The food industry has come a long way in the past few years and just like the fashion industry, some things are “in” and some are not. When it comes to food, some ingredients are definitely in and on others, I shall not comment. In India, these days, theme based restaurants are the rage and day by day, we are seeing innovatively themed places with a over the top theme based menu. Over the top would be an understatement.
Like I always say, 38 barracks is no different. Army themed restaurants have two sides – innovative theme and ofcourse the patriotism factor associated with the Indian army. The army regalia in all its glory, the vintage photos of the Indian army and other miscellaneous related items are proudly displayed at this restaurant. The medallions on the staircase wall will definitely move you.
The service is swift here and the servers know their dishes and ingredients well. And when they do not, the chef is always there. Moving on to food, here are the items I tried :
Amuse bouche : This is supposed to be a French mouth freshner. This is the first time I am having it in an Indian restaurant and I was faintly impressed with it. It was cryogenically cooled and had watermelon cube, feta cheese, lettuce leaves and balsamic vinegar balls. The watermelon cube and feta cheese surely amused by mouth and the balsamic vinegar balls gave their subtle sweet and sour flavour, but lettuce leaves could have been crunchier. If they are supposed to be soft, then it is fine.
Military camp : A sweet mocktail composed of peach syrup combined with the freshness and tanginess of oranges. Grenadine was also lending its sweet flavour which made the mocktail extra sweet. This was served in an incandescent bulb shaped glass and cooled with dry ice.
Paneer Tikka barrels with chaanch : The paneer/cottage cheese cubes were scooped from inside and had a light filling of dry fruits. The paneer had a very thin crispy layer on the outside and was adorned with flavourful light spices. The chaanch acted as a dip for this appetizer and it went well with the paneer. The former was thin, tangy and had a prominent flavour of toasted cumin. Must try.
Panna cotta with tomato relis : Warm flaky parcels enclosing a fine and smooth filling of spinach mixed with feta cheese. The spinach was not giving its characteristic bitter flavour and the skin of the parcel was very thin and a bit crispy. The tomato relis served with this is a tomato based thick dip which was sweet and spicy. The spiciness is realized later. Recommended.
Crumb fried Beetroot Galouti : Like I said, some ingredients are in these days. Beetroot is pretty much the rage! Very finely minced beetroot with a thick crispy layer enclosing the filling, this appetizer had the goodness of the “galawat” (mouth melting in English) and the crispiness of the crust. Served with a mint chutney which fine.
Chicken scandal : Thinly sliced chicken breasts, fried in crumbs and served with grilled vegetables, French fries, chilli and mustard mayonnaise is a MUST TRY. The chicken was super crispy from outside and juicy from inside. The vegetables – zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms were grilled to perfection – they were gently oozing out their juices and were well flavoured with herbs and chopped garlic. The dips went well with the chicken.
Spinach Ravioli : The garlic bread was crispy and well buttered but could have done with some salt. The raviolis were quite thin and had a fine paste of spinach. It seemed as if their pressed because they were hell thin! But good to eat. The gravy had a generous amount of tomatoes, garlic and Italian herbs which made it tangy and a bit spicy.
Green apple martini : This is a must try. The subtle tanginess and sweetness of the green apples is so profound.
Rasgulla Pai : A small braided pie which was warm and sweet enclosing a small rasgulla is an innovative fusion dessert. The presence of resins amplified the flavours of this one. It was topped with vanilla icecream which made up for the warmness of the freshly baked pie.