A Midsummer Dinner @Toast and Tonic
Toast and Tonic...chef Manu Chandra's New venture happened to be in my "To Try" list for almost a month now. So Soumya Gopi and I decided to finally pay a visit to this new spot n Wood Street opposite my all-time favorite Olive Beach. One has to remember that this is where the first Monkey Bar in Bangalore used to be, which obviously was not only a place I was never thrilled about, but also never featured in my top 150 restaurants in India to Check Out list. Coming back to TT , we were seated on the level floor at one of the noisiest corners which was also a freeway for people at the bar to get to the door. After the menu arrived post reminder, I was not provided with a wine menu but merely a drinks one. My bad, I should have mentioned the wine list first, but one would expect that the waiter would be able to get it by default or stressful judge a customer by his/ her level and ask if they required a wine list to start with. However, after I ordered my Chandon Brut and my friend her Red wine Sangria, we turned the pages of the food menu to choose suitable appetizers. The Beef Meatballs and the Prawn Cakes made the cut and we waited in quiet desperation for them to arrive.
The decibel levels of an otherwise discerning and flamboyant group comprising mostly of East European ladies accompanied by skin hug wearing xxxxl sized Indian mundas had crossed all limits of decency and we requested the senior staff to relocate us to the basement section. Our request was addressed to and we took the flight of scary wooden staircase to reach the level beneath.
The ambiance there was normal and way more sophisticated, however the lights were not bright enough to view the rest of the menu. We managed and as soon as we sat, our apetisers arrived. The Prawn Cutlets were not the best I ever tasted however the Beef Meatballs lived up-to their expectation. The shredded garlic and pineapple salsa served with the Prawn Cutlets saved the dish from being scored a c-. Please check my individual ratings at the very end of this critique.
Our Mains comprised of Algerian Kachir Sandwich and a delectable Lobster Risotto. The former was again very ordinary and the dough not very fresh to start with. However, the star of the evening was the Lobster Risotto which made me almost jump out of my chair (which were not very comfortable as the texture of the polythene fabric used was rather rough and would impart rashes to a baby's back) in joy. I was so excited and ecstatic about my Risotto that I felt like hugging Manu myself if only he was around. But the plating could have been improved if served in a traditional pasta dish with a significant trough at its center as followed in the Michelin star restaurants of the world. This is a controversial topic about Risotto and its right fit of a dish but I prefer a pasta bowl as it brings me closer to my comfort zone and Italia en general.
Our desserts were once again a gamble as my Nolen Gurer Ice Cream turned out to be a winner and the Citrus Panacotta creamy and Un-set. We sent the latter back since it was not anything close to our expectation. The evening wrapped up by a few nice clicks with the decor of the restaurant and its unique bar. I must say that the decor is very tasteful and young and fresh in its approach. It appeals to the new generation of party goers as another hip New joint in town, but to me will always be the place next to home that serves the best Risotto in the city. And now it's time for the Ratings:(1-5)
Appetisers... Beef Meatballs: 3.75 Prawn Cutlets: 2.4
Mains.... Algerian Kachir Sandwich: 2.5 Lobster Risotto:6+
Desserts... Expression of Jaggery (Nolen Gurer Ice Cream):3.25 Panacotta Citrus: unratable Overall Service: B- Ambience: B+ Combined Score: 3.0 /B+