EAST is a Pan-Asian fine dining restaurant in Crowne Plaza, Electronic City in Bangalore. They are hosting a Vietnamese food festival that ends on 30-Sep-2016. I have always been a fan of Asian cuisines and Vietnamese was one that I hadn’t had much in the past, so I was quite keen on trying this out 🙂
It’s located in Phase 1 of Electronic City and the drive on a weekday is usually pretty hectic, but if you take the elevated highway, you should save yourselves some travel time! I drove down from Bellandur via the Jail Road and had no problems reaching here. While coming back, I took the elevated highway, and reached back home after a pleasant drive sans traffic 🙂
Crowne Plaza is part of the IHG (Inter-Continental Hotels Group) and has over 400 properties worldwide. Their motto is to help today’s business people, work, rest and restore.
EAST is a rooftop restaurant with a pretty decent view, although they don’t really make the best use of the open air setting! Most of the tables aren’t placed in the open. This is most probably to beat the rains. I came here with a friend and the two of us were welcomed by the Assistant Manager, F&B and were briefed about the Hotel and Chef’s profile.
The wine selection at Crowne Plaza is quite impressive and they believe in only displaying the ones that they’re pretty sure they have with them. They’d go great lengths to update their menu regularly, sometimes every week, to keep the wine list updated, based on procurement! I picked the Jacob’s Creek, Reserve Shiraz and was quite happy with it. It’s got blackberry fruit with hints of black pepper. My friend asked for a Sangria, which they hadn’t already prepared, but were willing to do it, provided we gave them enough time 😛 But, we settled for a white wine cocktail with infused citrus flavors.
Chef Asmic Raj wanted to give to Bangaloreans something they don’t usually see. The whole menu was in the light of embarking on a delightful culinary journey through the diverse regions of Vietnam. The whole experience of having a Vietnamese meal was pretty elaborate and fantastic 🙂 Read on to see what we had !
Vietnamese paper spring roll
We picked the vegetarian version of the thin paper spring rolls, Vietnam style! It’s a very delicate cold preparation and is the best way to start things off. I’m a huge fan of veggies and quite liked this one, but wouldn’t have more than 1 of these as they’re not so unhealthy 🙂 The veggies were crunchy and the inclusion of vermicelli was good. Good start? Hell yeah!
Hanoi Corn Cake
This was a traditional Hanoi corn patty dish. Deep fry anything and it tastes better, I believe in that 🙂 Hanoi is known for it’s rice based cakes, but, this was a pleasant surprise. I loved the texture of the dish and the right spice levels. This hit a home run in my opinion me!
Prawn satay was yet another dish that I tried. The prawn was flattened and skewered. The prawns are marinated with kaffir lime, basil and spices. It was perfectly BBQ’ed and I quite liked this.
Fried calamari in butter garlic
I love fried calamari and this love began in Goa a couple of years ago.
The combination of butter garlic sauce and crispy fried squids is a match made in heaven. I thought this was the best dish of the night! I asked the chef to get me some more of the butter garlic sauce as the original dish was dry. I loved the sauce 🙂
Vietnamese Papaya salad
Crunchy raw papaya tossed with Vietnamese herbs and spices. We got it made as a vegetarian dish and the veggies in the salad were carrot, corn, onion and cabbage. It was spicy, crunchy with peanuts and had just the right amount of dressing on it.
Pho soup is a very popular Vietnamese noodle soup. The best Pho soups are considered to be the ones with the Tenderloin, but we picked the vegetarian one! I thought the soup was way too clear and bland for my liking. I love soups that pack a punch and this one failed to deliver.
The main course was an elaborate affair.
Vietnamese Yellow Cari
It’s a traditional yellow curry with sweet potatoes was a little thin in consistency, but was quite flavorful. The coconut milk enhanced the flavors and we saw some curry leaves to bring in an Indian touch( not intended! ).
Tofu fried rice
Fried rice with finely chopped cubes of tofu was a perfect accompaniment to all the curries we had. The rice was garlic fried, a profile I love. And the tofu was deep fried.
Stir Fried Asparagus , Palm heart and Tender Coconut
Palm heart is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees and have a similar texture to artichokes. And look, I at-least had something I had never heard/seen before. How dd it taste? Spectacular, infectious, I just couldn’t stop myself from having more and more of this. I did that more so, because I was intrigued by it and wanted more of it to get my-selves used to it 🙂 The tender coconut was presented in fine strips and was very refreshing. Stir fried asparagus completed the dish to add a new dimension to this dish.
Pan Fried Fish done 2 ways
Pan fried Basa fish fillet done 2 ways; Mango and Tamarind chilli! I thought this was the hero of the main course and I couldn’t help but gorge on this beautiful dish! The fish was crisp and easy to cut through and pick by the fork, unlike most fishes! The mango sauce was spectacular, because the sweet and sour profile of the dish was remarkable. The tamarind and chilli sauce was decent but was overshadowed by the mango variant! If I were to come back to this restaurant, this is definitely something I’d love to order 🙂
Bánh khoai mì
Coconut flavored cassava(also known as tapioca) cake was warm and sticky. It’s made with grated cassava, coconut milk and some salt. This was a baked version of the dish. I have neutral feelings about this dish; didn’t hate it, didn’t love it 🙂
Tender Coconut Icecream
Fresh home-made tender coconut icecream is what we ended our meal with and It shrieked of vanilla and less of tender coconut. We’d have liked more of the tender coconut taste to have come through. A decent ice-cream; always good when it’s freshly done!
The service at EAST was excellent. We were always taken care of well, throughout our dining experience. They tolerated our outrageous requests for getting pictures in the best possible angle! The dishes were cleared as and when we requested them to be. The courses were spaced very well, with a perfect time gap between each. I would like to mention that the table for 4 is pretty huge and that helped keep wide variety of dishes at the same time 🙂 Am I coming back to this place? Yes, of-course! Would you just get one dining option at Crowne Plaza? No, there are plenty of dining options inside and pick what works best for you! The one I’m heading to very shortly would be the 24 hour coffee lounge named 24@43. Head there to understand why it’s named that way 🙂