Baan Tao Review– Gourmet It Up Experience of 6 course dining

The other week we found ourselves being invited to partake of what I feel is a unique experience. The invite sourced from ‘Gourmet It Up‘ and they loved the idea of a review posted on Lifestylerr for Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune.

Though Umesh isn’t too mad about oriental cuisine, the entire 6-course meal tasting with wine was nothing short of alluring. Looking forward to that was one of the reasons I used, to convince him to give Baan Tao and Gourmet It Up a chance. After the lunch event had come and gone, he was definitely glad that I pulled him along for the food-ride.

GourmetItUp Experience

While the event was scheduled to begin at midnoon, on the dot, we only managed to reach by 1pm (argghhhh..how I hate being late) — courtesy Pune’s insane traffic. My friends know me pretty well and they’ll tell you how I have upheld punctuality ever since I was a kid. I would reach bang on time for birthday parties too, not realizing that people in India might end up mocking me for this habit and mistake my timeliness for desperation to be at the party. Well, that’s a long story that needs a dinner setting to be fully appreciated so I will leave that for later.

Gourmet It Up experience and the Baan Tao review of it all.

The restaurant, let me just say, was breathtakingly beautiful. I was a tad bit disappointed with the valet service at Hyatt, though. There was just the one guy handling the whole parking process which left us waiting for someone to be catered to before it was our car’s turn.

At Baan Tao, we were warmly greeted by Deepa Jain (co-founder of ‘Gourmet It Up’) and her team. Also present were a group from Baan Tao, not to forget the wine connoisseur Suvona from Sula wines who was at the meet to share insight on the art of wine pairing. This she did at lunch. After the regular meet-and-greet’s, howdies and hola’s were done between Umesh, me and my friends Ali, Farzana and Deepti, we were ready to feast. We were handed menus as well as a booklet that shared more information about Gourmet It Up.

The table was artistically laid out in black and white. The space had a huge faux waterfall in the backdrop. It made quick work of changing a sunny afternoon in to a pleasant, for lack of a better description, rainy-day feel.

GourmetItUp Experience

The tasting event was sparked off with a Sula Brut Rosé, an easy but sophisticated sparkling wine with a pleasing salmon (pinkish) shade. Suvona explained its features to us and why it was a perfect accompaniment to salads, which was actually our first course.

Baan Tao impressed me from the get-go. The Crisp Ice Berg Salad with Japanese Peanut Dressing and the Thai Style Spicy Cucumber Relish were as refreshing as they were wonderfully presented. They made it to my list of Best’s. I was so inspired by the taste I know I’m going to try replicating those at home sometime.

Baan Tao Review

We then had to choose from four different varieties of soup. Umesh and I opted for the Vegetable Cantonese Hot and Sour with Chin Kiang Vinegar which was a bit too tangy but the drizzle of chilli oil balanced the flavors to some extent.

The appetizers comprised an extensive spread of Dimsums and Dumplings which were paired with the Sula Riesling and made for a magical combo. The Hargao Classic Cantonese Prawn Dumplings were delish but I am too keen when it comes to that ‘fishy’ smell seafood (which I have recently picked up savoring) always possesses even after being cooked to perfection. In the case of the Prawn Dumplings, that scent was way too much for me to handle.

Baan Tao Review

The rest of the Appetizer company, especially Pan Fried Gyoza, the Crystal Chive Dumpling, Braised Wonton with Fresh Coriander and HuaTiew Wine were yummy to the core, each tasting better than the other. Let me just declare, Baan Tao serves the best dumplings ever. The wine was a great accompaniment to the whole affair. It brought ideal palate balance, especially with its notes of sugar with hints of honey and peach.

It was now time for the main course with which the Dindori Reserve Shiraz was paired. I have no other way to frame my mini-review for this dish but for the fact that it was somewhat dry for a main course. The Stir Fried Sliced Chicken with Box Thorn Fruit and Bamboo Pith and Vegetable Red Curry with Thai Basil, Pea Aubergine and Bird Eye Chilli with Vegetable Garlic Fried Rice were awesome.

Baan Tao Review

 

Baan Tao Review

Though my tummy was full, I waited eagerly for the desserts (and you know what a dessert freak I am). Once you read what those desserts were, you will know why I was so eager to try them all.

With the desserts was paired the Late Harvest Chenin Blanc – a special dessert wine from Sula which was outstanding. In my opinion, it was the perfect way to close the amazing meal at Baan Tao and the 6-course Gourmet It Up experience that was treating me very well so far.

The Lemongrass Panna Cotta teleported me to an imagined zone where I was seated at a lakeside portico savoring the beauty of this artfully crafted sweet-dish – it was that impactful. Umesh fell in love with the Classic Pound Cake which was extremely buttery and soft yet crumbly at the same time – I don’t know how they do it.

GourmetItUp Experience

10/10 to the chef from Baan Tao for presenting such an awesome dessert spread for us to review. The Green Tea Crème Brulee with White-Chocolate Bavaroise was an incomparable delight. I couldn’t help but start craving for a few more portions of all the desserts served up that day. I got as far as I could go, though. The Mango and Coconut Pudding was nice but it kinda lacked the punch of coconut flavor the dish deserved.

I blame this slight review-downside to the other desserts each of which transported me to another dimension, filled with sweet possibilities. I’m not kidding, the dessert scene at Baan Tao is nothing short of magical.

For those of you reading this review, drooling like a pack of hungry wolves and envying me for being treated to such an awesome event, you haven’t heard the last part. I saved the best for now, I guess.

Each of us who attended was presented with a special, and let me add HUGE and HEAVY, goodie box from Gourmet It Up with FoodHall delicacies nestled elegantly inside and just waiting to explode onto our senses.

GourmetItUp Experience

GourmetItUp Experience

 

There aren’t enough thank-you’s to Gourmet It Up for sending me this exclusive invite and following it up with one of the most super duper dining experiences I have ever had in recent months. A big note of gratitude to Baan Tao too, for giving us an opportunity to review this delicious spread. And, boy, was it delicious!

For those who aren’t completely aware of what Gourmet It Up is: “GourmetItUp.com is an online portal for exclusive culinary experiences. The company’s restaurant partners include some of Mumbai & Pune’s top restaurants, and the experiences range from chef’s tables and off-menu set meals to master classes and mixology classes.

And now for Lifestylerr’s Score Card for Baan Tao:

Food: 4.5

Ambience: 4.5

Service: 4.5

VFM: 4

Lifestylerr’s Score for the Gourmet It Up Experience:

5

 

The 6 course dining experience sans the wines at Baan Tao is priced at 1299 all inclusive per person.

Image Credit: FarzanaAliasgarMukhtiar.

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