Technology has taken care of every need of ours in these past two years, with the world at our disposal sitting at home. Enterprising initiatives are doing the rest. Like tasting the flavours of another city right where you live, thanks to pop-up of a restaurant.
Just like Grasshopper, Bengaluru’s award-winning European restaurant, which is showcasing its delectable fare at The Lodhi in the national capital till December 14.
What strikes a diner is the absence of a buffet and even a list of dishes. There are five or seven-course set menus to choose from instead. Owner Sonali Sattar says they have eliminated the quintessential dilemma of diners on what to order with these set menus. All you do is choose a menu and let the restaurant pamper you with its multiple courses. That it reduces food wastage is an added bonus.
Serving at The Lodhi’s Elan restaurant, the Grasshopper team is making the most of the capital’s produce. The menu comprises seasonal and local ingredients, which is the restaurant’s forte back home too, where several items come from the garden around the restaurant. A delicious salad of marinated strawberries and fresh greens with feta is just the right start. Marinated bocconcini with roasted globe grapes, basil oil and olive tapenade; charred asparagus with cave-aged parmesan, crisp sage and lemon zest is a winner in the vegetarian menu, which has a main course of crisp potato gnocchi with coconut and onion espuma, garlic chips and smoked butter. Ceviche of wild mullet with grapefruit segments, pickled serrano peppers and chives; chicken roulade stuffed with walnuts, followed by braised lamb shanks with a sauce of mixed peppercorns, buckwheat risotto and glazed carrots makes for a hearty meal for meat eaters.
For dessert, there is a choice of Espresso panna cotta with coffee caramel sauce and roasted almonds, or 70% dark chocolate ganache with mustard ice cream.
Chef Touseef Shamsudeen successfully brings out the flavours of the ingredients, refraining from overdoing any dish. The quality and freshness of the ingredients make such restrained cooking possible, offering flavours that are clean, fresh and simple.
Sattar says this is the first time they are bringing the Grasshopper experience outside of Bengaluru and hope to do more, especially as there seems to be no end to the pandemic.
Rajesh Namby, general manager of The Lodhi, New Delhi, says his chefs will surely imbibe the Grasshopper’s recipes and concepts to offer Delhi residents the simple yet delicious flavours even after the pop-up is over.