Gourmet Getaways at Serafina, The Irish House and Bombay Brasserie for Kolkata gastronomes
Global Kitchens, a food and hospitality company, has always catered to its patrons with unique and innovative initiatives, Gourmet Getaways being the latest offering. And this time, they have joined hand with liquor brand Diageo to offer a unique experience to the gastronomes of Kolkata - every Thursday. The brand, which runs three fine dining eateries in Quest Mall - namely, Serafina, Bombay Brasserie and The Irish House, is organising a one-of-a-kind food trail for the food lovers who love to wash down their favourite dishes with some fine blended Scotch. So, one begins with starters and drinks at The Irish House, then proceed to Bombay Brasserie for main course with your favourite peg and then saunter to Serafina to end on a sweet note along with the last drink of the day. Sounds perfect? Well, that’s what we went to check out on a Thursday - and to be honest, we weren’t a bit disappointed.
As we were guided to our first destination, The Irish House for the starters and drinks, Brandon Toborg, the ambassador of Diageo, told us that a novel venture such as a Gourmet Getaways has only been possible since all the three diners are under the same roof and run by the same management. “Otherwise, it would have been difficult to conceive and execute a food tour like this logistically,” says Toborg.
We started with Armagh Mushroom Bites, which are toasted mini Brioche buns with mushroom stuffing in a creamy sauce and topped with chives. These just melt in your mouth with a soft creamy feel. This was followed by skewed cottage cheese drenched in pineapple butter sauce. The non-vegetarian platter was equally delighting with Belfast Fried wings and Chicken tenders doing the rounds. The starters were accompanied by Johnnie Ginger made with Johnnie Walker Red Label, which complemented the dishes to the tee.
The main course in Bombay Brasserie was equally inviting, with Home Veg Curry and Banana Leaf Rice for the vegetarians and Coast to Coast Chicken with Mixed Seed Roti for the meat lovers. The food was complemented by a peg of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
The Home Veg curry, which is cooked with seasonal vegetables using Mumbai’s coastal spice comprising 20 different spices was really appetising, and the Coast to Coast Chicken wasn’t as good as the vegetarian counterpart.
But true to the saying, ‘save the best for the last’, the best part of the getaway was the dessert treat at Serafina, which consisted of Tiramisu and Torta di Cioccolato, besides a peg of Johnnie Walker Gold Label. While we enjoyed our food trail, general manager and business head of Global Kitchens, Rajiv Singh, told us how they stumbled upon this novel idea and the other plans they have for Kolkata foodies. Excerpts from the chat:
This is the first of its kind initiative taken by any food chain. How did you come up with the idea?
When people go out to eat - they, at the most, visit two places; may be a drink or two, dinner somewhere or lunch somewhere else. We have a bouquet of restaurants unique to Kolkata, and we thought of giving people a unique experience comprising three or four restaurants at a go, and turn it into a gastronomic tour for them. Here, each restaurant has its own bouquet of food and beverages and service styles including the ambience, and to get three kinds of experience at a go will not only make the customer happy, but also give them an idea of what’s available where. One can experience Gourmet Getaways every Thursday for lunch or dinner.
For example, Serafina offers Italian fine dining. Here, we use gluten free flour and 70 per cent of our ingredients are imported from Italy and New York. We are popular for our raviolis, tiramisu and handcrafted thin crust pizzas besides authentic Sicilian cuisine. In India, the cuisine changes every five kilometres, and Bombay Brasserie tries to incorporate and replicate that for the gourmets. Besides, The Irish House has established itself as one of the most popular pubs in the city with great music and good finger foods for the pub goers. So, to bring this all at a go was the idea behind starting Gourmet Getaways.
Will the menu remain constant or can it be changed for a person who’s visiting the second time?
Our aim is to provide a wholesome experience of the special offerings at our eateries, and definitely, we can also accommodate certain requests put forward by our customers.
What are your other plans?
We, today, have a first mover advantage, since we are the only ones in India who underwrite the entire F&B at any mall, and we are present in eight malls across India right now, which we want to take up to 20 by 2020. We already have a couple of malls under discussion. The idea is to provide a bouquet of services under one roof.
How different will be the restaurants and food court in Star Mall, Madhyamgram, that you have undertaken?
It will be very different in terms of cuisine, keeping in mind the local preferences. That area is devoid of right offerings, despite a lot of potential. There’s hardly any reputed restaurant in Madhyamgram, and we are taking the entire Indian and international portfolio there, so there will be pan-Indian and continental cuisines on offer for people there. There is a very famous national pub brand, which we plan to bring in Madhyamgram.
What: Gourmet Getaways
Where: The Irish House, Serafina and Bombay Brasserie, Quest Mall
Price: Rs 1,599 plus taxes
When: All day Thursday