Of chopsticks and lake views! Step inside East—The Asian Living Room at JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa where you can dine in traditional East Asian style over crisp shots of shochu and sake with an eclectic spread of Korean, Japanese and Cantonese dishes on the table.
The concept of fine dining has long surpassed the mainstream ideas of only focussing on the menu, leaving every other supporting element that makes a meal turn into an experience out of the narrative. While some undaunted outlets are letting the guests dine in the sky (literally!), a few others are making the most of the surroundings and terrain around, remoulding the canvas of luxury dining in their own winning ways. One such restaurant that is blending expected with exemplary is East—The Asian Living Room at JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa.
East and its visual drama!
I’d call it a rather intriguing cradle of Asian culinary fare. The newest restaurant addition to the repertoire of JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa, East is a riveting revelation of sorts with each step that leads towards its entrance. As they say, the eyes first feast on what’s around before the tastebuds dive into the grub business.
A conspicuous, large wooden plate engraved with the word EAST pulls your attention as you walk through a stone pathway fringed with landscaped greens. Fling open the doors to step inside, an air of calm and quiet hugs you first, like how returning to your home feels like. No wonder it is christened The Asian Living Room, as the restaurant attempts to mimic the indoors of an Asian house with every turn and corner decorated with a mix of oriental and minimal elements.
Freewheeling through one point to the other at East, moments of surprise play hide and seek. The main seating area that is bordered with a bar in one corner is only a typical high-end restaurant until you focus on what’s right in front—an attached balcony deck overlooking unbridled views of the manmade lake, whose sound of placid demeanour is enough to beguile you.
It is as though you are dining inside a picturesque painting, sitting and harkening on the conversation between the water, silhouettes of the Nandi Hills at the far back, and swaying, tall palm trees as you anticipate a sterling East-Asian feast to unfurl in front of your eyes.
On the other end of the restaurant, an open-air seating area with bright green grass poses as yet another reminder of being inside an Asian outpost with low tables and Japanese-style floor cushions spread around. It is like you’ve almost been transported to a traditional East-Asian home right in the heart of JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa. Alfresco is not all. East also hosts two private dining rooms, designed slightly more elaborately with statement chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows capturing the attention.
Unlocking a traditional Asian food trail
To only realise that you are yet to dig into an ambrosial Asian menu after absorbing the visual nuances of one-of-its-kind Asian dining in Bengaluru by the foothills of Nandi Hills, the anticipation heightens. Helmed by Indonesian chef Saiful Agam, East at JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa, the dining hour begins with a traditional service of pouring some warm herbal tea into tiny, cylindrical ceramic cups you usually see in Japanese households.
The menu rounds up multiple Asian cuisines such as Korean, Cantonese and Japanese. A smart choice for when you sense indecisiveness taking over, it is always a good idea to entrust the chef with his recommendations. So, I did and chef Saiful, who has previously worked behind the wok at several high-end Asian kitchens around the world, ecstatically took it upon him to dish out some scrumptious recipes from his pantry.
With the herbal tea downed at one go, I decided to not play it safe with flavours and experiment with their traditional spirit offerings before the culinary parade begins on the table. Along with a few refreshing cocktails, I also clinked my traditional ceramic cup of shochu, a clear distilled spirit from Japan, often considered the second most popular after sake. With a smooth glide on the tongue and a clear and crisp finish, at East, I ended up making friends with this beautiful traditional Japanese spirit.
Soon then arrived Chicken Satay Kandal, a perfectly done bunch of skewers paired best with chilli sauce. A colourful assortment of sushi lined up next, one was called Giant Roll, packed with prawn tempura, cream cheese, avocado, mayo and tempura crumb, and the other was Crazy California with crabmeat, avocado, cucumber and tobiko.
Craving a comforting, hot soup, I called for Beijing Wonton soup that brimmed with garlic broth and chicken dumplings—soft and tender to bite into—juicy pokchoy and scallion. What I usually saw on the screen on my Instagram arrived next on the table, also the chef’s speciality as he told us, the flying ramen noodles exhibited as flying (or frozen) in the air topped with Japanese broth and paired with exotic mushrooms and tobanjan spiced chicken.
They say you always have space for dessert and it is a hundred per cent true. The meal came to a close with Ruam Mitr, a version of one of the most popular Thai desserts made with coconut milk and a mélange of other ingredients and toppings. The Ruam Mitr at East was a potpourri of water chestnut, jackfruit, corn and coconut milk—a dessert balanced on its sweet quotient and so distinct that it might as well be called comfort in a bowl.
Address: JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa, Nandi Hills Road Karahalli Post, Kundana Hobli, Devanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)
Food: 7/10 | Drinks: 7/10 | Service: 8/10 | Decor: 7.5/10 | Vibe: 8/10 | One dish we loved: Ruam Mitr, a dessert to remember!
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