A blissful getaway atop the Fairfield by Marriott hotel on the bustling Dr Rajakumar Road, White Smoke is a real treat. Maximising the culinary experience is their main aim, but the charming poolside dining option, on comfortable cane chairs under private canopies, is great for a date or even family meal. This new barbecue destination, which opens to the public today, is not your usual wine and dine place either. Focussing only on grills or the Indian version, the tandoor, chef Ajeet Kumar explains that they’ve kept the menu (written in chalk on wooden panels on the wall) comprehensive and concise.
Proteins include striploin, tenderloin, chicken breast, tiger prawn, basa, salmon, pork and lamb. We absolutely love that they serve the light Greek cheese haloumi as part of the vegetarian offerings, in addition to paneer. We started out with a minestrone soup, which though very tasty, was a bit less Italian than we expected. But replete with kidney beans, penne pasta and vegetables, it got us off to a great start. The clam version too was not bad, but we’d probably give it a miss the next time around as it filled us up too much! Not to be hampered by that though, the haloumi (in the form of starters) came with port wine shallot jus, disappeared faster than it came – testament to the fine flavours.
Tandoori salmon, in a light yoghurt and garlic marinade was done just perfectly to let the fish taste come through. Quite light, it makes for a lovely appetiser so you don’t overdose on meat. Then came the sublime lamb chops – a house special, we’re told. All served on slate, we love the rustic feel of the place, which matches the rugged grilled food we’re served. The plating though, is top notch and far from rugged!
Mains comprised grilled chicken breast rubbed with rosemary and fennel, accompanied by sinfully tasty potato wedges. The mushroom sauce to go over it was spot-on with seasoning and the meat, perfectly cooked and showed no sign of dryness. The tenderloin steak in the same sauce was also delicious, although you must make sure to tell the chef how you like yours done. Despite finding the meat a bit too rare for our palate, we polished off as much as possible. Other marinade options include, zattar spice and sumac, harissa, Moroccan spices, herb marination, citrus mix, malai, sunahari and hariyali for an Indian touch. Sauces come in the form of garlic lemon butter, romasco, red pepper coulis, hollandaise as well as grape and fennel seed compote. You could choose from fries, wedges, jacket potato, yam chips, tandoori roti, naan, salad, cous cous or asparagus as accompaniments too.
Desserts on offer are tiramisu, paan or malai kulfi, and a special creation to be announced daily. But we suggest you order in the House wine, tuck into the grills and have Bratwurst sausage to finish off with instead!
`2,000 for two. At Rajajinagar. Reservation recommended. Details: 49470000
— Aakanksha Devi