Fruits De Mer Buffet Spread @ The Citrus, Leela Palace, Bangalore
Before I begin, let me tell you a secret. Probably, the only Luxury property as far as my experience goes with no compromise on quality and hence always exceeded my expectations is the Leela Palace, Bangalore. I have been a patron since my arrival in 2003 here, and their service quality and hospitality has been nothing but exceptional. It has been quite established by now, that the Leela Palace is my destination of choice for the ultimate in luxury experiences.
Seafood Nights, the Buffet Spread showcasing the best of the catches on Wednesday nights at the Citrus, their All-Day Dining on the ground level is by far the most decadent in this genre. I have heard many a good review of it, and had to experience it first-hand.
I was greeted by Jameson Solomon, Director-F&B as soon as I walked in with great anticipation. He introduced me to his team and once again, Leela and its unmatched staff was able to exceed my expectations with their prompt service and impeccable attention to detail. And thus started the longest and the most satiating Buffet of my life so far-Seafood Nights at Citrus.
Citrus is known for its grandeur and extensive spreads. The Seafood Buffet is a cut above with its special Grill section with the freshest of catch displayed for easy reference. The menu to the corner lists the available options with marinades and sauces. I was beyond thrilled with the selection and decided to sample the Sand Lobster, Scampi, Tiger Prawns and Oysters.
The final presentation was unlike anything I have ever experienced and deserves a standing ovation. The catch were fresh and the garnishing just perfect to match the mood of the evening. On a busy evening like this, I was so happy that my every wish was catered to with such extensive detail.
The Carving Station comprised of an Indian Salmon and a Wood fire behind it serving Seafood Pizza along with popular choices like Pepperoni.
The Appetisers were spread across the Vegetarian and the Non Vegetarian section with over 20 options. The Squid with Orange and Jalapeno Salsa, Prawn in Thousand Island dressing, Tandoori Fish Salad and the Tuna with Cucumber Carpaccio and Cucumber Gazpacho were the highlights of the spread. The Mixed Seafood Terrine and the Smoked Salmon also adorned the section.
The Cheese Platter is usually where I lose myself, but I had to restrain as the primary focus is on seafood tonight. However I did try on some good old Gouda which paired well with the Pater Sangiovese (2013) I was drinking.
The Vegetarian appetisers were equally fabulous and the Creamy Potato Salad reminded me of the German Salad I used to swear by from a bistro not operational anymore. The Tom Yum Goong and the Crab Bisque formed the perfect accompaniment with the appetisers.
The Mains were split into 3 sections- Indian, Asian and European. The Indian section showcased the traditional Jalpari Biryani, a Prawn Biryani from East Bengal-now Bangladesh. The Machher Jhol or the Bengali Fish Curry and the Coorg Fish Curry complimented each other well with their strongholds in the spread. The Squid Pepper Fry, a Mangalorean favourite was cooked to perfection and made me crave for more.
The Asian section comprised of the Crab Meat Szechwan Fried Rice and Prawn Green Curry. The Mixed Seafood Noodles were best enjoyed with some Lamb Chilli which placed itself humbly next to the Seafood soiree in the spread. The Prawn Enoki Mushroom Dimsum and the Chicken and Prawn Dimsum were soft and melted in my mouth. However between the two, the former has a more pronounced flavour and the Enoki really render that extra tanginess.
I was in the cherished company of Abhishek Kar, Assistant F&B Manager of the Leela and was served a special Sushi Platter prepared exclusively by the chef for me. This was by far the prettiest and the tastiest platter I have ever encountered. The Maki and the Nigiri along with the California Rolls simply made me the happiest man on earth. As we discussed about many relevant goings on, the Sangiovese kept on coming and probably made me a tad chattier than expected.
I tasted the Grilled Fish (Bhetki) Medallion with Confit Carrots and Lemon Butter with some Citrus Cous Cous and boy it was perfect! The Carrot Confit was cooked just right and the condiments used in the right proportion. There was also Beeg Stroganoff and Mushroom and Spinach Crepes looking back at me, but I had decided to focus my attention to Seafood. I had to skip the live Pasta bar with the choice of Seafood and Sauces as I was filled to the brim. What a divine experience!!!
A Bengali always has space for desserts. And I am no exception. So even with my full stomach, I proceeded to the elaborate dessert counter and helped myself to some Linzer Torte and Crème Brulee. The Pistachio Parfait with Cherry Compote caught my attention next and was an acquired taste. I ended my sweet cravings with some Baked Yoghurt which left me craving for more.
The Seafood Buffet on Wednesday nights is at Citrus from as early as 18:30 hours till 23:00 hours. The Non-Alcoholic option is priced at Rs.3200 ++ and the Alcoholic Buffet at Rs.3500++. It is an absolute steal and the selection of beverages is also quite extensive. You have no idea what you are missing, unless you experience this- a must for every foodie in Bengaluru.