Thursday, 30 June 2016

Feast.... aptly named!

Having viewed a hilarious ‘hinglish’ comedy, we walked out from Nehru Memorial Hall and headed to Le Meridien. As we walked into the hotel we were greeted with welcoming smiles. We frequently visit their Tea Lounge hence most of the staff there are familiar with our faces. This time though, we weren’t there for late night tea and desserts. Both, my bestie and I were ravenous and we decided to have dinner at their 24 hour cafe, Feast. They have a very impressive spread laid out; Indian, Continental, Chinese, Soup (Veg & Non-veg) Live counters (pasta, grilled seafood, shawarma and more), salad bar and dessert bar. They also have a few dishes for people who are diet and health conscious. I will happily have you know, I am not one of them! :P 

Having encountered a light drizzle when we walked into the hotel, we were cold hence our first stop was the ‘soup counter’. We chose the Hot & Sour Chicken soup. It was hot, spicy and everything we needed to set the chills at bay. 

While my bestie selected ‘greens’ from the salad bar, this carnivore picked out chicken from the chicken salad (Chicken Salata). I also chose a couple of slices of Sliced Lamb with BBQ sauce, some cold cuts, a dab of flavoured mayo, some hummus and a ‘greedy-sized’ piece of Camembert. As I headed to my table I requested for some sliced baguette and knobs of butter. No complaints about anything on the plate, except the sliced lamb. It was chewy and tough! I did bring this to the notice of the Executive Chef Mark Phillipose. He listened attentively and graciously mentioned that he would definitely ensure that the lamb is succulent the next time. The baguette was fresh and tasted heavenly when topped with butter, Camembert cheese and a slice of turkey (cold cut). I love fresh bread, especially baguettes, and this bread, butter, cheese and cold cut combination put a ‘happy puppy’ grin on my face. 

Except for a couple of starters, we gave the Indian counter a miss and chose to taste from the Chinese and the Continental counters. Every dish was well made. The only dish that could have been better was the Prawn Gulin Chili. It was a tad salty. Had they toned down the salt it would have tasted much better. I must make a special mention of the Smoked Lamb Mandarin Style: it was awesome! It is such a pleasure to eat succulent lamb! 

While I was checking out the Indian food counter, Chef Mark asked if we would like a plate of grilled seafood. It would have been sacrilegious to refuse a plate of seafood hence we delightedly said, ‘yes’. ;) The plate of grilled seafood was a selection of sea bass, prawns and squid. Each was done to perfection! It was one of the best things we had that evening but humare liye picture abhi baki thi dost. The very best was yet to come. ;-)

At some point during our meal, Chef Mark introduced us to Chef Abhimanyu. He told us Chef Abhimanyu played a vital role in ensuring that the restaurant ran smoothly. As we politely chatted, the chefs told us to inform them when we were ready to have dessert because they planned to serve us something special. Inform them, we did! They brought us generous individual servings of dessert. We protested at the quantity as we both were quite stuffed by the time. We told Chef Abhimanyu we would share one to which he smiled and said that he was keeping the second plate at the table; just in case we decided to go in for seconds. The dessert they served us was Fresh Fruit Fritters with Vanilla Ice cream, Chocolate Sauce, Sliced Mango and Cherries. The fritters were banana and apple. The sensation of biting into those hot fritters with that cold ice cream, sweet mango pieces and rich chocolate sauce, was or’effin’gasmic! Stuffed to the gills be damned, we polished off both the plates. I did tell you guys, the best was yet to come. See, I wasn’t kiddin’! :-) Every time, I step in at Feast, I am going to request them to make this dessert for us. *besharam and badtameez dil* There were too many things on the menu and we did taste a few more but, if I begin to review all of them, individually, this write up will seem unending.

This dinner was the perfect finale to our wonderful evening at the theatre. I have to add that the servers were not just attentive, polite and helpful towards us after we complained about the tough lamb; they had been attentive, polite and helpful right from the start. This was something we noticed immediately. It’s such a delight to be served with a smile! I do believe their aim is to ensure the customer leaves satisfied. WE WERE! The question we asked ourselves, “Will we return to Feast for another meal?? You bet your sweet patootie, we will! :-)

Ambiance: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5

Address: Le Meridien, Next to Raja Bahadur Mills, Sangamwadi, Pune
Tel: 020 26050505 / 02066411111

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