Food Review: Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru hosts Vietnamese food festival this week
We dropped by the restaurant on a weekday evening to have dinner. Here's how it went
Over the past year, Asian food has been growing more and more popular in Bengaluru. From new restaurants specialised in the cuisine to popup events offering Asian fares, the city has been celebrating food of the continent through some form or the other. The recentmost addition to the trend is the week-long Vietnamese food festival, Flavours Of Vietnam, at Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru's all-day dining restaurant Cur8, which began on January 8. We dropped by the restaurant on a weekday evening to have dinner.
Bitter made it better
We were first served an array of appetisers – Prawns Summer Roll (rice paper rolls stuffed with prawns and chopped vegetables like carrots and spring onions), Fried Tofu Spring Roll and Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass (topped with roasted sesame seeds). While the cold appetiser Prawns Summer Roll (served with a tangy, garlic-chilli dip) made for a refreshing start to the meal, the warm and chewy Fried Tofu Spring Roll (served with a sweet, mint and basil dip) turned out to be good option for the vegetarian diners.
But our best pick was the Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass. The smoky notes from the grill and the earthy notes from the lemongrass blended well and gave the dish an unique flavour. The taste was savoury and a little bitter — the kind of bitter that is quite unobvious, the kind that you feel at the back of your tongue — the kind of bitter that you enjoy. The roasted sesame seeds, adding crunch, only makes it better.
We strolled by the buffet counter to explore options for our main course. The delicacies available in the buffet for lunch and dinner are curated and crafted by Chef Nguyen Quoc from Four Seasons The Nam Hai in Vietnam. We filled our plates with Jasmine Rice, Braised Chicken and Prawn in Turmeric Sauce, Bamboo Chicken with Lemongrass, Sea Bass in Banana Leaves, Sweet and Sour Tofu, Wok Fried Morning Glory and Bok Choy, and Banh Xeo Chay (Vegetable Pancake).
We started this course with the crispy Banh Xeo Chay, a Vietnamese crêpe with crunchy rice flour-encasing and shallow-fried vegetable stuffing, served with a sweet, mint and basil dip. As we had one of them, our hands reached for another, but we resisted our urge with the intent to navigate smoothly through the rest of the extensive spread!
Next, we tried the Sea Bass in Banana Leaves. Reminiscent of the Bhatkal delicacy Haldi Paanaa Nouri, this delectable Vietnamese dish not only had hints of banana leaves but also had strong notes of turmeric, as the fish was steamed with turmeric roots. We then moved onto having Jasmine Rice with Wok Fried Morning Glory and Bok Choy (stir-fried spoon cabbage) and Sweet and Sour Tofu. Both the dishes not only served as good vegetarian options but were also healthy choices.
However, the real winner for us was the combination of the sticky Jasmine Rice and the savoury Braised Chicken and Prawn in Turmeric Sauce. There are dishes that have layers of flavours that one needs to carefully experience to be able to appreciate. And then there are dishes that are just... simple, yet so fulfilling. The Braised Chicken and Prawn in Turmeric Sauce fell into the latter category. Reminiscent of the chicken curries prepared at Indian households, the warm and hearty dish not only satiated our taste buds but also won our hearts.
So, if you are in town this week and are looking to indulge in an exotic treat, head to Cur8 for a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
INR 3,600++ for two. Available for lunch and dinner. Ongoing till January 15. At Ganganagar
Also read: Food Review: b Café at Shangri-La Bengaluru introduces Lobster Night