It’s been a while I’ve eaten out. The new adherence to a healthy diet is to blame. But you know I love food and trying out new places. Monday night I wandered to 36 Oak & Barley with Sonal Ved for a bloggers’ dinner. Presenting an account in her voice:
Alice and I, match like cheese and cracker. While she is bursting with knowledge on fashion and all-things-girly; cooking and all-things-food are my forte. After a food riot at Le Pain Quotidien last year, Alice vowed to do more fun posts with me. Blog posts that involved lots of catching up, cake and calories. Back then, I didn’t have a blog of my own, so we never really got down to business. But three months ago, I started whenharrymetcelery and we saw this as a good opportunity to go get together once again. Here is the first of the many to come.
Restaurant review: 36 Oak and Barley
It would be technically incorrect to start a food review with the last course first. But even after 12 hours of savouring your last bit of cloud-like panna cotta, if you are hazy-eyed, all is fair.
The vanilla panna cotta at 36 Oak and Barley is by far the best panna cotta that this city has dished up. Served with a homemade strawberry coulis, the bobbing, white dessert is gently flavoured, with a glossy texture. The panna cotta is topped with specs of real Madagascar vanilla beans and moist, basil seeds that add a light texture to the dish. The dessert is smooth on spooning and together with the strawberry sauce it has a sweet-sour taste that lingers for hours together. (Twelve, to be precise)
Photographs: Dhruvi Shah
The rest of the meal was a joy ride as well. Here are some highlights:
Since the philosophy behind the menu at 36 Oak and Barley is comfort food, we started our meal with dishes that spelt comfort for us. The first dish was a baked cottage cheese preparation that had chunks of soft paneer stuffed with chilli cream cheese and crusty parmesan cheese. The dish had prominent flavours of chilli from the cream cheese and sweetness from the pineapple chutney served alongside.
Alice especially enjoyed the hummus served with homemade pita crisps. It was also a good contender. The chickpea dip was served in its authentic form, without any external flavouring. With a garnish of black olives and smoked paprika, the appetizer had a generous portion size.
The tomato and basil soup was our favourite from the entire menu. The white-orange mass in the centre of the soup may look like a blob of butter, but after suspicious nudging, we discovered that it was a cold sorbet made out of oranges. The hot soup when paired with an icy sorbet, made up for an intriguing dish. Since both the components were flavourful and robust, we couldn’t decide which one was more refreshing. Though Alice prefers to dilute the sorbet in the soup, I like to savour it one at time.
For mains, the menu has a fair share of vegetarian options. Alice, especially enjoyed the basil pesto dunked fettucini that was both aromatic and ideally flavoured. However, we wish it came with some crunchy vegetables that would have given the dish some texture variation.
Personally, I liked the potato rosti better. This Swiss specialty is made using grated, par-boiled potatoes and is generally served on its own. At 36 Oak and Barley, the dish comes a creamy mushroom accompaniment that is mildly sweet and chucky with bits of onions and button mushrooms.
You can reach them at: 76 Nidhi, August Kranti Marg, Near Gowalia Tank, Kemps Corner
For reservations call: 2381 1010 | Timing: Noon to 1 am
I hope you all had fun reading this post. We wish to do many more. If you visit 36 Oak & Barley, do share your thoughts on the place. Bye for now. Happy snacking!