'In a Shell', Seafood festival at Bene





In a Shell


Sea food festival @ Bene, Sheraton, Brigade Gateway



My love for Sea food is unconditional and unmatchable. But honestly speaking, spending three years in Bangalore, hunting many reputed restaurants for authentic and quality sea food but unfortunately was disappointed every time.

When I was invited for the ongoing sea food festival at Bene, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular from this experience, being my first visit. I always believe that first impression plays a lot in your mind. And my first impression when I stepped in Bene was ‘remarkable’. Whenever I visit a restaurant, I am very particular about the ambiance as I feel it adds a lot to your dining experience. And Bene is one such place that I would score very high on ambiance. The interior is very calm, pleasant and sophisticated.













Before we started with ‘In a Shell’ carved menu, Chef Hemanth, a soft spoken gentleman gave us a warm welcome introducing the “In a Shell’ concept and the food mentioned on the menu.


                                                     Chef Hemanth Kumar

Bread spread officially kicked off the evening followed by Duo of Bruschetta’. It was a slow poached prawn with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and steamed crab meat with pickled onion. Both were equally good I would pick the latter as it was quite different and the crab meat was so soft that it melted in the mouth. 


                                                    Duo of Bruschetta


The next on the menu was Oysters “reinvented”, which had fried Oysters with agrodolce, fennel, onion and peppers. Chef Hemanth believes in experimenting with the dishes he prepares to bring the best out of it and needless to say he did wonders to Oysters “reinvented”. A person who loves sea food would know that Oysters are mostly preferred to be eaten raw but what Chef Hemanth did was, he fired the oysters and topped with agrrodolce, fennel, onion and peppers. I don’t like the slimy taste of the raw oyster and this was indeed a very fine experiment to me, giving the oyster a crunchier still maintaining its essence. All praise for Chef for this reinvention of Oysters.




                                                     Oysters “reinvented"

Next on the menu was Seafood Chowder’, which had seafood broth with fresh clams, mussels, prawns and crab meat. And yet another masterpiece from the Chef. The moment you take a spoon in your mouth, you will get the taste of sea water. Once I started on this, I did not speak to anyone till I finished it completely. All the elements (clams, prawns, mussels and crab meat) were cooked to perfection. This will definitely leave you craving for more. Only drawback I felt was, the soup should have been thicker. 


                                                     Seafood Chowder

For the main course, we had two options to choose from: ‘Smoky Pasta and mussels’ or Lobster Asparagus & Pasta’. A tough choice to be made, I chose the former as it sounded another experiment from Chef Hemanth, which I was already in love with and was on expectation. Smoky Pasta and mussels had Smoked Linguini with clams, mussels and crab meat with tomatoes and basil. Undoubtedly, the best of the evening and the finest pasta I had in a long time. Take a bow Chef for this amazingly cooked pasta. One taste dominated throughout and that was Smoky flavor. When you have so many elements to be take care of, it becomes difficult to maintain a universal taste or flavor but Chef should be complimented in successfully getting the best out of all the ingredients and cooking it to perfection and still maintaining smoky taste throughout.





                                                Smoky Pasta and mussels


I won’t be able to comment on Lobster Asparagus & Pasta as I could not taste it. It had open faced lobster ravioli with asparagus, wilted spinach and zucchini sauce. My friend Rumana who tasted this, opines: ‘The lobsters was cooked to perfection and was very easy to cut and just melted in the mouth. I am sure chef has done a lot of hard work for this kind of taste. Pasta along with zucchini sauce matched the well-cooked lobsters. Asparagus did not work with me as it killed the smooth flavor of the dish’.


                                                 Lobster Asparagus & Pasta


As we say a perfect meal can never be completed without a dessert, we had ‘Walnut & almond tart’, as a sweeter companion to conclude. This dessert was a warm walnut tart with vanilla ice cream. Needless to say, it really complimented the meal we had.


                                                  Walnut & almond tart


Before I wind up, would like to specially mention the host for the evening, Mr. Vijayan Gangadharan, Executive Assistant Manager, Sheraton Bangalore. He is one of the best host you can have for the evening. He is a witty person with a great sense of humor and a ‘Wikipedia’ of wine and sea food. He had so much of information to share from around the world on two of my favorite topics- Wine and Sea food.


                                                Mr. Vijayan Gangadharan 
                                                               Executive Assistant Manager, Sheraton Bangalore


I really like to pair White wine with the sea food and Mr. Vijayan was very kind enough to offer everyone the choice of wine we preferred. Lately, I have been in love with the white wine and I must say it really complimented the meal we had. 




Mr. Vijayan is a true art lover and he appreciates and promotes the artistic talent. He showed us the art of wonderful appealing designs in the cup of coffee. We could see the excitement on his face.






To conclude, it was an impressive first visit to Bene. ‘In a shell’, seafood festival ends on 25th June and I highly recommended to all the seafood lovers. The seafood is procured fresh each and every day yet the pricing is regular and not boosted for the festival. An average meal will cost Rs. 2500 plus taxes and charges for a meal for 2.

Pricing Details of ‘In a shell’ menu:
Duo of Bruschetta- INR 650
Oysters “reinvented”- INR 525
Seafood Chowder- INR 525
Smoky pasta and mussels- INR 525
Lobster, Asparagus & Pasta- INR 995
Walnut & Almond Tart- INR 450


For more details about ‘In a shell’ seafood festival, log on to: Facebook and Twitter 

Suman

Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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