When it comes to dining, my ideal restaurants fall into two categories. In the first, the dishes consist of clean, natural flavors brought out by a simple cooking process. In the second, the preparations are more complex, featuring several flavors united in surprising and uncommon ways.
Tabla most definitely falls into the second category. Described as New American cuisine infused with an Indian flavor, dining here was an opportunity to experience a wide array of unique, bold flavor combinations. Watermelon curry? Rhubarb napoleon? Reading the menu was akin to reading foodie poetry.
[Sorry for the poor photo quality – restaurant lighting is always less than ideal]
Diners are given two choices at Tabla – either enjoy a five course tasting menu or select three courses a la carte. My family never does tastings, because then we’d all be eating the same thing (boring!).
We started with a bottle of Loring Wine Company pinot noir, which had a nice spicy finish:
I spotted a dish on the vegetarian tasting menu that didn’t appear to be offered a la carte, but the chefs were very accommodating and willingly made it for me. I always appreciate flexibility, and as a result, I was able to enjoy this as an appetizer:
Fresh roasted asparagus surrounding semolina polenta cooked with kokum and coconut milk. This was so good. I can’t even describe.
As an entree, I chose the soft shell crab, cooked in a coriander broth with green mango and spring onions:
I somehow lost the photo of my dessert, but I chose pineapple croquettes with almond butter (!), pink peppercorn ice cream, and a ginger lemongrass sauce. We all agreed that the desserts were perfectly portioned – not stingy, but just perfectly sized to enjoy a few bites and cap off the meal.
Then we were presented with these:
Blame my sister for one of the missing white chocolates – she got a little eager before I had a chance to snap the photo. Also, those chocolates on the end were filled with halva, which is possibly one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve ever seen or tasted.
Being that it was Sunday night, the restaurant was relatively quiet, and we enjoyed our meal upstairs at a cozy corner table. The waitstaff was attentive but never pretentious or overbearing, so the experience never felt rushed. We all had a lovely and very tasty evening. I would definitely recommend this one!