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    Young chef Arniban Das Gupta impresses with the multi-cuisine format at the new Ministry of Food

    Five star-ish all-day dining usually keeps to a standard format with all kinds of everything on the menu, and if you are lucky, a couple of memorable regional dishes, depending on the chef’s current mood and proclivity. But the Hilton Bangalore Residences’ newly opened Ministry of Food is different. The stylish interiors come with an unapologetically ambitious menu, broadly divided into categories like ‘farm to fork’, ‘wellness’ and ‘global showcases’. And ranges from the chef’s version of  Thai street food to Japanese and Italian classics to a niche selection of Indian dishes.
    page9lead7What stood out for us however, as the meal progressed, was the obvious attention to detail and top notch ingredients used. Pizzas made with edible flowers and fine cheese, delicate asparagus cheung fung (dumplings) flavoured with Himalayan sea salt, a basic buffalo mozzarella made with organic heirloom tomatoes, while a homely spaghetti bolognese is given a citrusy twist with grated orange zest. There are pleasant surprises that pop up cheerfully in almost every dish, but thankfully Das Gupta does not tamper with the tried and tested basics either.

    page9lead10Decadent platter
    We started with the prawn siewmai, a dollop of caviar giving it that touch of luxe, followed by a light and easy chicken consumme infused with Kashmiri morels. Although I’m not a big fan of gnocchi, often finding the potato dumplings either too pasty or chewy, this one was a winner.
    It came with subtle Japanese elements in the creamy mushroom sauce, along with rich parmesan, walnuts and nori (seaweed) that elevated a simple peasant dish to gourmet level. The signature pizza here is a must try. With a nasturtium flower nestling on top of the tempting chunks of smoked Goan chorizo and a light crust. Although we were quite full by the time the pan-seared Norwegian salmon came along, we did find it fresh, flaky, and the Middle Eastern spices and dollop of hummus it came with added an interesting twist. Keep space for dark chocolate fondant in gold leaf or a fudgy toffee encased in an edible wrapper.
    Rs.3,000 upwards for two. At Embassy Golf Links Business Park, Domlur. Details: 66799999

    —Jackie Pinto

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