Navu Project...back with a bang!

My wife and I distinctly remember our very first meal at Navu Project, when it was at its previous location, being one of our very early meals outside after the lock down of the pandemic years. I vividly recall telling my wife after the first few bites of the Cauliflower Creme Brulee that food like this makes me want to write again and share my experiences. While I never did get around to writing about that meal, and the many others that we had in the months to follow, here's our experience of a lovely dinner from two weeks ago at Navu Project's new location.

Having moved to a smaller, more cozy location in Domlur, the kitchen continues to put up brilliant food. We started with our forever-favourite- the Cauliflower Creme Brulee. I've lost count of the number of times I've recommended this to anyone going there for dinner. The balance of texture and flavour has always brought a smile to my face. When we ordered the Jackfruit and Litchi salad, expecting it to be similar to a sweet and spicy Thai papaya salad. What arrived was this spice-forward Asian-inspired salad with pops of sweetness from the litchi, wonderfully balanced with the flavours of jackfruit and pops of garlic. Nothing like what we had in mind, but enjoyable nonetheless. The house special Moo Bresaola was another dish whose eight-month aged meat in wine I thoroughly enjoyed, although the portion size was a tad much for one person.

Navu Project Cauliflower Creme Brulee
Cauliflower Creme Brulee

Jackfruit and Litchee Salad

In an evening where every dish was a belter, the first stand-out dish was the Spinach Agnolotti. It's been ages since I've thoroughly enjoyed a pasta so much. The wonderful hand-made pasta with delicious spinach filling was a vibrant green colour with a delectable aroma that was perfectly balanced with the slightly earthy flavour and creamy texture of the celeriac fondue, topped off with parsnip crisps for a nice crunchy element.We were quite tempted to order a second, but chose to try more dishes off the new menu... which brings us to the second highlight of the evening, the Mustard Ice Cream with Tomato Salad. The wildest flavour of ice cream I've had till date has been a wasabi-flavoured ice cream; the mustard ice cream comes in at a close second. The  ice cream had a robust flavour to it with the pungent and sharp notes of the mustard perfectly balanced out with sweet notes, leaving your palate craving for the next spoon. The salad with the cherry tomatoes brought a nice fresh element to complete this dish. Although, I am happy to have just the ice cream by itself.

Spinach Agnolotti

Spinach Agnolotti

Mustard Ice Cream with Tomato Salad

For the main course, my wife chose the Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter and Mushrooms from the special menu while I chose a more traditional Lamb Chops with Roast Carrots and Pistachio Pesto. The perfectly cooked gnocchi was elevated with the roasted notes and aroma of the sage brown butter and mushrooms. Perfect food for the soul. With Navu Project, perfectly cooked lamb chops is a given. What stood out for me was the pistachio pesto and the carrot puree that took a classic lamb chop to a whole new level. I decided abandon the fine-dine decencies of the fork and knife and used my hand to clean up the lamb chops with dipping every bite in the pesto and puree.

Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter and Mushrooms

Lamb Chops with Roast Carrots and Pistachio Pesto

We all know that the stomach has a separate compartment for dessert. (wink wink). That coupled with the fact we could not agree on a single dessert, we ordered two. Navu Project's re imagination of the classic Baklava with a very airy custard in a paper thin pastry was something else altogether. Besides bursting with all the right flavours, the lightness of the dessert was such that one could almost inhale it. We closed dinner with the Navu Chocolate Bar..

Navu Baklava
Navu Chocolate Bar

I'm delighted that Navu Project is open again. A farcry from the loud ( interior decor and noise) places that one has come to expect with every second restaurant that opens in Bengaluru, the ambiance of the new space of Navu Project is intimate and perfect for the kind of fare they serve. The focus is clearly on having the "biggest" flavor and not the real estate.  At the moment, they're open for dinner with relatively limited seating. Make sure you block your seats in advance, I would recommend sitting by the high table near the kitchen for a more homely experience. The wife and I are eagerly looking forward to our next meal there to try everything else on the menu, before it changes for the season.