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Tucked in a by lane off Cunningham Road, a turn at the Sigma Mall, and the lane leads
to Fortune Select JP Cosmos
. In this Cosmos is a Star that our Special correspondent Githa U Badikillaya recently visited and has only good words to share about this restaurant. Read on.

off Cunningham Road

Tucked in a by lane off Cunningham Road, a turn at the Sigma Mall, and the lane leads
to Fortune Select JP Cosmos. A first time visitor is likely to miss the place, more so
as the name is not accompanied with the ubiquitous Hotel tag. Fortune Classic is a
franchisee of ITC opened in 2008 and the same stringency of standards are adhered here.
Nestled on the 5th floor, it offers one a fine view without the din of the traffic sounds and
accompanying pollutants.

The restaurant Nakshatra is itself a brand like Dum Pukt so named after the
constellation. The magnificence of interiors and the hospitality cannot be missed out.
Split into two, there is a rooftop open air lounge and an adjoining fine dining area, though
small it is designed theme wise like all ITC hotel restaurants. Outside, the open dining
area undulates to a cool pool where one can have a splash too. Nakshatra is basically a
North Indian restaurant and the cuisine typical ITC but there is an option to incorporate
the local cuisines.

Emphasis is given to the fine dining experience with an eye for presentation. So it’s something more than just “Food” that is less spicy as the place caters to a large number of foreigners. Mahesh Pillai, the F&B Manager says “We introduced this concept of a prayer room during Ramzan, where the diners could break the fast with light short eats.

Nakshatra has no buffet but the Sunday brunch is a purely veg. affair at Rs.1100/= when the area gets transformed with live counters and a Bar. It’s priced at Rs. 750/= without drinks and the facility of the pool is open to the diners. The menu is not extensive.” Their coffee shop buffet is priced at a reasonable Rs. 325/= not to forget that the adjoining Cunningham Road itself is dotted with good restaurants.

We started with the Imli ka Sath- a rejuvenating tamarind based drink that would have
tasted fantastic had it been chilled. There was an array of chutneys that tickled my friend
Parth no end as we had them on their own strength. They were more like dips and an
innovative way of preparing the taste buds for some wholesome food. Til ki Chutney was
plain; maybe it would taste better in winter. Pudina ki chutney was medium spicy with
the lingering freshness of the leaves. Chilly garlic chutney was both spicy and tangy.
Tomato chutney was slightly sweet with none of the sauce taste. This is the PICK of the
dip range. It was a flashback to good old childhood days as we licked off all the bits of til
(sesame), garlic and peanut. It was so much fun.

One can choose between Indian and Chinese Starters. The zafrani jhinga was perfectly
cooked and the mushrooms wrapping around the fork imparted a succulence that only
fresh mushrooms can. Azz tialpee tikka was soft paneer shallow fried that crumbled at the
first bite and teems well with the mint chutney. Palak Makki Tikki could have been a bit
crisper with a little more of corn flour/potato that gives the subtle hint of crispness that
makes this tikka special. Bhaowan Nukti aloo- crispy on the outside and equally soft on
the inside. Its presentation and taste score full marks. Murgh Angare- the chicken chop
was ooh-la-la very soft and so very fresh.

The Charminal ke sheekh was perfectly cooked and the cream on the outside gave it a distinct feel and taste. The gosht ke pasande, a mutton cutlet, was crumb fried, spicy and spiked with lime. A little on the chewier side with a slightly charred crust, but it tasted
good as the meat was soft and in generous proportions. It was indeed very enjoyable and Parth felt that an entire meal could be planned around these very tasty starters. In all the above, the simplicity of the masalas made the tikkis, kebabs and sheeks very
interesting that we ended up eating more than intended. So do be careful not to overeat.

For the main course we had Mutton Rogan Josh. This is Parth’s any time favourite.
Scrumptious and with a rich taste of creamy cashews and tomato gravy, one can be tricked to eat more, so watch out. The Kadai Paneer tasted very dry, as a result of overdoing the paneer pieces in the tandoor. The Vendkai mullakihattu though a mouthful is a Kerala style cooked Okra dish where the okra was succulent that made up for the
extra spiciness, as this is one vegetable that absorbs the spices fast and gets cooked quickly. The Dal Makhani was disappointing. The ginger component was wanting and
could have done with less of the creamy coconut milk. I do not know if this is a variant of ITC’s Bukhara dal? If so here it’s a disappointment. All the above tasted well with both
rice and rotis. The Biryani was impressive and had a wonderful flavour.

A word of mention of the Nakshatra bread basket. It is a basket of ten different types of
Indian bread. The two variants that stood out were the Chilly Parantha with the chilly
flakes peeping out and muah- muah teasing the tongue and the Kulcha that was super soft
The Vegetable Pulav also gets full marks and the mixed raitha (fruits and veggies) served
alongside was equally good. The Green salad of chunks of cucumber, carrot, radish, and
tomato got a dramatic taste with the pineapple and vinegar Dip and definitely ask for a
second helping of this dip.

The kitchen is open hence there’s a sense of drama around the dining experience.
We did not have an appetite for any elaborate desserts. The Payasam easily outranked
all the above mentioned and heavenly in terms of taste and flavour. Tasting exotic there
is the quixotic but distinct taste of coconut. The thickness made it very very delicious.
This in house preparation by the master chef Bannerji seems to be their Signature dish.
But unfortunately they were served in limited editions and we had a second helping
though not in Oliver Twist style. Easy to binge even by the weight watchers. The other
must order is the Kulfi falooda. It was also perfect in terms of the sweetness. We liked its
striking presentation with two tiny roundels of the firm and creamy kulfi nestling cozily
with the falooda Seviyan. It stood out for its no fuss and no frills and the ease of eating
it. I would any day vote for this type of kulfi falooda rather the popular Gani Singh’s of
Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area where the rabri is omniscient.

An interesting ending to our dining journey was the platter of 20 kinds of Mouth
Fresheners. The best were the Paan churi, Shimla mix and the Lucknowi mix. We heartily gorged on the stuff for the sheer variety that I had not seen till date at any place in Bengaluru and couldn’t get over these seemingly endless fresheners for days. This was
a fitting finale for the desserts.

There is a lunch buffet priced at Rs. 1200/= and a la carte for dinner.
It was not difficult to feel the trade mark ITC fare with the simplicity of the menu, the
freshly sourced/ground spices, and the perfect cooking style.

Food 4 (because of the desserts and the mouth fresheners)
Ambience 3.75
Service 3
Feel Good Factor 4
Meal for two 1500/=

#49, Cunningham crescent Road,
Behind Sigma Mall,
Bangalore560 052
PH: 42434243/ 39884422

Pairing food with wine is a trend that is becoming popular in Bengaluru. Never a month
passes without a soiree or the other where fine wine tasting, happening in some hotel
or the other. The basic principle is to pair the red wine with red meat and the white
with white meat. The desserts go well with champagne or sparkling wine. Sea food
starters with yoghurt and spices like poppy seeds and chilly pair well with French wine.
It is the full ness and roundness of wine that is an important factor for the pairing with
food. India of late is notching up with some good wine like Grovers, Sula etc.

Githa .U.Badikillaya



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