I think I’m becoming boring. The last time I went to Zen at The Park, I basically cajoled Chef Ananchai to make me Ema Dashi with extra chillies, which is, unfortunately, a favourite and what I keep on ordering. I ordered the same for my Restaurant Week Meal at The Zen, and I am deeply afraid I might become a creature of habit. That’s why, I have plans to order something different the next time I go there, and while I was planning all this, I got a call from the Park about a revamp of The Bridge’s menu.
“I don’t think I can completely change the entire menu”, comments Sharad Dewan, the Regional Director of Food Production at The Park is a mild-mannered gentleman who rules the kitchen and creates concoctions that are rather interesting, to put it mildly, I inch my way towards the Baba Ganoush on the Mezze Platter, helping myself to some of it on a bit of lavash before munching on it contemplatively. A cup of coffee arrives – a latte for my sore throat, and the creamy, bitter brew is exactly what I need on a cold day. The other thing I pick from the Mezze platter is the Felafel – the chickpea fritters are cut into cubes, which make it easy for me to wrap them in Hummus-slathered Pita and add an olive on top before popping the entirety of it in one greedy go.
The menu hasn’t changed much, thankfully, because there are some crowd favourites which cannot be taken off the menu without a few cries of outrage. However, some of the dishes have been improved upon – for example, the Cheese Kulcha is drizzled with Truffle oil and dotted with zingy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto – mini roundels of creamy, truffle-flavoured blistered cheese on a thin, flour crust. I like the Burrata, which is sourced from Bangalore and is dressed simply to let the cheese shine through.
A set of pizzas arrive – thin crust and loaded with vegetables. I like the grilled vegetables, especially the broccoli on the pesto-based pizza, while steering clear from the Pizza Marinara, which is loaded with my Kryptonite – prawns. The Chef promises something special, and runs off to the kitchen. A short while later, a pizza with Bacon and Burrata is presented, and I cannot help but grin at the extravaganza of the crisp bacon and creamy cheese curds against the thin crust which barely manages to contain them.
Our mains create a bit of a dilemma – we contemplate what to pick – in the end, I am torn between the Wild Mushroom Ravioli and the Pork Chops – and end up getting a portion of both. N, sitting on my opposite, turns towards the chicken, while R, sitting on the other end of the table, picks the Bengali Potato Curry, Served with Yellow Dal and Phulka – comfort food at its simplest, served in a tiffin box.
N’s dish of Spatchcock Chicken arrives sizzling to the table. Its fiery hot and succulent, the hoisin lending a delicious sweetness to the charred meat – creating a bittersweet symphony (I beg your pardon, The Verve!) which is countered by the buttery smooth potatoes.
The wild mushroom ravioli is, for the lack of a better word, decadent. Its deliciously earthy and more-ish, the raviolis stuffed with meaty mushrooms and topped with a brown sauce which echoes the robust flavour. It doesn’t really need the crispbread on top, which is quite bland in comparison, but is a stunning dish by itself.
The Spaghetti Carbonara is creamy and mild – the egg and Parmesan thankfully not overwhelming the al dente pasta, and the crisp, smoky bacon and parsley adding the much-needed extra dimension to the dish. The sauce clings to the pasta and can be felt in every bite.
The Pork Chops come accompanied with rice and bacon-wrapped dates, and a large pineapple ring on top. I ignore the fruit and dive into the meat. Its not as tender as I would like it to be, but the meat is seasoned well, the fat makes its presence felt but doesn’t overwhelm, and the rice is fluffy and drenched with the pig’s flavouring. The bacon wrapped date is sweet and salty and quite likeable – I can make a meal out of a plateful of them, I think.
Oh wait, I have.
Dessert is a light, fluffy Single Origin Chocolate Mousse with a hint of citrus and a touch of smoke and a good deal of chocolate. The revamped menu of The Bridge is definitely promising, and the new menu is going to be a stunner.