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Blue Ginger: A Sensory Experience

2014-02-15 11.24.19

Every inch of Blue Ginger (Taj West End, Bangalore) is a snapshot. Fringed by wild grass, curvy water bodies dappled with  lily pads and sunshine, the restaurant walks a languid line between formality and leisure, and is packed with Vietnamese aesthetics and the aromas of a  mysterious yet instantly engaging cuisine.


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The crunch of fresh herbs, the slowly spreading  warmth of delicate sauces, the tang of refreshing salads, the conversation between all things sweet, sour,bitter, salty and spicy apart, I feel too distracted to focus on food here because the interiors engage all my senses.
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Even my low end , not-so-smart phone  manages to capture its tall, gleaming vases, leafy corners where you can lean back against a cushion and watch the day pulse by, its slanting ceiling, its gently glimmering lamps and the breezy verandah vibe.
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Meeting the resident Vietnamese chef over a new menu is a bonus because when you watch a master in action, you imbibe just how much food means to those who passionately love it.
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And so at a cook out session, I saw just how shredded mango or raw papaya when teamed with carrots and shallots, crushed peanuts, chopped basil, slivers of chilli and a dressing of soya sauce, water and sugar grains , can be transformed into an addictive salad. Not as simple as it sounds though. You need to know how to chop like a magician and to balance flavours so that they don’t collide but dance together.
I learnt just how a simple rice paper sheet when moistened can become an artist’s canvas and with a handful of water chestnuts, rice vermicelli, shredded cabbage and carrot, basil, iceberg lettuce, a splash of hoisin sauce and some peanut butter can be rolled into a marvellous surprise.
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You will find the new menu at Blue Ginger to be delightful especially if you start with dessert like I will when I go there next. A delicate jelly with coconut cream with rose petal ice-cream, enough said!  Vegetarians , please check out the grilled Tofu Saigon, crisp stir fries, a delicate trio of mushroom, a red curry that tastes how a red curry should taste, fresh, creamy and subtle, a bounty of Asian greens, rice noodles with a hint of celery and steamed jasmine rice to go with everything.
This is a five-star restaurant but the food lives up to the image though for budget conscious eaters like me, Blue Ginger is a place for really special celebrations when you want your breath to be taken away for a few hours over a long, leisurely, flavourful meal.

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