Rest : Hornby's Pavilion
Meal : Lunch
Loc : ITC Grand Central, Parel
Hornby's Pavilion is a coffee shop i have spent a fair bit of time at. They do a lot of festivals Hyderabadi, Coastal and this time it was the Rajasthani Food Festival. I spent a week in a heritage hotel outside of Jodhpur called Fort Chanwa. The chef at the hotel was a local villager and we had the most fabulous week of some very tasty dishes.
So it was with some excitement that i accepted the invitation and it turned into a little bloggers meet, which was an added bonus.
While the festival was on they were also serving their regular menu which included a selection of salads.as well as Lasagna which too was pretty good. I guess i cheated a little by trying out the non festival items.
The perfect accompaniment for a dinner like this is a glass of thick buttermilk, it wasn't cold but it was still pretty good, i am a fan of butter milk and this was as good as any ive had.
The piece de resistance of any Rajasthani meal has to be the Daal Baati, served here as a churma (crushed) with a spot of daal and some jaggery. While i don't enjoy jaggery in particular i didn't mind it as much here, the daal baati worked pretty well, no complaints. The generous dose of ghee meant it was quite a heavy dish, did not go back for seconds.
Poppadums are a must, the green one was i think made with spinach as well as believe it or not, foam from the Sambhar lake in Calcutta.
To start with there was some of the most amazing Paneer tikkis, little fried pieces of cottage cheese, brilliant these were. There was also the stuffed bhavnagri chilli which looks quite furious but was not very spicy.
The patra was delicious, dressed up like bhel, The Greek salad is pretty far from Rajasthani cuisine but it was allright. They also served some other traditional dishes, one of them similar to gatte ki sabzi along with bajra ki roti.
Some of the sweets on offer, Indian as well as the usual selection of desserts.
The Laksi was a traditional dessert from the chef's village which was very simple yet interesting.
Overall, the food was pretty decent, the coffee shop festival (anywhere) suffers from having to cater to the hotel's other guests which means a large cosmopolitan spread. The festival dishes are ample but a part of the larger spread, which means the diner is usually distracted.
It would work better if this were a separate option, served on a platter as Rajasthani cuisine is meant to be. Anyway, the food was good and the service was spot on.
The evening turned into a mini bloggers meet with @Foodchants, @CaramelWings, @ScrollsNInk & @Desh and yours truly joining us. Also pictured is Chef Kailash Maharaj the mid mannered, soft spoken chef who has worked in many a royal kitchen including that of the Late Maharani Gayatri Devi and is now at ITC Shonar in Calcutta. Also with us was the lovely Arundhati Ghosh from the ITC who was the architect of the evening.