our soup had) fish, prawns, and squid. To my mind, the squid should've been in the form of the usual squid rings, but by using just a chunk of the squid in the soup, I thought it spoiled the 'tenderness' of the soup because the squid was just rubbery. Served with a piece of toasted bread that was lightly moistened by a pesto, the soup was a delightful dish, save for the squid.

The second course began with diners having the option of choosing from a fettucine aglio, olio e peperoncino with cherry tomatoes and green peas, topped with a some cherry foam. Since Caperberry brands itself as a restaurant that dwells into molecular gastronomy, it was a classy rendition of a foam, but personally, I didn't see the need for it with the pasta, although it still was a superb foam. This was otherwise a simple dish, but then again, with just olive oil constituting the major part of the 'sauce' component of this dish, it's very easy to go wrong with it.


If the cherry foam on the pasta was classy, then the alternative dish to it, rotolo di lasagna al prosciutto with pesto, along with chilled melon cappuccino was classier - the chilled melon cappuccino at least. The prosciutto was a shade too thin for my liking, but that aside, it blended in superbly with the rotolo, while the melon cappuccino was simply mind blowing - cool, light, and airy.


The third course consisted of a potato gnocchi and provolone stuffed morels in a mushroom sauce. The thought of trying out morels was very tempting, enough to make me almost order for this. This is a very simple dish - not simple in terms of the effort it takes to make it and make it right, but simple as in it's almost a commoners dish. There was a musty/earthy aroma that wafted from the dish, perhaps enhanced by the drizzling of olive oil (extra virgin I think). Mushrooms have always occupied a special place in my gastronomic heart, simply because I think they are more of a bridge between veg and non-veg food, even more than eggs are, and what's more, they're freakin' delicious. Too bad I opted for the other dish!


After reading about the dish that I opted for, there'd be no points for guessing which one I had hoped to have actually ordered. The other option for the third course was the lemon zest and garlic marinated leg of lamb in a red wine jus with baby potatoes. The meat was absolutely tender, and it was so lovely to have actually gotten lamb, and not the leg of an old goat or sheep! However, the taste was something even I couldn't get my tongue around. To me, and the other two guests at my table (a rockstar who's the founder member of the band Thermal and a Quarter and his wife :P), the dish was lacking some basic seasoning. That aside, for me the red wine jus and the lemon zest just didn't seem to gel with the lamb, but the Italians at the other tables felt it was done absolutely flawlessly. So I guess this is very evident of the fact that food is such a subjective, personal thing, that at times, in spite of a dish having been executed flawlessly, there could still be someone who may not appreciate it. Damn! I actually felt bad when I learnt that the dish was actually executed the right way because I pride myself in having a palate that is very adaptive to subtle flavours. Well, there are always exceptions.



For dessert, it was a common dessert for all - a red wine poached fig tart (r), passion fruit panna cotta (c), and a tiramisu (l). I absolutely loved the passion fruit panna cotta - a delightful execution of the panna cotta. The amount of gelatin used was dot perfect, leaving the texture of the panna cotta in a state where a slight tap with the spoon would make it quiver, like a 16th century French courtesan whose inner thigh would quiver at the touch of her lovers fingers. I have no idea how or where I got that line from, certainly not from Jane Austen, but you get the idea about the desired texture, don't you.

The fig tart and the tiramisu were pretty decent, but I was going back to polish of the glass that had the panna cotta. I was just so glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of this event, and from what I heard, this was by far the most formal and 'official' Page 3 event, something that I absolutely loved. It's also made me want to go and try Caperberry again, since a lot of water seems to have passed under the bridge since my last visit.

17 comments:

ruthdsouzap said...

Gosh! I really missed this one! Hopefully another time! What's on the pannacotta? Some kind of sugar net?

Anonymous said...

you got that line from nigella! the morels dish looked great.

Karthik Shetty said...

@Ruth: Yup, you missed it. And yes, that was sugar and something pulled into strings.

@Anonymous: I think you're right - I believe when she was judging on Top Chef. I think I'm getting old!

Anonymous said...

wow gotta visit this place...but that foamy dish looks disgusting and the way you described the panna cotta ,looked like Nigella has kept her hand on your head.and iam sure you read it somewhere,there is no way a shetty boy can think sensitive like that

Karthik Shetty said...

@ second anonymous - I 'heard' Nigella say that. And I take offense to the fact that you've said a Shetty boy can't think sensitive (although, was this sensitive?). This Shetty boy can put on a new hat every day :)

Anonymous said...

ahem....I was being sarcastic when I said sensitive :|

EarnesTaster- UPN said...

good round-up about your experience. am looking forward to a full formal review (with lots of "thigh-quiver"-like descriptions!) of Caperberry from you. would also like to read your articles on Graze,Le Jardin and other such world-cuisine hotspots in town. It does not matter whether you agree or not with the Italian diners' take on the lamb dish. As long as you are sure about how good your palate is (like how you were confident about your appreciation of the lasagna with melon cappucino), you dont have to worry about what other folks think about the same dish,however experienced they might be. Here's wishing you all the best and hoping to read expert restaurant reviews from you...tc

FoodforSwaps said...

Aargh ... I missed this one completely! :( I want to do their tasting menu.. Have you tried that one out yet?

Karthik Shetty said...

I'd tasted the tasting menu a loooong time back Swapna...like 2, or maybe 3 years back. I think I need to pay them another visit :)

Vijetha said...

Came across one of your reviews in Zomato while searching for restaurants. It led me here. You made a mention about yourself liking
'Simple' stuff. But you are having exotic food out there. The pictures you have posted here indicate otherwise. I couldn't help, but smile at the irony of it :D Ok, I am laughing inside! Enjoy your culinary adventure! :) You seem to put in a lot of time to this blog. I have read just one-about Via Milano. Someone I know didn't quiet like it. I was surprised to find quiet a few pictures you have taken of food/chef. Haa, I am tempted to go there! Yayy! Keep going!

Karthik Shetty said...

Thank you Vijetha! :) I do like the simple stuffs, but when more fancy things present themselves before me, I won't pass off the opportunity to enjoy them as well :)

Vijetha said...

Lol. Ok! :) Noone can resist the grander version of the simple things in life, right!?! You don't seem to be much of a talker. Lol. BTW, do you know of any place that has sinful desserts?

Karthik Shetty said...

I'm not much of a talker? Hmm, ok, if you say so :) Sinful desserts...which part of town? Indiranagar has Spoonful of Sugar, and then there are several restaurants where a few desserts are really good.

Vijetha said...

Oh no no no. I am not making a statement about you. Your reply was short. Hence the comment. My mistake. Sorry! But that's how it is supposed to go. Short and crisp. Uhmm. Anywhere around Koramangala and JP Nagar. Haaaa! Tell me about those restaurants offering yummy desserts. It's ok if they are in Indiranagar.

Karthik Shetty said...

In Koramangala you can try Turquoise. In JP Nagar or south Bangalore, there aren't too many places particularly known for their desserts. Other places aren't too famous for desserts - it's just that at the end of the meal, when u order desserts, some places are better than others. I can't think of too many places now, but will certainly let you know about it. If you don't mind going to UB city, then u have to go to Cafe Noir - the desserts are really good there.

v said...

Hey Karthik! Thank you! Will find out where Turquoise is! Honestly, Turquoise is my favourite color! :D Ok, the color has nothing to do with restaurant. Sometimes, I go out of the topic. Sorry! Oh yeah, there are not many places in Jayanagar/JP Nagar, the reason why we go to Koramangala and sometimes Indiranagar. Yes, exactly, I am looking for places where, at the end of the meal, I can get to have sumptuous desserts! When I say desserts, I mean something different. UB city? Have been there, but not seen Cafe Noir. Will check it out if I happen to go there. Looks like you have patience and time to reply to comments! :D Talk of being shy. Uhmm, sorry again for that previous comment. After all, I guess you talk a lot. Oh, I saw your complete profile now. Are you a listener? Lol. If that is the case, I will surely ask you about restaurants(if that is ok with you) Tada! :) Where do you want me to post questions? This comment page is meant for one of the articles you posted. Lol. Do you have a general mail id, if that is what you prefer? If there is a common platform in this blog, where people can post questions, let me know. Thanks! :)

Charishma said...

why haven't u put up a review of fireflies Karthik?I was planning to go there today,wanted to know abt the food,and your blog came to my mind.