The Grand Trunk Road culinary journey food festival which was started by Dilli 32, Indian cuisine specialty restaurant of ‘ The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel ‘, has reached its second pit stop at our very own City, DELHI.
Since we all know that Old Delhi is supposed to be the heart of the city when it comes to food and culture as it has successfully restored all the flavours which entered the city from time to time along with its own as well. It represents the old culture and heritage of the past golden era till date. So Dilli 32, has brought all those rich and renowned flavours on plate for us to relish through this food festival. Mr. Jaideep Anand(G.M. of the Hotel) & Chef Rohit Tokhi (Executive Chef of the Hotel) have made sure that not even single stuff is missed in bringing the old Delhi under the roof of their five star property, attention is paid on intricate detailing. A nice set up has been created for the festival to give the core feel by laying the Red Fort structure right at the entrance of the restaurant along with rickshaw standing outside. They have called a renowned historian and story teller as well ‘ Mr. Asif Khan Dehlvi’ to bring out the essence of the festival by telling unknown facts and stories related to our culture and traditions and to add an extra edge to the whole thing there is a set up laid especially for Ghazals and Qawaalis session also which is sure to enhance the overall experience of the festival.
Coming to food, only one word “MARVELLOUS”, is enough to explain everything. As Chef de Cuisine, Chef ASHWANI KUMAR SINGH is the main soul behind the scrumptious food of the festival. He has put all his effort and travelled himself through the bylanes of Old Delhi in order to bring out the best. The buffet includes sumptuous spread of mughlai cuisine, veg and non veg specialalties along with the amazing street food of Jama Masjid. We were there to attend the preview of the festival where we were welcomed with Aam Panna and Gulab(Rose) based drink which were quite refreshing after that with the snacks and starters which included veg and non veg both the festival started.
In starters Shami kebab and mutton Burra were fantastic, well cooked with apt spices. Anmol’ roast chicken was also prepared wonderfully and was perfectly barbecued like the renowned Anmol chicken corner of the old Delhi, which is why they have named the dish on their name only but something which pleaded me the most was Pateli kebab, which were basically pan roasted minced chicken mixed with prunes and apricots. In the vegetarian section Dry fruits ki chat, Dahi bhalla and Kathal ki Shami were outstanding. Dahi bhalla was very spongy and flavourful. Kathal ki Shami was also a treat to the taste buds, it was so well prepared that it was actually difficult for a hard core non vegetarian like me to decide the better Shami kebab among the veg and non veg one. This is the beauty of Chef Ashwini’s cooking. He always strike a proper balance between the flavours of veg and non veg dishes both so that his guests specially the vegetarian ones don’t feel left out at all.
In the mains if we talk about then Raan e Jahangiri and Chicken Changezi are definitely a must try. Mutton Biryani was going superb with Alu Gosht ka salan. In veg, Arvi ka salan, Aloo katlian and Take paise(A gram flour preparation, can say a kind of gatta curry which is a Rajasthani preparation) are definitely worth recommending. All the above mentioned dishes were also accompanied by an array of breads like Bedmi Puri Bhaji, besani roti, Doodh cheeni ki roti, Sheermal and Khameeri Naan.
After having this fabulous treat it was time to bid adieu the meal with a sweet ending, so in desserts we were served Gulathi, Jalebi and Gudamba. Jalebi’s were just perfectly made, crispy and nice golden in color dipped in sugar syrup was indeed very delightful. Gudamba and Gulathi needs special mention as they were very good and unusual real sweet treat to my pallette.
Gudamba is basically an unusual preparation, it is actually green mango and semolina halwa in which cardamom and clove tadka is added in the latter stage of cooking. Gulathi whereas was like phirni in consistency and texture. When asked from the Chef, I got to know that it is a famous Muslim wedding specialty and can also be called as Fried kheer where rice is first cooked with whole cardamom, clove along with water. After that spices are removed and then further cooked with milk, malai(cream), almonds, sugar and kewra water. It is served cold or at room temperature.
Chef’s effort was quite visible in the variety which were served in the exclusive lavish spread. Chef Ashwani you ‘ROCK ‘. Overall a real fabulous buffet definitely worth trying if you are in quest of some lip-smacking Old Delhi cuisine without travelling through the narrow bylanes of it.
Buffet Price – Rs 1232++ per head.
Timing – 7:30pm to 11:30pm
From – 29th April to 15th May.