Blue Ginger A taste Of vietnam
|Rashmi Uday Singh’s Good Food Guide
Did you know that Vietnam nestles in the heart of India? That light, healthy
and aromatic cuisine is now being served up in Bangalores Taj Westend.
Opened just a few weeks ago, it is Indias very first dedicated authentic
Vietnamese restaurant, Blue Ginger.
With true blue origins in Ho Chi Minh city, its owners the Tans have nine
Vietnamese restaurants around the world and President Bill Clinton not only
ate at the one in Ho Chi Minh city but asked for double helpings.
A must visit restaurant, it is a romantics dream come true, set amidst placid
lily ponds, coddled by fragrant flowering frangipani trees, banana trees and
lush greenery. The candles shimmer, the Vietnamese musicians play and the skillful
mood lighting bathes the partially open air restaurant with a warm glow.
A great setting for a great cuisine with its French, Chinese and Indian
influences and a uniqueness of its own. The spark of lime, the bite of
chilli, the freshness of green herbs, and the crisp crunch of uncooked veggies
add layers of textures and sharp flavours.
I love the raw mango salad to begin with, it is uniquely
tangy, with the crunch of peanuts and slivers of browned onions. The traditional
Vietnamese soup Pho, brims with health and taste ( the stock has
hints of cinnamon and grilled onion) and it is eaten with fresh basil leaves,
beansprouts, chillies and lemon. Check out the Vietnamese barbecues, the coconutty
Vietnamese cari, the cook-on-your table steamboat, the superlative braised fish
(braising comes from the French influence), excellent trio of mushrooms. In
fact, the veggies can look forward to a huge selection of dishes, which the
Vietnamese chefs have specially cooked up for us. Wind up with the mung
bean ice-cream. Theres so much on the menu that I will have to go
back many times to try it all. I look forward to that, because that stately,
over 100-year-old Taj Westend with its profusion of trees and style is a masterly
mix of class and comfort. Having haunted it for the past eighteen years, now
the Blue Ginger is whetting my appetite for it even more.
|Thanks a million for your emails. I suppose it was
sheer coincidence that there were three queries regarding availability of
exotic cuisines in India. So, the write up on Indias first Vietnamese
restaurant is perfectly timed. Enjoy! Do keep in touch with your suggestions
and recommendations. Do keep calling and do keep smiling.
Please do call in with your suggestions, experiences
and queries. tel: (022) 22161313
Taj Westend, Bangalore. tel: 080-56605660; average
meal per head Rs 800