November 24, 2014

Week of not collecting Michelin stars: Indian surprise

Pin It

I'm back in Macau today for a board meeting with the boss.  Given that we were staying at the Venetian, had limited time for dinner, and there were only two of us, the choices were woefully limited.  We had casually strolled into one of the Chinese eateries and sat down, but after noticing a certain look on the boss' face, I suggested that we could go somewhere else if the food wasn't to his liking.

As soon as we walked out the door, the boss surprised me by saying: "Let's try the Indian food (with Michelin stars)".

Really?!  That was the last thing I thought would happen tonight.

Well, Golden Peacock was pretty close by, and within a couple of minutes we were seated and flipping through the menu.  The good thing about tonight was that I didn't have to do the ordering, and the boss ended up picking a bunch of more interesting dishes than I would have myself.

First came some traditional snacks like papadum and what looked like murukku and namak para, served with dips and chutney.

Scallop ambot tik - apparently a Goan specialty, these Scottish scallops were very good.  Cooked mi-cuit, the spicy tomato jam provided both a nice acidity and the spicy kick.  Little puris were served on the side with garnish.  Interestingly, the fine, colorful curls which at first glance looked like rubber bands turned out to be capsicums...

Jahangir bhutta and khumb kebab - Portobello mushrooms were blended with corn, pine nuts and cardamom and then grilled.  I thought this tasted OK, but seriously, someone needs to teach the chef about presentation...  These either looked like 3 stogies or... something that comes out of the rear end of your digestive tract.  When a friend, after seeing this picture, asked me "was it good?"... I had to tell her that it was "some good shit"...

Ganth gobhi aloo - normally you'd find cauliflower in aloo gobi, but here they used Romanesco broccoli.  Very different from the Punjabi aloo gobi I'm used to having since it's not dominated by turmeric, but very nice.

Crab xec xec - flower crab cooked with a traditional Goan curry.  This was really good.  The chili was spicy enough to pack a punch, but not overpowering.  The other spices like cloves, cumin and cardamom made for very fragrant mouthfuls.

We didn't take any rice, but did have an order of butter naan to go with our curries.  This was very thin and crispy, and I found my finger tips covered with butter... and didn't hesitate to lick them clean.

Boss wanted to drink some wine, which is something I typically don't mix with spicy food.  Scouring the wine list looking for something suitable, I settled for something that was the closest I could come to an ideal solution...

2011 Hugel Gewurztraminer - very fresh and floral, with a little lychee.  Very ripe and sweet on the palate, a little alcoholic with bitter finish.

Did I enjoy my meal?  For sure.  Was it the best Indian meal I've ever had?  Hardly, but it was a little more refined than that first Michelin-starred "Indian" meal I had a few years ago.  Did I think it was worthy of a Michelin star?  Well... WTF do I know about Indian food anyway?

One thing I do know is that I'd much rather pay more and eat at Gaggan any day... if only I could make it to Bangkok.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map