With great power comes great responsibility! Avant Garde Hospitality is a company founded by Chef Abhijit Saha and his wife Shruti M Saha, and was built on the premise of being ethical and conserving nature, while being leaders in restaurant & catering business! Fava, a Mediterranean bar & restaurant, is one of the brands under Avant Garde Hospitality. It is located at the uber-luxe arcade, The Collective, UB City in Bangalore. It has relaunched itself with a ultra modern decor; teal French windows, giving away the curtains that otherwise blocked the fantastic view of the amphitheater and more importantly cool breeze 🙂
Food industry is arguably one of the prime factors in environmental degradation. So, what does it really mean when a restaurant follows sustainable approach? It means following using ingredients that are produced, processed, distributed and disposed with one or more of these philosophies:
- Waste free. Reducing food waste goes a long way in conserving resources and energy & effort in creating a dish. Food here is made to order and has a zero waste policy.
- Encouraging local produce. This helps the local economy and also helps reduce import/transport woes. Fava sources it’s vegetables and fruits from Maple Tree farm & First Agro and cheese from Father Michael’s farm. All of these are in and around Bangalore.
- Selecting source of sea food. Seafood needs to be sourced from only sustainable sources otherwise our future generations might never be able to have any 🙂
- Eating healthier food with less meat and dairy. Fava has indeed made a lot of changes to it’s menu and incorporated a lot of fresh veggies, pulses and grains.
- Use of Organic ingredients.
Buttertheory was invited to the chef’s table on a perfect Friday evening! I shared a unique camaraderie with the who’s who in the food industry over some of the new additions to Fava’s menu! So, let’s take a look at some of the dishes that made it through to the menu after what I believe would have been some tough decisions!
Baked Gozleme pie
We started off with some Baked Gozleme pies, a tapas which went very well with the drinks! The Gozleme pies had a swiss chard and ricotta cheese filling, served with a garlic dip. There was a meat version of this as well, with a lamb stuffing.
Polenta Crusted Crispy Goat Cheese & Thyme Roll
Goat cheese + deep fried finger food = heaven! I thought the slight bit of thyme was a great addition to an otherwise cheesy dish.
Cottage Cheese & Vegetable Skewers
Believe me you, this is isn’t your average joe paneer tikka by any means! It’s some soft paneer finished with an Egyptian spice rub called dukkah.
Persian Chicken Jujeh Kebab
Jujeh Kabab is an Iranian dish with grilled chicken that’s marinated with minced onion, lemon juice and saffron! This was my favorite appetizer of the evening 🙂 It was served with pomegranate and cucumber salad to balance the meat.
Grilled Garlic Krakauer Sausage
Finely ground pork sausages served with some baby potatoes and a heavenly sunny side up 🙂
Ever since my first trip to Goa, I’ve been a big fan of Calamari rings. I only like the crispy ones and not the sautéed ones. This one however was a bit overcooked IMHO. The tahina dip; a middle easter paste made with ground sesame seeds, did it’s best to save the dish!
Prawn with Black Sesame
The prawns were sourced from the deep sea, which checks the sustainability box! This was truly an exotic preparation and was presented very beautifully. The black sesame seeds packed a punch and the spice mix was chilly and garlic with some extra virgin olive oil. This was the second best appetizer!
PLATED MEZZE & SALAD
Father Michael’s Valombrossa Burrata
If there’s one dish I’d go back to Fava for, this is the one! This is what makes Chef Abhijit Saha stand out; he picks the best of cheese available in Bangalore and knows how to make the best use of it! If you thought the dish just looks spectacular when it’s served to you, you’re not wrong, but you’re half right – it tastes even better than it looks 🙂 The valombrossa burrata cheese was out of this world and was paired with some beetroot mezze, dukkah and spiced amaranth.
Smoked Salmon Labneh
Smoked Salmon served with some amazing labneh (Lebanese cream cheese), capers(Dark green buds which are sun-dried and then packed in a vinegar brine), dill leaves & paprika. This was yet another fascinating dish that tasted just fabulous. The quality of the sea food was top notch. The creation of labneh is an art! It’s made from greek yogurt, olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
I should just stop talking about the presentation of the dishes, cos all of them are anyway plated wonderfully!
Chicken & Balsamic Roasted Organic Pumpkin Salad
I thought this dish was a winner in many ways. It’s extremely healthy and at the same time a very well balanced and tasty dish. A grilled chicken with roasted pumpkin seeds, mixed greens and parmesan cheese 🙂 I loved this dish. It was a perfect way to move on to the main course!
Root Vegetable Ravioli
This was a nice vegetarian option, which was a very unreal looking pink ravioli! The mushroom sauce in white was very delectable and the dish was overall very wholesome.
Mediterranean Style Stir-fry with Millet & Black Rice Risotto
This was probably one of the only places where I’ve tried a black rice risotto and I’d have to say it’s quite different from the regular one. Black rice is preferred over white rice as it’s got less glycemic index and also packs more protein and fiber per 100gms. This dish is available in multiple options. Our table picked the chicken and prawn variants. Having followed the gluten free diet for the last ~3 years, risottos are the easiest option at Italian restaurants to stay away from all the breads you’d normally get there 🙂
Galette of Mushroom and Snowpeas
Tender mushrooms and crispy snowpeas are usually paired with some meat, but here we could see a completely vegetarian offering. It had Dauphinoise potato, carrot chips, saffron sauce and herb oil. Dauphinoise potato is a traditional french dish with potatoes cooked with fresh cream, butter and spices. The carrot chips were the hero here, even though the it was meant to be a mushroom dish!
Pistachio & Walnut Crusted Fish of the Day
A neatly grilled fish laid on a bed of chargrilled veggies and parsley-arugula vichyssoise. The fish was crusted with pistachios and walnuts! The fish was extremely soft and grilled to perfection 🙂 The vichyssoise is usually just puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, but it was nice to see a green version with parsley and arugula elements.
Caramel & Chocolate Flan
A salted caramel pudding that’s ever so neatly slid under a wafer and topped with a caramel popcorn. This was a dessert which hit the right notes and was thoroughly enjoyed by me, despite being a caramel hater 🙂
Passion Fruit & Coconut Tart
A beautiful passion fruit & coconut tart, served with freshly prepared vanilla icecream. It was a perfect dessert for a rather warm Bangalore evening during March! I couldn’t help but ask for one of these, just for myself 🙂
MINUS 196 DEGREE
We thought we had seen it all, but the best was saved for the last; their latest creation – MINUS 196 DEGREE. Home made liquid nitrogen infused 100% natural ice-cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt with topping. It was a sight to see Chef whip up some fresh icecream with our favorite toppings! So what makes our LN2 (liquid nitrogen infused) ice-creams better? The faster you freeze ice cream, the creamier it is. The moment ice cream starts to freeze, ice crystals start to grow and the longer it takes to freeze, the larger they grow, and the grainier the ice cream is. All other commercial ice creams take a minimum of 20 minutes to freeze. -196°C takes 15 seconds. Since -196° Ice cream/ Sorbet / Yoghurt is frozen so quickly, the ice crystals hardly have a chance to grow, resulting in the smoothest, creamiest ice cream possible. The best part is, the ice cream being mixed individually using state of the art technique is made specifically for you and you get to watch the entire process happen right before your eyes.
The new menu had some great additions to what was already an amazing collection of dishes. I’m dying to get back here to try some of my favorites.
Cost for 2 is about 2000 INR and I assure you that it would be one of the best meals you’d have for such a great price point 🙂