The meeting ground
If you can look past the steep pricing, the less than a week old Tulsi n Thyme is a promising new entry in the fine dining segment in the city with a concept that should find many takers in the global village called Bangalore
Indopean is the name of the cuisine, and it's not a googly at all, although it's a term that the proprietor of Tulsi n Thyme has introduced to the English language.
The lamb chops
The restaurant aims to present European dishes with ingredients from the kitchens of India and vice versa. And they have seamlessly married the two cuisines. In fact, the menu card (there are separate lunch and dinner menus here) makes it seem very effortless, but a meal there would reveal how painstakingly the menu has been formulated.
For every bite of every dish here bears testimony to the culinary synthesis. Modern Indian cuisine isn't an altogether new concept, with many five stars and fine dining restaurants continuing their experiments in this genre.
And it's an enormous challenge to lend the right amount of weightage to both the Indian and the European elements in a dish, for many complain that the sole issue with modern Indian cuisine is that the European components tend to dominate the Indian ingredients.
This is not the case with Tulsi n Thyme barring the dessert menu which is strictly European. But they are working on a fusion dessert menu currently. As for the beverages, it's pretty much the same story, except for the one off Sugarcane Mojito that can come as the 'Drink of the Day' on special days.
The restaurant overlooks the busy 100 feet Road in Indiranagar and is situated in a building which already houses two popular restaurants. You have the option of sitting al fresco close to the huge tree that nestles the place, but we chose to sit inside given the nippy weather.
The decor is minimalist with a gorgeous bar that has cubical wooden hurricanes and wooden panels.
Fan shaped napkins in wine glasses and floating orchids in a bowl make for a comforting sight. As does a small bowl of Tapenade, a jolly mix of green and black olives, anchovies, capers in olive oil.
Not many restaurants have this dish from Provence in France as an accompaniment, so Tulsi n Thyme scored some brownie points very early in the evening. And the Tapenade was so good that we asked for a refill, but stopped mid way reminding ourselves that there's a whole meal ahead.
The Achari Mushroom (Rs 255) stuffed with crumbly Mascarpone cheese seasoned with pickle came seated on tender pieces of onions. The six pieces of button mushrooms vamoosed in a few seconds. The perfect choice of cheese ensconced within juicy button mushrooms is a joy for every mushroom lover.
For the mains, we ordered the Stuffed Chicken Makhani (Rs 345) which came with a stuffing of sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese and was herb marinated.
It was simply fabulous with the Makhni angle incorporated carefully in the buttered chicken. The dish came with a small serving of risotto, which bore the distinct flavour of zaffran. We were floored!
The risotto, we were told, was the starch of the day, and also accompanied the The Lamb Chops(Rs 395). The Rosemary Dijon crusted chops is a popular dish the recipe of which even finds place in Oprah Winfrey's website. But the desi twist to the chops came in the form of a Roganjosh gravy.
The mutton was yielding, and came with gherkins, babycorn and bellpepper. And the rosemary herbs gelled marvellously with the Roganjosh gravy. The deep red tone of a classic Roganjosh was obviously missing, and the gravy was rather brown, but fabulous
For dessert, we had the Chocolate Caramel Brownie (R 225) and what a treat it was! With a well-made brownie at its core, it had fresh cream on top and buttered caramel within it. Need we say more?
Tulsi n Thyme should stand the test of time in the ever dynamic culinary scene in Indiranagar mainly because it delivers what it promises. It is for the discerning diner who likes his Indian food to be, well, less Indian and also for expats who wouldn't like to go the whole hog with desi khana. Brave attempt, for sure!
Where 4th and 5th floor, No. 762, 100 feet road, Indiranagar
Call 25271555/666 meal FOR two Rs 1,500
Tulsi n Thyme didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.