After battling the peak traffic on KH Road, I couldn’t wait to sit down and have a decent meal. But what welcomed me at The Courtyard was beyond expected.
I was transported to another realm as I entered the venue; courtesy, Safeeras Gaffar, an artist’s immersive installation of ‘Wish Upon a Star’. The art installation of lights and elegant origami set the mood for the rest of my evening.
I was at the revamped Courtyard Bistro for a Mediterranean-style sit-down dinner curated by Chef Kanishka of The Tenth Muse. The dinner was a part of the Bistro’s latest initiative — The Courtyard Food Project — which is a celebration of food, community, people and stories.
Imagine sitting down on a candle-lit long table with 20 other strangers, with whom you bond over delicious food, wine (refreshing non-alcoholic drinks are on offer too) and conversations, that is what the sit-down dinners aim to do.
Before each course, Chef Kanishka explained the significance of the dish which added to the gastronomical journey.
Our dinner began with ‘Sardine Rillettes’, made from sardines, green onions, cream cheese and shallot, a French dish that acts as a spread. It’s very subtle in flavour and paired well with sourdough bread.
Our experience was taken up a notch when we were presented with a colourful bowl of ‘Citrus Salad’. Popular in Tunisia, this one was had fresh oranges, mosambi and lettuce with lime dressing. The tangy salad prepped our palate for the main course.
We were served ‘Stuffed Squid’, an Italian beauty for the main course. Also called as Sicilian stuffed squid, the calamari dish was simple and flavourful. Unlike the usual semolina covered calamari, this authentic dish had a buttery taste because of its unique preparation.
With many interesting conversations going around the table, we didn’t realise it was almost time for dessert.
It was a sight in itself when ‘Pavlova’, a Russian dessert, was served. Filled with meringue and fruit curd, it literally melted in my mouth. It was simple with a white crust which was made of egg and sugar. The crisp biscuit-like crumbly cake and fruit curd-lime flavour was a perfect touch.
The concept of sit-down dinners is an interesting one. Traditionally, it has women who prepare the meal talking about the food. But here, it felt like a cultural space where it combined food, art and stories. The setting intimate and the late evening breeze combined with the salty tastes from the seas in soft lights transports the patron into a world of flavour that evoke the senses.
To experience the installation ‘Wish Upon a Star’ visit The Courtyard before February 17th, and the best time to experience it is after 6.30 pm.
Follow The Courtyard on Facebook for the latest updates on events and sit-down dinners. It’s located at 105, Double Road, Shanti Nagar. Price for sit-down dinners ranges between Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per head (depending on the menu). The regular cafe menu is approximately Rs 750 for two.