Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Good Life

Nike and I went to the Balkan Food Festival at the Chancery Pavilion for dinner yesterday, and it was THE BEST dinner buffet spread I remember having ever! We both wanted to go some place nice for dinner, and I was keen on a dinner buffet, since I had had nothing but soup for lunch. I remembered that the Chancery Pavilion was having a Balkan Food Festival, but we demurred at the cost of the buffet – it was Rs.850 for just the dinner buffet, and Rs.1100 for dinner buffet with unlimited drinks (beer, house wine, rum (Bacardi), whiskey (Blenders Pride)) – turned out to be completely worth it.

The buffet was at ‘Ithaca’ in the Chancery Pavilion. The restaurant is right next to the pool, with glass walls on one side so you can look out into the pool. We got a cosy table for two right next to the wall, so we had a rather pleasant view. I opted for just the dinner buffet on account of a sore throat, while Nike took the drinks package also. He had the red wine, and says it was quite good.

The Balkan Food Festival had on offer Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slavic and Turkish dishes – the dishes were typically accompanied by a little flag to indicate which region they were from. They also had a fair spread of Indian dishes for those who weren’t keen on experimenting. The spread was HUGE.

I was especially delighted with the range of breads on offer, and headed their first. They had soft cheese rolls, pesto rolls, country bread, French loaves, Ciabatta and Focaccia, along with herbed butter, paprika butter and garlic butter. I absolutely loved the soft cheese rolls as well as the Ciabatta, while Nike fell for the pesto rolls. For soup, they had Ribena Chorba, a fish based soup and Spanachena Chorba, a spinach based soup. Of course, we didn’t try either of the soups – that would mean we couldn’t make the most of the buffet.

For starters they had chicken, fish, lamb and vegetarian, which could be cooked in the Bulgarian (kebap) style or the Tandoori style. We chose the Bulgarian style. The vegetable starters were uninteresting - a skewer of grilled vegetables, vegetable patties, and stuffed potato. Nike didn’t enjoy the lamb starter either. The fish was served in cubes on a skewer, along with paneer cubes – we couldn’t figure out what was fish and what was paneer till we tasted it, since it looked the same! But the fish was sublime – soft and very well done. The highlight of the starters though was undoubtedly the chicken. It was some sort of a chicken patty made with chicken crumbs and lots of herbs. It was absolutely melt in the mouth yummy.

Their salad counter was absolutely mind-blowing. I think they had over 30 types of salads. Nike was of course thrilled with this. I am not a salad person at all but the salads here looked so different that I simply had to try a little of most of them. I especially enjoyed the Moroccan Olives, the Curried Egg Salad (egg with mustard sauce), Oeuf Marci (egg again), Zeleva Salata (which I think was beetroot with sweet corn), Macaronena Salata (macaroni based), Hummus and Havoc with pita bread and pita crisp and the Olive Salata (black olives). They also had Romania Salata, Kadambri, Titti Shrimp with Disco Papaya, Tuna Salad, Marinated Aubergines, Ruga Salata, Lamb and Summer Vegetable Salad and a couple of others. Phew! Apart from a ‘make you own chat’ counter!!

I bet that makes you hungry. I’m going to do a follow up post where I will write about the main course and the dessert. I think this is enough fodder (pun unintended) for one post.


Da Vagabond said...

hmm neva knew u cud take a shoe along with ya for dinner ! glad u both had some good time !

btw was the shoe the left or the right one .. lol

enuff fun already .. jus kidding maam , and u certainly seem to be someone who loves to have a lot to eat but stand confused as to how u can justify the total spread!


Namitha said...

Coincidently i had dinner there with my partner on the 8th..totally agree with you about the veg appetisers..loved the chicken..hey we didnt even realise that they mixed paneer with the was good though...the salad that the chef chose for us was too sour for our taste...but the main course and desserts were to die for..totally worth the money spent..waiting for your next post..keep posting:)

Ramya said...

@Da Vagabond: Ah! Well, was just trying to taste as much as I could!

@Namitha: I know this is a super late response, but what a coincidence!!! Yeah, we really enjoyed the dinner too. But you see, never got around to writing about the main course or desserts, even though they were the highlight of the dinner! :-)

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