Sunday, 17 July 2016

Awadhi Festival – Food for the senses, from Senses!

Unlike the gloomy rainy days that we have been experiencing, the Saturday afternoon was bright and breezy. I had been invited me for a small preview of the Awadhi Festival being hosted by Senses at Marriott Suites Pune. As I walked into the restaurant, the first thing that wafted my way was the aroma from the tandoor. The redolence enveloped my senses and all I could think of after that was ‘kababs’.

As we settled in at the table, the servers brought us glasses of Phirni Milk. It was cool milk, fragrantly laced with saffron. It was a perfect start to the Awadhi festival tasting. As we sat sipping the Phirni Milk, we were served melt-in-the-mouth Galouti Kababs. These were tiny bite sized kababs and were so well made that I wish they had been bigger! (Gluttonous ol’ me) They then served us a platter of Tandoori Malai Broccoli. As I’m not a fan of the vegetable I hesitantly took a piece. It was beautifully done! The florets were soft and creamy and the intermittent charred bits lent a lovely texture to the vegetable. They served some beautiful Varkhi Parathas to go with the starters. These are soft layered Parathas and easily, one of the best I’ve ever had.

After a while I headed to the main buffet. They had a few more starters there and I tried the Murgh Malai Tikka, Chicken Hoisin, and Crumb Fried Mushrooms. All three were delicious, but the mushrooms won the race. :) Before edging towards the main course I also tasted a bowl of Tomato Egg Drop soup. The piping hot soup was excellent!

For the mains, I tried the Murgh Korma, Dal Makhani and Mutton Dum Biryani. The Dum Biryani was well made: Fragrant and flavoursome but the champions were the creamy Dal Makhani and delectable Murgh Korma, especially when paired with the soft, layered Varkhi Parathas. It was the common consensus at the table that the chefs had outdone themselves with these dishes. 

I also tried a wee bit of the noodles, some chicken in Chinese sauce (the name of which I, unfortunately, do not remember) and a vegetarian fried rice from their Chinese counter, all of which I cannot complain about.

As we got talking, I completely forgot I had yet to visit their dessert station. When I realized that, I rushed to the dessert counter as the buffet timing was nearly at an end. The desserts I chose were a Black Forest pastry, a Balushahi, a few shards of chocolate, Rabdi and Seviya ka Muzzaffar . I’m not much of a pastry person when it comes to a buffet but, I have to say, the Black Forest Pastry was a decadent delight! The Balushahi was nothing special and the Seviya was yummy but a tad dry as it had been laying in the chafing dish for a while. The Rabdi was classic! Lush and creamy! Had I not been as stuffed as I was, I could have polished off an entire bowl of that wonderful dessert. As for the chocolate shards, t’was just that – CHOCOLATE! I had grabbed a few to appease ‘le diable en moi’. (Very evil grin!)

The festival has an extensive menu of Awadhi Cuisine, along with the regular Chinese counter, Salad counter and live counters (Jalebi included - sigh!). There’s a lot going on at the buffet and there are plenty of choices that one can indulge in. If you have a night out planned, or an event to celebrate, this week, then this buffet is just the thing for you. During a conversation with the Chef, he informed us that he plans to curate a new menu every night, for this festival.  The festival is only on for their dinner buffet and this week long festival is on from July 15, 2016 to July 23, 2016. The buffet is priced at 1050/- + taxes. Do give it a try; I’m sure you will love it!

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

Address: Marriott Suites Pune, 81 Mundhwa, Koregaon Park Annex, Mundhwa, Pune
Tel: 020 26747474 / +91 9158990657

Some more photographs to feast your eyes on.. :-)

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