“Magic becomes art, when it has nothing to hide” – Ben Okri
The silent creak of wispy trees, the crunch of pebbles shivering under my feet and the mellow shine of that ivory moon, had attuned my heart to the magnificent spread that was, yet to unfold.
While, I perambulated the place with a keen eye, it was no surprise that i was falling in love with it. The 15 second walk from the car parking to the table, was so beautiful, with the trees passing by my peripheral vision, that it almost felt like the world existed only at the ingress of this place.
About Grasshopper :
Grasshopper is a legacy in itself, where the memories and family cook offs of the previous generation have metamorphosed into the boutique restaurant of today. What started as a family that opened doors to friends, gradually snowballed into an exclusive “Reservations Only” restaurant. Even to this day, they take guests only on prior reservation and do not offer walk-ins. Their menu is specially curated on your choice of fare. You are required to notify the owner “Mrs. Sonali ” your food preferences, a day or two before, the big day. There is no “a la carte” & you are given an element of surprise with your meal.
Decor & Ambiance : This is an impressive experience to soak yourself in. It’s an alfresco dining concept, with starry or sunny skies (depending on the time of your visit), green trees and yellow flamed candles as your decor. They are letting Mother Nature, impress you and trust me, she really is. There are about 5 tables and 2 exclusive dining options with extra care on privacy. The ambiance is breezy, casual yet romantic and hushed. You will not find anything of opulence, yet you sit in the lap of luxury, because of the vibes that, this place emanates.
Hospitality : Grasshopper is synonymous with indulging you in care. The maitre d’ is in touch with you, throughout your meal. His presence is subdued, appearing almost magically when you need him, without calling out for him. He keeps a check on your table and let’s the meal transition from one course to another. This was a perfect definition of how “service a la russe”, is supposed to be.
The Grub Story : The fare is an elaborate continuum of a 7 course meal. The cuisine style is European and there’s heavy emphasis on simple, organically sourced and exotic (in terms of Indian market availability) ingredients.
My carte du jour was :
- Ginger Mint Cooler : A chilled glass of the Ginger Lime Mint Cooler, proved to be a splendid boon.
- Cucumber gel with herbed cream cheese and gherkins : This amuse-gueule, was art on plate. The base note was a smooth salty one, with the freshness of the modernist cucumber gel that complemented the herbed cream cheese & lip puckering gherkin squares. Full marks for implementing the gelling technique.
- Asparagus with Crisp Sage and Parmesan : A perfect set of (maybe) buttered asparagus which just gave into the pressure of the knife and cut ever so easily, without any resistance. The crispy sage leaves were a deep hued green and crisp to the “T”. A lemony flavour was prevalent all across the dish and the nuttiness from the Parmesan, made me realise how simple flavours can be unrivalled.
- Smoked Aubergine Crostini : Give me a Crostini any day and I will gladly gulp it down. This was one of the best topped crostini, I’ve had in a long time. A crispy soft crostini with smoked aubergine, caramelised onions and walnut pesto. Though, it looked lacklustre, the flavour explosion made you addict yourself to it. The warmth of flavours from the aubergine, a distinctive sweetness of onions and the walnut pesto, were nothing but foodgasmic.
- Orange Salad : A subtle medley of orange segments with black olives, walnuts and oregano. The Salad was the palate cleanser, which was much needed before our mains. Refreshing!
- Vegetable Terrine : It was Picasso on my plate, the colour palette, reminded me of “The Weeping Woman”. Google it, to know what I mean. This vegetable terrine, consisted of leeks, potatoes, roasted peppers with creamed spinach. The colour play satiated my eyes and the flavour play, satiated my soul. The little square, looked ever so spartan, but was I, in a state of disbelief at the soirée happening in my mouth. The butteriness of potatoes coupled with the earthy tones of that spinach & the sweet hints from the roasted peppers gave a taste so complex, from ingredients so simple. This was the magic “Ben Okri”, spoke about.
- Grilled Zucchini and Broccoli with minted pea purée : I’m a pea purée fan, I love them in my Salads, under roasted veggies, on baguettes & almost everywhere, i can sneak them. So, I do know a great “purée de pois” from an average one. This was the great one. The introduction of Mint into the pea purée was a welcomed move. The dish was layered with grilled zucchini & potatoes. Buttered asparagus, took it up by the notch and the vibrant green broccoli in conjunction to the Feta & roasted pine nuts bowled me over. Never did I think, that all these flavours would work so well together.
- Chocolate ganache with mustard ice cream : And, that is how chocolate ganache, really ought to be. The bittersweet aphrodisiac block was paired with mustard ice cream. Mustard, is a beautiful element to our cuisines. The mustard ice cream, had a subtle piquancy and creamy mildness to it. The result of the pairing? Love ❤️
- Lemongrass ice cream : I’ve filled my appetite with lemongrass ice creams, during my brief stint in Malaysia. I adore them. Love the citrusy infusion. Grasshopper, gave to me, a reason to revoke my love for it. The citrusy fragrance of lemongrass just wafted in, all around your olfactory senses.
- Organic honey and cinnamon ice cream : Another favourite & something I enjoyed immensely. With the cinnamon, warming my palate and at the same time calming it, my love for this creme glacée, extends beyond words.
Here’s a sneak peek of some non vegetarian dishes:
- Prawns with Ginger, Sesame & Seaweed
- Lamb Rounds in a red wine spiced sauce with herbed veggies :
Verdict: It isn’t a surprise that, I’m in deep throes of amour with this place. It’s just the perfect setting for your special day. Because, really you don’t need to dilly dally over anything, except giving time to each other.
The chef, practises the art of “legerdemain” albeit in the kitchen, because he makes every dish look so deceptively simple, when in reality, it’s not.
A 7 course meal for two costs at around ₹5000/- + taxes.
A 5 course meal for two costs around ₹4000/- + taxes.
And here’s my 5 star
P.S. : The logo has been sourced from google images, for representation purposes only.