Bloggers Table : Smoke House Deli Bangalore
If you were passing by Indiranagar 100ft road in the past 2 months, you couldn't have missed the tall white building coming up there and if you know anything about the SmokeHouse Deli in Bombay and Delhi it surely would lead to excitement . I have eaten at Smokehouse Deli in Delhi and when I was invited to the bloggers table just after the place opened I had high expectations and hope and a happy feeling that it's finally opening in doors in Bangalore.
The first thing that strikes you when you Smokehouse Deli is the white and black interiors, so classy and so interesting, they tell a tale in themselves and I swear I could have spent hours just looking at the wall art and not bothered about food and coming from me that means a lot, however since we were there for a bloggers table and primarily food & drinks we got to it pretty quickly. We started off with the usual bread basket albeit presented in an unusual way, the bread basket came in a sack and being a sucker for anything creative & even slightly vintage I was sold at that point and yes the breads were good too.
Riyaaz Amlani,the owner and the person behind Smokehouse Deli explained to us how the interiors of every Smokehouse brings in the essence of the particular city and the ones here capture Bangalore. He also spoke about they try to add the smoked flavors to different stuff, the meats were the first as expected and it followed up with veggies and soon they moved to behold drinks and but ofcourse that got us very intrigued and the smoked martini's were ordered, the drinks was FAB, I absolutely loved the mild smoked flavor that came out but could it do with some more smoking in my opinion yes but then I love the smoky feel in anything.
What I absolutely loved was the Tangerine Mojito, being a citrus and a mojito person it hit all the right spots with me.
And before you start thinking that we only drank (though I have to admit we drank a lot) we eat too, while the bar tender made sure we always had drinks on our tables, the server kept getting food in abundance too. The vegetarian starters we sampled were Spiked Cottage Cheese Skewers, Paprika Puffs with Wasabi, Grilled Mushroom & Bearnaise Crostini and Tofu & Sesame Sliders. I am not a big cottage cheese aka paneer fan though I must admit that this one had a nice balance of masalas to it but what hit the perfect note with me was the Paprika Puffs with Wasabi oh it was like biting into a new age chat and with the hit of wasabi it just went somewhere else. I loved it and its one of these rare vegetarian dishes that I probably could even order by myself in a place. The other thing that I quite like in the veg selection was the tofu and sesame sliders, serving in toasted bread instead of small buns and with perfect seasoning they looked and tasted brilliant.
For the carnivorous among us they Peri Peri Spiced Squid Rings, Devilled Tenderloin Bites and Bacon Wrapped Potatoes. Regular readers of the blog will not have to guess what was the star for me, I could eat plates and plates and plates all together, the perfect smokiness of bacon paired with potatoes done so perfectly that we all had a long discussion on how the hell did they achieve it, a dish I would give 12/10 if I had to rate and No I will not share it will anyone.
The dish that came a second close for me was the Devilled Tenderloin Bites, perfect melt in your mouth meat with a crunch that comes with a perfectly baked shortcrust, the peri peri squid rings were lovely too, with a light crunchy and spicy batter it paired really well with the squid.
After the first round of starters and drinks were over, Riyaz and the man behind the brilliant sketches on the walls of Smoke House "Zameer Basrai" himself gave us a round of the place. The walls capture the essence of Bangalore so well, whether it's the garden city layout, the mention of popular Bangalore bands like "The Raghu Dikshit Project", the lovely pickle and jams jars, the gramophone. The art work deserves a huge round of applause, do spend some time looking around them when you have ordered your food and I am sure with the sketches and google together you will learn a few things about Bangalore. Kudos Zameer.
Even the menu and the coaster had the same art, such clean lines and elegance.
While we are at interiors, I cannot help but show you the two lights there I totally fell in love with, have I said this before I have a thing for lamps and lights, I love them and find them so interesting.
And while we were still doing our rounds, we got another round of drinks which had fresh fruits, herbs and floral infusions in them. I absolutely loved both of them though quite a few of us didn't like the star anise one as they thought the flavour was too strong.
I have to add here, it was just the second day of the place opening and it was packed, most of the tables around saw a change while we were there and I think for a newly opened place it could be a good thing and a bad thing. I always think it's a good idea to give a place about a month to settle down the glitches before flooding them, every place has teething troubles that need to be sorted.
Along with the second round of drinks we moved to salads. We had Asparagus and grape with Smoked Fig & White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Oak Ash Chevre, California Orange, Passion-fruit Emulsion and SHD Smoked Chicken Caesar. Any place that gets the salad right, lettuce crisp, dressing bang on gets an extra 10 points for me. Most places in Bangalore serve limpy leaves which just kills the salad right away and yes you guessed it, the salad here were lovely. For me the star was the Oak Ash Chevre, California Orange, Passion-fruit Emulsion which was well balanced in the terms of texture and flavors.
And with salads done we moved on to the mains, the vegetarians had Spinach + Ricotta – Ravioli with Tomato, Capers, Olives Tapenade sauce, the ravioli was faultless, there is nothing I can find wrong with it even if I have to and just when I thought that there could be nothing better that can possibly be done with vegetarian food than the ravioli I tasted the wild mushroom risotto and yes you get the drift already. It was outstanding. I think if there is one place where my dear veggie folks won’t have to wonder what to eat it has to be SHD.
For the non veg mains we had Chilli Crusted Cobbler + Lemon + Thyme , the seasoning and the sauce of the fish were good but what was the star of the dish again for me again was the risotto it was served with what I hated about this dish was the fact that they used Basa, I mean WHY? The Peri Peri Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Citrus Pimento "Reduce", Saffron Potatoes and side Salad was done well, the chicken wasn’t dry at all. The House Special Tenderloin Steak with Asparagus was perfectly medium rare and seasoned well but truly if I have to pick a favorite main of the day it will be a veg dish.
And with that we reach the course which usually lets me down, I am dessert snob and that's a commonly known fact to an extent that N now says there is no point ordering any desserts with you, you will over analyses it and rip it apart but I guess it's a professional hazard that I can't help but frankly I had nothing much to complain here apart from the fact that I wasn't too happy with what they had done to the tiramisu, I am a person who strongly believes that some classics should be left alone and not meddled with, it was a good dessert but whether it was a good tiramisu I have my doubts. The flour-less cake though was very very good though.
There was also a white chocolate and orange creme brulee which I don't seem to have a picture of (what after so many drink atleast a small mistake has to be forgiven no?). The custard had a lovely texture with the sharp and crisp crust which cracked with a magical sound when touched with the spoon. The dessert of the day for me though was Plum Philly Cheesecake, I can safely claim that its one of the best cheesecakes I have had in Bangalore. FAB.
In the end I loved the whole experience... a must visit for everyone.
SMOKE HOUSE DELI,
No.1209, Ward No.72, HAL II Stage,
Ph: 080 2520 0899/ 080 2520 0898.
Cost: Rs.2500/- plus taxes for a meal for two with alcohol.
Parking: Valet Available.
Addendum : I have been sitting on this review for sometime now because the general feedback I was getting from people visiting the place was so different than the one that I had, I hoped and prayed that they were teething troubles and yet another brand won't let us people of Bangalore down. To check it out myself I went there again last week before posting this review and I have to say the food was good, was there a difference in the taste from what we got last time, some items may be about 10% but nothing was considerably worst than that day, the service yes leaves a lot to desire now but I think that is because of the heavy heavy rush they are seeing. I hope they sort these issues out soon enough and it will be a place where I will go for my regular fix of yummy food.