The old Kue bar at the prestigious Westin had seen its share of good and bad days and was nearing the end of its lifecycle; when the management decided to revamp the whole place only to come up with a unique, ultra luxurious and uber cool experience type bar – The House of Medici. Now I am short on words on how to tag this place because calling it a bar, a lounge or a pub is simply not the right fit that it deserves. The management when they planned on redesigning the place had a clear agenda to come up with a swanky place which is not the usual kind of bar where you grab your favourite drinks, hang out with friends and dance all night; but rather an uber cool experience, a contemporary feel of the royal house of Medici that had opulence redefined during its time. The place has the longest bar counter in India which spreads over 104 feet and also the tallest bar that spans across three levels. The bar is a G+2 storeyed bar which has fine wines on the first and premium spirits on the second storey. There is a chic elevator that takes the bar tender to these levels and it is said that this is a close replica to the actual house of Medici. The place as you can see in the pictures below is draped in magnificence from head to toe and promises to deliver an unparalled experience.
The night started with some fine spirits and cocktails. I started with a drink called ‘Old fashioned’ which as most of you might know is a classic. After all you are at the House of Medici how can you have anything less legendary? So as the recipe goes; angostura bitters are muddled along with fine sugar and a premium whiskey or brandy is mixed along with a citrus peel to go in. I had an orange peel based whiskey to kick start my evening.
We had a lot of starters and finger food for the rest of the night. A glimpse of what to expect at the royal house:
Achari Kumbh: Aromatic spiced mushroom mince which made to be a mutton look alike. The texture was super soft and the flavours were mild as compared to Awadhi style preparation. I found it a bit bitter which took away few points.
Corned Chicken leg: This was a KFC styled fried chicken made using just chicken leg pieces. The element of surprise was that there was no bone within; it was deboned and made completely boneless. The assorted spices used were kept mild and even the batter coating was not heavy to keep it a classic and lite of stomach. #Delicious.
Murgh Pasandey: Thin slices of spicy chicken stripes served with naan as a base. The naan was crispy till the end and was a big plus. The dish as a whole was a bit sweet but if you aren’t averse to sweet then you would appreciate it for sure. #WorthTrying
Jalapeno Empanada: This dish was a let-down as the jalapenos were not to be found as slices or pieces but rather were finely minced. This was served with in house salad which was tad bit salty and didn’t pair well.
Imli Karela: This is one of the most sought after dish at the place and can be called as Chef special if not a signature dish. The response to this was a bit mixed; for the dish didn’t turn out to be uniform. While few of us got the Karela (bitter gourd) prepared the right way there were at-least 2 dishes that had the gourd absolute bitter which was a big turn off. #RiskySurprise
Potato wrapped Tilapia: A fish preparation that used absolute tender and delicate fish fillets, wrapped with a thin coating of crispy potato batter. This was perhaps the best dish for the night and was an instant hit with all on the table. The jalapeno and caper tartare dip that was accompanying made a perfect contrasting dip to go along with the fish. Now that’s a dish that’s complete in all respect – platting, colors, texture, flavors and the accompanying dip. #MustTry
Ciabatta Involtini: Pepper fricassee in a homemade pan fried brad; this was loved by one and all primarily for the mushy texture that it encased within the outer crispy brad coating and so also for the cheesy flavour that dominated the dish as a whole. Although the soft mushy filling had lot of elements that gave an occasional crunch to the dish the flavour was very prominent and constant – of that of cheese and this actually went in its favour. #Yummy
Gosht Shammi Kebab: Most of us didn’t appreciate the dish primarily because it was shammi kebab only in texture but not in taste. The brittle texture was perfected by the chef but what let down was that it had an overpowering taste of spices (like garam masala) without imparting its taste. The dish is supposed to be Awadhi cuisine and sorry to say it was nothing like that except for the looks and texture. The kebab makes generous use of hung curd and also has tangy element to it like that of a lime which was missing. I would give it a miss.
Mapo Tofu: Steamed silken tofu drenched in a hoisin and black pepper sauce, this dish was able to raise some brows in surprise. The tofu was marvellous and actually what can be called as silken. The sauce being a blend of hoisin and black pepper was a bit different and we took time to get our palate tips accustomed to this kind. We loved the sauce but can use some more experimentation to perfect the dish. #Recommended
Jerk Spiced Chicken with potatoes: Yet another dish for the evening where the sauce or the accompanying dip did justice to the dish as a whole. The dish had honey chilli roast chicken along with confit potatoes. The roasting was nice and crispy. This should be certainly on your list of must haves at the place. #MustHave
Sea Bass with lentil risotto: This was the dish that gave tough fight to the tilapia and was from amongst the signature dishes of the executive chef. It came with lot of greens in the form of lentils and peas which we sidelined and quickly jumped onto the sea bass. The fish was platted over porcini soil which had bread crumbs, raisins and walnuts in addition to the regular ingredients. The soil in itself was brilliant and it made the dish a marvel of molecular gastronomy. The fish was cooked perfectly and it had beatroot foam on top which gave a sharp contrasting taste to that of fish. #MustHave #HighlyRecommended
Vegetable skewers with chilly mash: As the name suggests this was a skewer which had series of veggies with a mild chilly mash coating. The veggies saw the likes of broccoli, cottage cheese, olives, corns and some spiced mashed potatoes by its side. This was a standard affair and would be appreciated by vegans. Since we are not into veggies or salads, we could do enough justice to the dish.
It was a luxurious escapade for the team and we had a lot of fun interacting with the chef and the team that has put their heart and soul into having this place stand tall. A big shout out to Damini from Q events and the management for having us over and giving us a glimpse of the House.