Radisson does it again and with utmost poise. After experiencing their Thai restaurant Neung Roi, it was time for their Kashmir to Kabul food festival at The Great Kebab Factory.
The elaborate menu for this particular festival features an assortment of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian kebabs, curries and biryani. The non vegetarian kebab platter is a sinful and delectable affair with mellow galouti kebabs, smoked buttery Sumac Jheengha (prawns sourced from Kashmir), Saufiyani Kashmiri kebab which are subtle yet smoky, fine, tender & crusty lamb chops or Tabak Maaz, black pepper laced luscious Murg Kanti kebab and crispy Ajwain fried fish. I only tasted lotus stem or Nadru ke kebab which had a lovely grainy texture.
Usually, such buffet spreads prefer to not concentrate around light beverages and breads but the vegetarian Yakhni soup with sweet breads, Sheermal, salty & watery Chaanch are there to relieve your belly from the onslaught of delicious main course.
The Rogan Josh served here was excellent with the prominence of cumin seeds and tomatoes and went well with soft Afghani naans. The chicken biryani was flavourful with succulent chicken pieces.
The dessert platter could not be more sinful! The crispy jalebis with thick and smooth rabri, the saffron & pistachio infused milky kulfi, the refreshing Paan ice-cream, the tepid Kheer and the unusual apple halwa will fill your alimentary canal up to the brim.
A traditional cuisine specific food festival has a special place in my heart. Especially when that cuisine is from the Punjabi heartland of our country. So when JW Marriot, Aerocity comes up with an Amritsari Swaad Tadka at their famed K3, could I have said no? Absolutely no!
Starting from perfectly smoked Kandhari Paneer Tikka, juicy and tangy mushrooms – Tandoori Khumbh, spicy Highway Tandoori Kukkad (chicken cooked in hand pounded spices) and meat de tikki (chewy mutton prepared in aromatic spices), your belly does get filled after these appetizing appetizers.
And what is a Punjabi meal if it is not relished with Makke di roti, Sarson da saag, chhole and stuffed kulche? Though the chhole could have been spicier although the texture was excellent.
And for vegetarians, there is a dearth of varied options – Paneer Taka Tak (loved it!), Kadhi Chawal, Hare moong ki daal (now that is something new!) and Matar Vadiyan di sabzi.
And for non vegetarians, the Mutton Chawal is one dish worth experimenting. The mutton pieces are succulent although the rice could be more flavourful. Do not expect Biryani, this is Amritsar special.
And the best one is always reserved for the last. Ever heard of mutton keema halwa? Yes you read it right, the keema halwa. This was warm and heavenly and tasted like moong daal halwa.
So when are you visiting next? The festival is on till 25th November.
Baked Jalapeno and Tobasco Chicken Wings: Never knew that the baked wings could be soft with the flesh coming off the bones so easily! But it seemed that the wings are dipped in tangy spices rather than getting imbibed in them. The texture is good, the flavour is average considering the presence of Tobasco sauce.
Chicken Lollies with beer dip: Again the texture if wonderful – soft insides and slightly chewy & crispy exterior. But again the flavour – the dips served were far too less in the quantity.
Italian Pizza: Thin crust with the optimum amount of cheese which is also of good quality is difficult to find these days. Add to it the lovely combination of tangy jalapenos and firm pepperoni which compliment each other so well – you will have a hard time letting go of the last bite. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Tomato, corn and roasted vegetables in spinach Lasagna sheets: The story about good quality cheese did not end with pizza, it had a second part in the mouth gasmic lasagne as well. The grilled French beans, bell peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes neatly enveloped in thin lasagne sheets and cheese on a bed of a rich red sauce is surely breath taking. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Sookha Mutton with Appam: Those who have tasted or are even aware of how Appams are will be highly disappointed with this dish. Appams are bowl shaped with minimal thickness whereas these resembled pancakes. The mutton was cooked well and had a lovely tenderness to it, but the presence of so many spices will overwhelm you.
Grilled sole with butter roast garlic and spicy vegetables: My favourite ensemble of all the time – grilled steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables in a heavenly sauce was perfectly replicated here. The sole has a light crustiness to it and the vegetables are juicy to the core. But the lemon butter garlic sauce is seductive! The presence of chopped garlic is so scintillating! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Home made Paan ice cream: Perfect ending to a perfect day. The ice cream has the right consistency and you actually feel like you are relishing Paan. The presence of organic Gulkand ups the game. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Delivery: On time
Packaging: Hygienic and attractive.
Lucknawi Biryani: I shall stop myself from comparing this one with the authentic one from Lucknow. But I feel that till date, it is one of the very few Biryanis which is slightly closer to the original Lucknawi. The long grained aromatic rice, some of them drenched in the saffron tinge will entice you with its aromatic warmth. And who can forget those succulent and decadent mutton pieces which speak subtlety and class? The biryani is not spicy but flavourful and hot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Godavari Chicken Biryani: So instead of the Hyderabadi one which is way too spicy, I decided to indulge in a novel Biryani and was pleased to taste it. The earthy flavour of curry leaves along with a peppery taste of coastal spices does satiate your taste buds. Add to this the crusty layer on the chicken pieces and you have a winner! However, the aggregated cluster of spices could be improved. RECOMMENDED.
On time delivery with top notch packaging
Mutton Seekh Kebab: The fineness of the minced meat is commendable but the spiciness level mars this snack. Moreover, the seekh is not as firm as it should be.
Bharwa Malai Soya Chaap: This beauty is a heaven for vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. The finely minced mixture of cottage cheese, cashews, onions and coriander leaves filled inside juicy and firm soya chaap which are drenched in a sticky yoghurt based sauce wil definitely leave you in splits. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Malai Tikka: My love for chicken malai tikka continues to grow day by day, year by year. So could I stop myself with just one serving when these lovely boneless chicken pieces sloshed in a creamy sauce? No, absolutely not! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Kali Mirch Murg: When I order chicken in black pepper, I specifically wish to have the prominence of the burning flavour of the pepper which was lacking here. However, forgetting the name of the dish helps as the luscious chicken pieces washed in cashew nut based creamy gravy with hints of pepper gives you a major food gasm. RECOMMENDED.
Awadhi Mutton Biryani: I have stated it time and again that an Awadhi biryani should not be too spicy and should be more flavourful compared to the Hyderabadi one. The case was same here except for the fact that the mutton pieces were mellow and the raita complimented the biryani well.
My rating: 4/5
Will I try it again? Yes, for malai chaap and chicken malai tikka.
On time delivery
Awadhi mutton dum biryani: The mutton pieces were available in plenty and were mellow in taste but the biryani was way too spicy. Awadhi dum biryani is supposed to be high on flavours and low on spices but the case was opposite here. There were bundles of raw spices, burnt flavour of caramelized onions and absence of saffron – for a biryani, these are not good signs.
Hyderabadi chicken dum biryani: Well well, these folks surely know how to dish out the most juicy, spice loaded non vegetarian but again, this biryani was not as spicy as a Hyderabadi should be. RECOMMENDED.
Gaajar ka halwa: This fabulous Indian dessert deserves a worthy mention here. First, this has to be the best gaajar ka halwa I have had apart from my home. Second, the melt in the mouth consistency will leave you love struck. Third, the moderate sweetness and the subtle finesse with which it has been prepared will compel you to have more of it. The owner told me that they stir the grated carrots in ghee for a longer duration and this activity gives the halwa the requisite mouth warming texture. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
So finally there is a café in Gurgaon which is located in the premium location of Golf Course Road and which is not a water hole unlike the proliferating restaurants here.
Forestta deserves a special mention for being a place where you can sit quietly with your friends and family, enjoy their collection of best selling books, play snooker or relish Karoake on Thursday nights. It is a no go place for alcohol lovers and kid friendly too.
Wooden interiors and vibrant ambience with a touch of greenery welcome you as you sail aboard this place. The menu is varied and is optimally priced. Here are a few items that I recently binged upon:
Mango Smoothie: Made from real alphonso mangoes with no added flavours, this one is a must try for smoothie lovers.
Veg kebab platter: A well grilled paneer tikka, crispy tandoori broccoli drenched in spices, juicy mushrooms and mellow poatatoes filled with a peppery filling – vegetarians, you have a profound reason to visit this place.
Non veg platter: Fish Tikka which does not disintegrate easily and is soft to the core, mouth gasmic chicken tikka which is extra mellow, firm yet juicy mutton seekh kebab and spicy and tangy tandoori chicken – it is difficult to stop yourselves if you are a hardcore non vegetarian.
Afghani Tandoori momos: As of the usual Tandoori momos were not enough! With a chewy exterior and mushy interiors slathered in a sticky creamy sauce, you are bound to get surprise.
Vegetarian spring rolls: A defined crunch sounds awakens your senses as you bite into this blissful piece of sheer culinary magic.