Ministry of Food, is an all day dining multi-cuisine restaurant in Hilton, Bangalore.I heard this name for the first time a few months back during Durga Puja, when their modern take on Bengali Food became the talk of the town. Since then Ministry of Food is always the topic of discussion among food critiques and food lovers for their offbeat food festivals and Heston Blumenthal style food presentation. I visited the place for the first time when Smile Foundation hosted an event with Chef Vikas Khanna to honor all the hospitality partners of Smile Foundation, there Chef Subhash Jana shared about the upcoming Asian Street Food Festival from 24th November – 7th December and invited me for the same.
When I think about Asian Street Food my mind is immediately transported to the hawker centers of South East Asia where evening air is filled with the aroma of grilling satays and soupy slurpy noodles, my love for Asian food and curiosity about the menu took me to Ministry of Food to experience this unusual food festival.
|Chef Subhash Jana|
The evening unfolded with the chilled Ragi Majjige (Ragi millet buttermilk/chaas), which was served on kulhad style glassware over a bowl of crushed ice, quite a refreshing drink. When it comes to Asian Street Food Dilli Ki Chaat has to be on the menu, here Dilli Chaat has a quirky and distinctive appearance, from the by-lanes of Chandini Chowk and Kolkatta Dilli Chaat was the duo of Shakarkandi Chaat in Filo Cones served over a bed of mustard flavored Jhalmuri. Shakarkandi Chaat was mashed up with some cheese that provided the smooth texture, filo cone were crisp and a splash of Saunth Chutney was binding the flavors together, and mustard in Jhalmuri was providing a kick to the flavors and reminded me of Wasabi Peas.
From the small plates, we had The 3D sushi platter which consisted of Spicy Tuna Nigiri, Tobiko and Inari Caprese along with pickled galangal, wasabi and soya sauce dip all served on a three-dimensional wooden platter, I am not a Sushi lover so will remain tight lipped on this one. Then came to the most popular Asian Street Food – Satay, this one was Malaysian Chicken Satay served on a contemporary grill with a smoky piece of charcoal with Peanut Sauce and Sambal Sauce, smoky aroma of charcoal and sizzling sound of satay gave dramatic dimension to the dish and added to the whole experience of enjoying satay.
From the street food favorite noodle section, we had Boat Noodle (traditional Thai noodles served with broth and toppings), inspired from floating market of Bangkok. The exposition of this dish was so creative that for few seconds I simply stared at it and could not resist from admiring Chef Anirban Dasgupta and his team for putting so much thought behind it. Flavorful broth served with noodles in a large bowl while beautifully crafted vegetarian toppings (carrots, zucchini, squash, mung beans, shitake mushroom, spring onion) on a boat-shaped serve ware, with one spoonful of broth I could taste galangal, lemongrass, basil and hours devoted in creating the broth.
|Sushi, Keema Martabak, Satay|
From the medium plates we had Keema Murtabak (flaky paratha stuffed with mutton mince) served with green chutney and salad, the filling of mutton mince could have been more flavorful. The show-stopper of the evening was Bao Bhajji (Bao+Pao Bhajji), the quintessential cross to bring in harmony between two culinary melting pots of the world, soft and pillowy bao filled with flavorsome bhajji served with side of Saunth Chutney I really liked the combination and innovation behind the dish but Togarashi Fries served with this dish were average in taste and I could not taste any Togarashi in them.
For the dessert we had Doodh ke Jhaag, a modern interpretation of an Old Delhi favorite – “Daulat ki Chaat”, foamy milk froth served over in-house made Khoye ki Rabdi in a earthen pot ware, as a package the whole dessert was interesting but for me the Rabdi at the bottom was little too solid but the dessert reminded me of winters in Delhi and after ages I tasted that foamy froth called – Daulat Ki Chaat.
Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from Ministry of Food, my opinion and words are unbiased and totally based on my experience at the restaurant. But as they say, “Food is Subjective” so kindly exercise your own discretion, with the understanding that this is writer’s personal opinion.