What started off as a quick casual brunch to try the menu at “Nest” quickly escalated into unfathomable conversations under the sun and an invite to try out a dedicated BONG menu curated just for myself and the mister. Such is the warm hospitable welcome you receive at Howard Johnson, Bengaluru and the Chef- Dev Bose, himself leaves no stones unturned to provide a gastronomic impetus that will leave you charmed beyond measure.
Howard Johnson, which is part of the Wyndham group, opened its doors in India last year and its all day dining outlet, Nest, provides an array of comfort American meals and regional favourites. Infused with local flavours, the freshest of produce and the careful observation of the Chef, the food here will hit the right spots. I started with my starters and however regular they might sound, they tasted absolutely delicious, succulent and the spices moderated impeccably.
I chose simple homely dishes from the buffet for the main course that included Dal, Chawal, Kerala Mutton Stew and some Plantains and somehow I believe that the simplest of foods take us to a complete food coma. There were desserts to end our meal with, of course and choices like Strawberry Gateaux, Passionfruit Pannacotta and Kheer, I was left spoilt!
The Bong dinner was class apart. With everything cooked by the Chef himself, who being Bengali, made sure that there was nothing amiss in his cooking. The “Shukto”, “Aloo Posto”, “Kosha Mangsho” and “Ghee Bhaat” took us away from planetary monotony and to a zone where we knew nothing apart from great food and equally great conversations. The dish of the day was obviously the Kosha Mangsho that had melt in your mouth mutton pieces and a gravy with just the right amount of spices to titillate your taste buds. For someone like me, who hated fish eggs, I thought the “Bora-r Jhaal” was an absolutely stellar creation that converted me into a fish eggs lover. The Mister, although a bong, has spent all his life running away from seafood and I was dumbfounded to watch him clean his plate of “Murighonto” a dish made of fish head, rice and dal- lick his fingers, lay back and pass a smile of satiation.
Between overflowing chatter, Sangrias and White Wines, we had to leave this bliss and retire into one of their spacious and beautiful rooms. They ensure that the “HoJo” philosophy is completely followed where they make the guests happy and with service like that, we were elated! Its sad that we were exhausted and dozed off in their comfortable bed but you can relax by the poolside, avail their spa services and fitness enthusiasts can wake up and workout at their gym and start the day with an expansive breakfast from the buffet. The last bit, which we did, happily!