Monday, February 02, 2015

Soup, Salad and all that Jazz: London diary #1

I was pleasantly surprised by the close up shot of a saxophone on the menu booklet. Even more surprised that there was a nice para on the instrument on the inside. I learnt that Antoine Joseph “Adolphe” Sax invented the, well, Sax.  Set the right tone of expectation. 

Flipping through the wine list, I was stopped on my way to the Stella by

 d’Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay I Mclaren Vale I Australia
The Olive Grove McLaren Vale Chardonnay develops intense,complex honey, cashew, fig and soft toast aromas. The fresh structured mid palate retains its texture but opens slowly into generous sweet banana, butterscotch flavours before finishing with a persistent developed stone-fruit and chalky texture
Seriously? Banana, butterscotch, chalk? Now I get why wine drinkers sniff and swirl the stuff suspiciously before delicately taking a sip. The aroma of stone and chalk must be JUST right. Thanks, I will have vanilla with my Artois.

I ordered a cup of tea.

           Darjeeling tea I Darjeeling I India

Is the best tea in the world. Drink.

The time had come to face my worst fears.  Soup or salad?

          Soup: Caraway Infused Roast Carrot Soup
          Salad: Apple, Cherry Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese Salad

Caraway and Carrot. Apple and Tomato. I was torn; the cheese finally tipped the balance. I ordered the soup. How was it, you ask? Unlike the red wine featured above, this soup wasn't confused. It was carrot soup all right.  I swallowed a spoonful.

In the descriptions of dishes in various eateries, every spice gets a mention on a fairly regular basis, like caraway, cardamom, chillies (ground, whole, chopped). It should be made mandatory by law that chefs have to put down the most important ingredient of all: SALT. Maybe, then they will remember. Note to self: Add sachets of Knorr soup to survival travel list.

That brings me to Paneer Qualiyan. I see all of you perking up, Quail and paneer! That is a first.

PQ: Cottage cheese cooked in rich saffron gravy.

I ordered the Goan fish curry.

The fish was Basa. 


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