Hotel F+B

Online edition of India's National Newspaper


Metro Plus Delhi

Saturday, Oct 03, 2009







Text : P. Anima


A pinch of blue

Blue Ginger begins its Delhi chapter at Taj Palace

Rarely do you feel like singing paeans to an entire spread, but Blue Ginger at Taj Palace cajoles you to do so. After the success story in Bangalore, the Vietnamese cuisine restaurant is beginning a new innings in Delhi with fanfare. The staff cannot stop gushing about the swish interiors or the décor at the adjoining Blue bar. They gently tease you to see the beauty in every piece of brick.

A toast to Vietnam At the all-new Blue Ginger





The décor

Blue Ginger spreads across three levels, beginning with the restaurant which is screened from the bar with a three-layered glass wall. The fresco beyond the bar allows you to savour a drink in the open. The architecture is such that sitting in the restaurant, one can take in the view of the pool though there is the bar and fresco in between.

The interiors by Singapore-based Poole Associates create a subtle Vietnamese feel. The dining space brings together a private area as well as arc-like booths.

The ceiling is dotted with bronze panels resembling Buddha’s curls or rolled up croissants, depending how you wish to see it. Hand-cut mirrors deck a wall while another wall gives the feel of woven grass. Delicate rain chandelier brings light to the booths and the restaurant on the whole has gone in for muted lights. The cuisine gives a contemporary touch, but the classics are not given a cold shoulder either. Among appetizers, tofu rock salt makes a good start. The crumb cover attains perfect balance — crunchy without being stubborn, the tofu is creamy and rock salt surprises with an occasional vigour. Crispy taro prawn where prawns are rolled in a bed of Vietnamese taro (a tuber) and served with dark soy sauce is light as a fairy. The taro cover is not a burden on the prawn which anyway is succulent. In comparison, the fresh summer rolls with shrimps, chicken and chives, doesn’t live up to expectations. Though basil gives the roll an effervescent freshness, the rice wrap is tad too stubborn. The raw mango salad is a healthy change to the regular salad spree.

Chicken and asparagus soup is just about perfect — creamy and soft, yet light. The lemon grass chilli rice with lotus seed, water chestnuts and corn kernels in simple words is excellent. If cooking is about keeping adamant flavours under control, here is the faultless example. Lemon grass is given only the due it deserves, yet the signature of the rice is its delightful flavour. Cooked to perfection and spiced right, the rice is silken soft and the seeds and nuts are welcome diversions.

Rice noodle with tamarind and vegetables Saigon style, doesn’t leave you rudderless searching for expressions. It just asserts every dish is not a masterpiece or may be it just pales in the aura of lemon grass rice. The accompaniments, spicy vegetable red cari is sublime, totally without pretensions. Stir-fried haricot beans are admired for its simplicity. The beans with just garlic and coriander for company are crunchy. Stir-fried mushrooms soaked in sate sauce are delightfully tender with the sauce working well with the mushrooms and is served with steamed pakchoi. Grilled chicken with salt and chilli doesn’t impress merely because the meat is not particularly succulent. Stir-fried prawns, on the other hand, served with tamarind sauce is juicy and a treat.

The ginger coconut caramel custard has nothing wrong with it, yet one wishes a little more innovation. A meal for two costs Rs.3500.

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