Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turquoise - The European

The post for Turquoise has been long pending, and in fact, I had written it once, was about to 'publish' it, but ended up doing something while sleepy and the entire post got deleted. And then I wasn't able to find any of the pictures! Thankfully the horror story ended there, and I'm back with the details about Turquoise - The European (I'll need to visit the Indian a couple of times more to gauge the place fully and type it down).

The menu at Turquoise is expansive, and can leave you spoiled for choice. When Mr. P and I are together, we've just got to get ourselves some soup. The creme de Porcini and the cream of broccoli are the ones we tried, and both are quite good, with the Porcini soup taking the cake for me simply because I like mushrooms over other veggies, especially when it comes to soups. That isn't to say the broccoli wasn't good. In fact, the consistency of the broccoli soup is to be appreciated for not being 'grainy'.

Creme de Porcini

Cream of Broccoli

Some of the starters we had were the Mezze platter (we asked for 3 dips; you can ask for 6 or 9 as well). The dips we asked for were the muhammara, hummus, and falafels (OK, so falafels aren't dips, so sue me!), malazane con pomodoro confit (baked aubergine with tomato confit and cheese), kefta kebabs (ground lamb) with tzatziki, veg tapas platter, grilled prawns (day's special), and chicken wrapped with sage.

The Mezze platter, especially the muhammara, was simply superb. The texture was spot on, although the levels of heat were a little less than what it could have been. I'm not a big fan of falafels, so won't comment, and the hummus was creamy and just the way it should be. The kefta kebabs, similar to the Indian sheekh kabab, was again spot on. The meat was tender, well seasoned and flavoured, and most important of all, the meat wasn't dry (most common issue with most sheekh kebabs in Bangalore). The baked aurbergine was good! So much so that Mr. P, who initially wanted to go with the mozzarella fritters, was actually polishing the thing off. But we did agree that the tomato confit and/or the added tomato puree on top made the dish a little too acidic. The hash browns on the side were quite a treat (if you're a fan of hash browns).

Mezze platter with falafels, muhammara, and hummus

Kefta kebabs with tzatziki

Baked aubergine with tomato confit

The chicken with Prama ham and sage was a nice little package. However, I don't think this is available on the menu now. Sad, because if you like and appreciate subtlety in flavours, then the marriage between the sage and the chicken with the ham is something that you should try. The grilled jumbo prawns were good, but I have an issue with jumbo prawns - I don't like the smell of the shells. Only of the jumbo prawns. I know! Weird, but true. The meat itself was sweet and nice, but when it comes in the shell...boy! not happening I tell you. A Thin crust pizza is always a delight, and Turquoise makes a mean thin crust pizza. Since every time I visited the place I was with a sizable number of vegetarians, I ended having the same vegetarian pizza every time - the fig and ricotta cheese pizza. Leaving aside the disappointment that there wasn't any meat on the pizza, the pizza by itself was soooo good!

Chicken with Parma ham and sage

Grilled jumbo prawns (day's special)

Fig and ricotta pizza

For the mains, there are a multitude of pasta options that you can choose from. Mr. P had the raviolini stuffed with spinach and ricotta and it was quite superb. The tomato and asparagus sauce though was a little too acidic - not sure if that particular batch of tomatoes had a higher level of acidity or what. The braised pork belly on a bed of red cabbage was divine. As hard as I tried to find a fault here, I couldn't! To nit-pick, the fat had peeled off the meat and for some reason the meat tasted better WITHOUT the fat (I know some people who aren't too find of pork fat), but when the fat isn't giving you the jollies, something's gotta be up! The red cabbage underneath was simply to die for. Pickled, or made sour, the acidity was the perfect balance to the pork. The fish Florentine, rolled and stuffed with spinach and mushroom is quite easily one of the best fish dishes I've's right up there at the top. The rolling of the fish without breaking it is quite remarkable (it may be a simple, commonly known thing, but was a first for me), and the stuffing complimented the fish perfectly.

Braised pork belly on a bed of red cabbage

Fish Florentine

Spinach and ricotta raviolini

Another of the vegetarian dishes we had was the grilled eggplant rolled in parmigiano. I seem to have developed a liking for eggplant in the last few years, but somehow I just didn't think this worked for me, although Mr. P thought it was quite good.

Grilled eggplant rolled in parmigiano

The desserts we had every time were fabulous, especially the Pavlova. The first time, we ordered the Turquoise trio - chocolate pâté, crème brûlée, and Pavlova. The chocolate pâté was sinful and rich, and had the perfect soft texture with the right amount of 'butteriness' (sorry, my vocab eludes me now). Typically, pâtés are made from ground meat (liver being the most common) along with some fat. So in other words, pâtés are slightly heavier, or denser that a mousse. Now imagine that with pure chocolate. Pure delight.

The crème brûlée had the perfect crust, and the inside 'custard' was baked just right. We were actually jostling and sparring with our dessert spoons to see who gets a little more of the crème brûlée. I'd never had a Pavlova until then, but I'd seen enough of it on Master Chef Australia, so I had a fair idea of what it ought to have been like, and it was. The meringue was nice, the base was crispy, and light. The only dip in an otherwise consistent graph was the mango mascarpone mousse - not because it wasn't good, but because the rest of the dishes were far better. Also, it seemed a little too gelatinous for my liking.

(L-R) Chocolate pâté, crème brûlée, Pavlova

Mango mascarpone mousse

Crème brûlée

After three visits to the place, and with consistent levels of service and quality of food, I can happily say that Turquoise - The European is a place to be.

Also, if you're reading this, from the month of June, I have made it a point to post at least 2 posts per month, pushing for 3 a month. Should I not achieve that target by the end of each month, the first person to point it out to me through any media will win a free lunch. OK scratch that, we'll make it 600 bucks off a meal you have. We'll work on the 'how' once this actually happens.

Food: Very good
$$$: Expensive (~ 800 per person). I think the pricing could hurt them in the long run in spite of the quality of the food.
Service: Decent
Verdict: Must visit

Turquoise - The European, 9, 2nd Floor, Above Mom & Me, 1st A Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore. Phone: 65776588, 9739942912

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