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Scotch Whisky and the art of blending

I was at Gadang, the Sports Bar at Park Plaza, Bangalore for an Art of Blending session where Diageo demystified the elusive blending secrets of five of their finest whisky. 

Hemant Mundkur, United Spirits Brand Ambassador, unraveled the rich legacy and science of the art that makes a ‘Scotch Whisky savoring experience’ absolutely unforgettable. 

Here's a photo tour of the wonderful evening...







As the guests for the evening were slowly trickling in and there was still time for the event to commence, I decided to raid the bar and try some scotch based cocktails...


I liked the Red Label Mule - Johnnie Walker Red Label married with sweetness and spice to create this signature serve with ginger ale and fresh citrus...



A game of pool before we start...






Hemant Mundkur took guests through the world of Scotch, transporting them to where it all started – Scotland, the land that perfected the art of making a ‘wee bit of dram’ over centuries. A fun, interactive session, where the enthusiasts indulged in trivia that revealed facts of blending and what makes a quintessential Scottish blend so coveted...



Here are the five stars of the evening - Vat69, Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve, Black&White, Johnnie Walker Red Label, and Johnnie Walker Black Label...


Each whisky was explored for its color, aroma, taste and finish...


The raw ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, orange peel, plum cake etc. were handy inclusions that helped in comparing the taste and aroma in the blends...



As the session progressed, we became quite skillful in identifying the unique characteristics of each of these finest Scotch Whiskies...


A blind tasting session was conducted to see who can correctly identify the drink...

 And the joy upon guessing the right whisky...


Prapti shared some short and sweet thoughts...



We also tasted a special menu curated by Chef Narender Singh, Park Plaza, which paired very well with the scotch whiskies at the ‘Art of Blending’ session...








My favorite whisky of the day was Vat 69...


 With its fruity, soft finish and a spicy aftertaste, VAT 69 delighted me...


 Overall it was a very informative and enjoyable evening. Leaving you with some trivia about the five featured whiskies...

VAT69: The ‘One in a Hundred’ scotch blend that stood out, VAT69 was the outcome of Sir William Sanderson’s relentless pursuit to create the best blend in 1882. The preferred choice of the avant-garde, it has a fruity, soft finish and a spicy aftertaste.

Black&White: Best enjoyed when shared and savoured amongst friends, James Buchanan created Black & White in 1902. Named after two affable and lovable Scottish terriers, 3 malts whiskies together form the heart of this blend:  Dalwhinnie, Clynelish and Glendullan. Black&White a light a predominant grainy note and smooth, long-lasting flavor.

Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve: Created by Sir Walter Millard’s ingenious craft, this Scotch Whisky is triple matured for enriched quality. Millard named this blend, ‘Black Dog’ after his favorite fishing fly. For over 130 years, this luxury blend continues to enchant whisky lovers with elegant woody flavors with silky smooth finish.

Johnnie Walker Red Label: A timeless classic, the Walker family used their vast knowledge of Scotland’s malts and grains to create a rich, full-bodied blend with universal appeal. With its combination of light whiskies from Scotland’s east coast and dark, peaty whiskies from west coast, Johnnie Walker Red Label has exceptional rich, deep flavors.

Johnnie Walker Black Label: With its origins in 1870s, Johnnie Walker Black Label is an acclaimed masterpiece of blending craftsmanship. Its depth drawn from over 40 selected grains and malt whiskies, each aged for a minimum of 12 years. It is smooth and warming, with a medium sweet finish and hints of peat

Baja Beach Break at Habanero

I was back at Habanero, the tex-mex restaurant in Bangalore for a Baja Beach Break. 

Mexico's Baja Peninsula is a popular beach destination for tourists, and is known to be one of the best beaches in the world. Sun worshippers, surfers and paddlers flock to this beach for the water, sun and sand, and the beach resorts are also famous for serving sumptuous coastal Mexican dishes dominated by seafood items and lime flavors. 


This year, Habanero gives us a tour of Mexico by showcasing a special menu every month from various Mexican regions. 

Here's a photo tour of the "Baja Beach Break" special menu, containing delicious Mexican fish, shrimp and chicken dishes and tropical cocktails...



Lime Lacquered chicken skewers. Chicken was tender and the slightly sweet glaze was good with it...


Paneer skewers for the vegetarians...


Seer fish Ceviche made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, and spiced with chili peppers was my favorite of the day. It was easy to eat and felt really fresh...


I think Ema, one of my co-diners liked it too...


Habanero Pina Colada with Rum...



And the non-alcoholic Pina Colada comes in a really huge glass...


Main course had Garlic Shrimp Soft Tacos...


The tacos came with a portion of rice and beans. It was tasty and quite filling...


Big salad with grilled pineapple and seer fish...


Coconut flan with homemade chocolate truffle was an interesting dessert...


Overall it was another good meal at Habanero. Leaving you with a group photo of the diners with chef Dan... 


KFC Chizza



KFC's latest creation is a pizza with fried chicken crust. Aptly called Chizza. I tried the same  with my family.  It was an interesting eat. Here are some pics...


























Chinese New Year Menu at Shao - Park Plaza

Shao is an Oriental fine dining restaurant at Park Plaza, Bangalore. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Shao has curated a special menu that includes many authentic Chinese New Year delicacies. 
Here's a photo tour...
 

This year marks the Year of the Monkey. The Monkey is the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac.


The main celebrations of the festival include the family reunion dinner. Shao has a perfect setting for one. I like the dining tables with rotating center tray...

The place is artfully decorated with very elegant looking curios... 
 


A big thumbs up to the interior designer of Park Plaza. They have some pretty neat settings that form great backdrops for photographs...


A wall with the most beautiful frying pans...


A nice lady serves the drinks...

 The Raspberry cooler was really refreshing and lush...


Crispy apple was a tasty thing to start with...

Prawn crackers are so addictive. They are the perfect snack, you can munch without filling your stomach...

Lung Fung soup with chicken and prawns was served with steamed buns...

The soup was silky and perfect with minced chicken and some Chinese herbage...

I would like to make a special mention of the Steamed Buns that were served with the soup. They were amazing...

Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong tea is served between courses...

 The tea is light and enjoyable all through the meal...

You can watch the chefs at work in the live kitchen...
          

The team is directed by Chef Narender Singh, the celebrated chef who has received numerous international awards. He has even been awarded by US President...

Pan seared Gyoza with scallops, tiger prawns and Dragon Chicken with pepper sauce...

Vegetable rice paper roll was interesting...


Traditional Chinese Whole Fried Fish with vegetable Schezwan sauce. Fish is usually eaten or merely displayed on the eve of Chinese New Year. According to Chinese traditions the fish is served to the head of the family. The head of the family portions the fish for everyone at the table. Some of it is left behind as a sign of surplus for the whole year. In our case, I did the honor of making the first incision...

For the main course there was Roasted Lamb slices with Bokchoy...

Ka Saun Tofu... 

Stir fried vegetables...

Stir fried Soba(Buckwheat) Noodles...

Steamed Jasmine rice...

Stir fried long noodles. In Chinese tradition, long noodles symbolizes long life...

My plate also contained Hunan Styled chicken with assorted peppers. Chicken is served because it is figured that any family, no matter how humble their circumstances, can afford a chicken for Chinese New Year...


The little co-diner ate the dishes with such obvious relish. Children give the most honest reviews...

Fresh fruit rolls with ice cream and lychee didn't photograph well but was delicious. The rolls were crunchy and perfect for dipping into the Vanilla ice cream...

The meal was awesome and I would definitely want to come back here. Leaving you with the lovely smile of a pretty lady at Shao...
           

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