A divine bit of meat

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PANCAKESJuly 4;There is something rather reassuring about a good steak—a sort of old-fashioned comfort that comes with eating something unfussy, basic and solid. A large hunk of perfectly cooked meat, a small bowl of sauce and a pile of vegetables certainly hits the right spot when you are famished.

And the exclusive steak menu at Cilantro is all about celebrating the perfect steak. Conceptualized by Chef Richard Graham, the menu brings together on the same platform, steaks from every part of the world.

The welcome drink—a sweet, mashed melon squash is refreshing and rather unusual and I sip my way happily through it. The bread basket that arrives after that however is a real disappointment—though the minute rolls in there look appetizing enough, the bread is dry and stale and I put mine down after a bite, hoping that this isn’t a precursor to the food itself.

Thankfully, once the steaks begin to arrive I am proved wrong. The range may be mind-bogglingly diverse and the flavours eclectic but they are all without exception undoubtedly delicious.

We start with an old classic—the Rib-eye. Cut from the rib, the meat is succulent, flavourful and perfectly cooked, with a brown, crisp outer layer and soft, pink centre. The trumpet mushroom sauce is plentiful and perfectly seasoned, as are the accompanying vegetables.

Next is some good old southern comfort—the fried chicken steak. Two large bits of meat coated in thick, crunchy, supremely delicious batter repose on my plate along with an exceedingly large pile of fried potatoes. With it are a buttery hollandaise sauce and a cream based tartar sauce. It truly is a heart attack on a plate and I can almost envisage the heavy grease and cream settling around my arteries. A bite later and I simply don’t care. It is almost like having a fling with a bad boy—you know it is not good for you in the long run but you just can’t stop yourself from diving head-first into it.

My appetite is flagging by now with all the meat and grease inside me but the next round—a large order of Vietnamese style pork chops perks it up. Doused in soy sauce with a sprinkle of spices and splash of sake, the sweet and sour medley of flavours is finger-licking good.

Next is a slice of old-world Germany—a Bavarian Roulade. Cheese and gherkins are swathed by thin, finely cut slices of meat, before being gently browned, cooked in broth and served with a side order of vegetables and bell pepper marmalade. The amount of meat I have consumed is overwhelming and I’m delighted that the next item is for vegetarians, a serving of Salt Pancakes. The pancake itself is decadently soft and the filling is delicious—a soft crumble of mushroom and Riccotta topped with a creamy Tomato Smetana. There is also a tasty but slightly boring vegetarian steak, on a bed of cheese laced aubergines.

Last and certainly not the least comes dessert—the mix is unusual, the normally stodgy caramel custard is laced with an alphonso mango jus. But it somehow works and I take second and third helpings unashamedly. I am bursting at the seams by now and I cannot help but agree with Chef Richard as he looks at my satiated face and beamingly remarks, “Ah, a steak is a divine thing, indeed.”

Cilantro is located at the Halcyon Residences- Drafadilla Layout 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 47. For reservations call 080 41102200 or +91 8861200998

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