Espresso Grill: Blogger's Table Fun!
Guys I'm SO excited! I am now truly honoured to be now included in the Delhi Blogger's Table, a part of Chef at Large by the very awesome Sid, thanks to Rituparna of Chocolates and Dreams, who thought I'm good enough to join the ranks of these amazing, amazing bloggers (see the badge up on the right)!
Now let me make you very very jealous of me.
Can you imagine being invited to an event, partnering with big names in the industry? It makes me feel like a celeb. Ah just see it..
Swoosh in (with a bag of my famed brownies in hand/elbow). Check my name off the guest list. Stroll in. Spot a few fellow bloggers. Run over, no air-kissing business, give real hugs and squish onto an already overloaded sofa/settee. Take my pick off the fabulous hors d'oeuvres and some amazing drinks. Kinda makes me feel like Madonna, except I'm not, I'm Aishwarya, the girl who bakes and eats it all herself.
And the icing on the cake: Sampling some amazing, truly amazing food at some of the best places in town.
To that effect, the Delhi Blogger's Table was invited to Espresso Grill, Connaught Place. It's this lovely Sunday-brunch type place at the new DLF Parking beside Bangla Sahib. All brown and yellow and cushiony and wood, it was just perfect for a group of friends for a nice relaxed brunch. Lovely black plates and dishes and these super sweet-looking glasses, that sort of looked like a dumbbell.
The lovely sweet coffee smelling interiors. Delhi winters, here I come!
My Holy Books :)
Okay, now I'm dying to tell you about the food.
OhmyGOD you guys, the food! We were given individual menus, a separate blogger's menu for us (I'm channeling Madonna again here), sort of a "best-of" sampler. I'm telling you, I'm not complaining.
We started with Gordon Ramsay's Signature Roasted Cauliflower Soup, with a Wild Mushroom Crostini scented with Truffle Oil. That's too much awesomeness to process in one go. What do I concentrate on? Gordon Ramsay? Wild Mushrooms? Truffle Oil? The whole thing may be? The soup was like silk on the tongue, very well seasoned, given that it's cauliflower and it's very easy to go wrong there. The bread was nice and crusty and the mushrooms were delightful.
The silky Cauliflower soup. By THE. Gordon. Ramsay.
We were for some reason given the mains before the starters. I chose the Pan Fried Fillet of Sole, on a bed of Crushed Fava Beans served with a Saffron Aioli. I'm telling you, this is one of the best fish I've had outside of home, and I'm Bengali. Fish means a lot to me. The Sole was so well cooked, it was fall-off-the-fork tender yet didn't turn into mush. The Fava Beans were like butter. It was truly unlike anything I've had before. Though if you were to ask me, the Saffron Aioli, although fantastic, tasted reminiscent of rasmalai. Maybe a Greek olive-oil based dressing/tapenade would go better. Hey but that's just me saying. All in all, absolutely wonderful.
The Fish. Yes it really did taste that yum!
Sushmita of My Unfinished Life took the Forest Mushroom Risotto. It was creamy, lush and cheesy without being heavy on the tongue. Lovely. Just lovely.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto
Rituparna chose the Slow Braised Shanks of Baby Lamb, Red Wine and Rosemary and Chilli glaze, Dauphinoise Potatoes and a crisp Nest of Leeks. It's a long name, but oh god is it worth it. Fall off the bone tender meat, and the potatoes! Ruchira of Cookaroo taught us how to make them. It sounded so easy. I know if I make it, I will make mashed potatoes out of it. Lookit that!
That's Rituparna's lens!
Rekha of the amazing My Tasty Curry took the Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables. Aside from the fact that I adore veggies, I have never had such yummiyumyum veggies with that balsamic tang.
Roasted YummyYumYum Veggies
In case you're feeling full already, imagine us! The starters were next. I dare you to not slobber all over your laptops seeing these pictures.
The Saganaki of Feta Cheese on a Classic Greek Salad. Fresh and I've never had a warm Feta before! Very nice!
Pan Asian Barbeque Pork Ribs and Spicy Korean Kimchi. God I'm STILL licking my fingers after these. The Barbeque Sauce was almost caramelized and the ribs, melty meat, smothered in that sauce. Even the memory is making me salivate. My only issue was that the sauce was maybe a little too cloyingly sweet.
Fortunately, just after that, this Bruschetta of Cherry Tomato and Garlic Confit, Basil and Shaved Parmesan was as refreshing and cleansing as a walk in a kitchen garden. Top notch. Never had such a crunchy bread before. Just simply amazing. I'm really lacking words now but seriously, it was fantastic.
Desserts now. We had Creme Brulee with Madagascan Vanilla Pod and Classic Baklava on offer.
Just set custard, hard crack caramel top and bits of black vanilla beans. Some of us had a complaint that it was still warm, but having said that, this was my first ever Creme Brulee. I was just excited to have it!
The Baklava was nice for sure, served with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream in a chocolate cup. Just for me, it was WAY too sweet. WAY WAY too sweet. Like a Holi-wala gujiya.
All in all, I have to say, my first outing as part of the Delhi Blogger's Table at Espresso Grill was absolutely fantastic. I would easily give it a 41/2 chicken legs. Easily. And going by Zomato ratings, it's not that expensive either. Like for a really important date. Or even an official lunch-meeting hybrids.
Honest, yum food. That's Espresso Grill for you.
Until the next time, here's Madonna...or Aishwarya signing off!