The Imperfect Post

Atelier by Ambrosia – First Visit

I have been hearing about this new “Fine Dining” place by Ambrosia called Atelier for the past few months and to be frank, I really have been avoiding it because personally I have always felt that the quality of food has severely declined at Ambrosia ever since they started doing mass production… So, was skeptical about Atelier because of the “Ambrosia” name and to make matters worse, I had just had my favourite burger from Ambrosia and it was really a mess too… So, I guess you can understand where all the skepticism came from…

So, months passed by and one of my friends ended up convincing me that I should definitely check the place out and even though the name of Ambrosia is there, it really is a posh / fine dining place and that name has nothing to do with the food being served there and I was shown some pics of the food she had from there… So, having been convinced to do so, I finally visited the place and this post is about the first visit that happened a couple of days ago…

So, here I was… Seated at the corner sofa… I am not sure that I am a big fan of the cement colored (or rather plastered) walls but it did seem to work with the lighting… Nice cutlery on the clean table, waiters dressed in black uniforms, pretty much a good attempt that bringing in that posh look… But then again, what ultimately matters is the food…

Now coming to the food, it was clear from the menu that the food here is pretty much a fusion cuisine where we see European classics fused with our Naadan Keralite spices and herbs… You can see this from the names of some of the options I went for which were, the Lentil and Curry Soup, Malabari Prawn Ravioli, Chicken Confit A La Atelier and for dessert, the Flavours of Banoffee Pie and as suggested by the waiter, tried a couple of their drinks, which were the Passion Fruit and Coconut Colada and also the Guava Mary Mocktail… They all arrived as shown in the pics below…

After I was done ordering, the waiter served me an amuse bouche of Plantain Chip topped with Mayo and also served be a “Bread Bag” consisting of an assortment of bread along with an assortment of butters as can be seen in the pics below…

The amuse bouche was nice… The breads however reminded me of my skepticism earlier cause they felt exactly like the mass produced breads we get from Ambrosia outlets… Anyways, the butters were nice…

So, coming to the food, the first to arrive was the soup… According to the menu, the Lentil and Curry Soup consists of Pickled Peppercorns, Mascarpone, Tender Coconut, Roast Pineapple Slaw and Kerala Curry Powder… They have two versions of this soup, one made with Kerala Coast Crab and another made using Chicken… I went for the Chicken version which came as shown in the pics below…

First of all, I loved this soup… But inspite of that I couldn’t help but notice that I couldn’t find any of the ingredients mentioned in the menu except for the slaw containing roasted pineapple… To be frank, what this soup felt like to me is a Dal / Parippu curry made using our Curry powder and coconut milk, served on top of the Slaw and Chicken… Still, like I said, I loved how this tasted and I am indeed looking forward to try again…

Once I was done with the soup, they brought in my starter course, which was the Malabari Prawn Ravioli… According to the menu, its handmade Ravioli stuffed with sautéed Prawns, served in a Malabari Curry thickened with Coconut milk… It came as shown in the pics below garnished with a spring of Coriander…

First of all, nice Ravioli… Pasta cooked perfectly and the stuffing was nice too… Nicely cooked prawns sauted with subtle amounts of spices… Now, I couldn’t help but notice that the “Malabari Curry” tasted exactly like the soup I just had… Only difference was the absence of lentils in here… I guess its a standard curry powder that they use for both… Again, seeing the dish individually, I can’t fault this… Everything about this was perfect, from seasonings to cooking of the pasta and the prawns inside… I am definitely going to have this again when I go back…

Once I was done with the Ravioli, they brought me the main course… Chicken Confit A La Atelier… I have always loved Chicken Confit as I believe it to be the best way to be able to enjoy and eat Chicken… Having been slow cooked for hours, the meat tends to be so tender that not only does the mean fall off the bone at the slightest touch, you really don’t need teeth to chew it… And the slow cooking process brings out the flavours of the Chicken in its full glory… I would definitely recommend you try a Confit if you haven’t done so already…

Now, the Chicken Confit A La Atelier is different from the classic confit cause here the specialisation is fusion… According to the menu, this is a 3 hour slow roasted Chicken served with a roast gravy infused with crushed Kerala Peppers, Roasted Potato wedges tossed with Onion and Curry Leaves, a side Salad and Rosemary scented Pumpkin Cream… It came as shown in the pics below…

Now coming to the taste, the Chicken was ofcourse cooked perfectly… Like any confit, the meat was incredibly moist and tender requiring very little effort to get it out of the bone… They had served a leg basically… Perfectly salted as well… The roast gravy was awesome with the green peppers in them… The side salad with Kale and pickled beetroot was ok… I have never been a fan of Kale personally and I prefer lettuce… The roast potato wedges seems to have been sauteed with onions and Kerala spices like cumin, garlic, mustard seeds, etc along with the strong presence of Curry Leaves that it really tasted like a Potato Mezhukkupuratty to me… The Pumpkin cream seemed to balance the Spices and Saltiness of the rest of the ingredients… Altogether I felt that this is a fine entrée that any Chicken lover would like to have… One request that I would make to the Chef is to replace Kale with lettuce if possible… 😉

After I was done with the Confit, they asked me if they can bring the dessert or whether I need anything else and as per what I said, they brought the dessert which they call in the menu as “Flavours of Banoffee Pie”… The Banoffee Pie is an English dessert pie made with Bananas, Cream and Toffee with a Crumbled Buttery Biscuit base and is something that I have always loved to have as a dessert and here as the waiter explained, what they serve is a deconstructed version… According to the menu, its made with 3 hour cooked Caramel, Brown Sugar  Torched Bananas, Brown Sugar Sponge and Crumble and it was served as shown in the pics below…

It was indeed a fine dessert for me… Bananas were cooked and torched with sugar to form a crispy and sticky brûlée layer… But the sponge felt like a Banana muffin to me (same as the one sold at Ambrosia outlets maybe??) and was a bit too dense for me… And I absolutely loved that Caramel there which was so rich and creamy in terms of texture and taste… The tempered Chocolate appeared to add further to the richness of this dessert… But what was missing for me was the crumble crust… Instead of that I saw some corn flakes and oatmeal sprinkled on top – just a little bit… I guess thats the interpretation done here… Overall, its a fine dessert that anyone would love and its a generous portion too which will fill up any remaining gap in your stomach…

As I said before, I got to try a couple of drinks too, namely the Passion Fruit and Coconut Colada and also the Guava Mary Mocktail… They were served as shown in the pics below…

The Colada had a rich and balanced taste of both Passion Fruit and Tender Coconut… I couldn’t get the significance of that Rosemary sprig placed on top as I couldn’t get the flavour of Rosemary in it… However, it was indeed a refreshing drink to have… As for the Guava Mary, it was a spicy drnk cause it was a mocktail made with Guava juice, Lime, Chilli and Chaat Masala… It was pretty much a hot and sour drink… If you love such spicy and tangy drinks, its a must try…

So, altogether it was a fine meal that I got to have on my first visit to Atelier… Really enjoyed all the very interesting flavour combinations that I got to try and I am hoping to try more from their menu soon…

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