A few steps into the grand lobby and there it was, straight ahead. I noticed the Newspaper clipping collage with the board that said "Cajun & Creole fete" at the entrance to Anytime in GRT Grand. I was there on behalf of Burrp to enjoy the evening, and the experience!
My initial reaction on seeing the lavish spread and the decor was "Wow, this looks interesting, i wonder what the cuisine is going to be like".. After a lazy stroll around the Buffet we were seated and bowls of Calabaza soup was served to our seats. It was a light soup filled with flavour and vegetables [Coloured capsicums, Brocolli and Zucchini], perfect start to the evening...
Chef Srinath came over, introduced himself and gave me a sneak peek into what this festival was all about and how they were doing New menu every day. He spoke in length on The Creole & Cajun fest being a dedication of sorts to the different kinds of beans and rich vegetables along with a few special spice mixes.
I quite liked the way the Buffet had been laid out.. There was the Non veg dishes on one side while the Veg sat on the other side.. And then came the short stroll towards the Dessert bar before heading over to the Coffee/tea counter and then the most interesting dessert of them all- Chocolate truffle Fritters...
We were so tempted to dig into the main dishes that we made a beeline for the Salad bar 1st..
Ceasar Salad, Fresh garden vegetables with an assortment of Dips, Quennels of feta & brocooli in a cherry tomato salad, A duet of baby corn and brussel sprouts and then there was the sinful Pineapple in cream sauce sitting on a bed of lightly cooked Beans with a walnut on top were some of the options we had. Each of these were served in small single portion dishes, which made it easy to serve and savour.
There was also a wide array of cheeses to sample! There was also Thayir vadai, which was a tad too sweet for my liking... They also had a choice of sauces, pickled olives, gherkins and other items that one could add to make their own salad.
The starter counter next to the salad bar had the sweet crunchy Rangoon vegetables [an assortment of Baby corn, capsicums, tofu], a potato nuggets, fried wanton, Keerai bonda and interesting looking Bharwan Chi Chinga [Snake gourd stuffed with vegetables]... I tried almost all and favoured the Rangoon vegetables and potato nuggets the most. Snake gourd rings were ok, not really my thing...
Between mouthfuls i managed to chat with the Chef and sous chef on the festival and some of the dishes they had served up. It was quite a treat because not only was the food delicious, it was also low on spice but rich in flavour! Oh, how can i forget the Live counter- Mandzi, African Yam Ball With mango chutney and Morroccan Spiced vegetables. We tried the Mandzi [cardomon flavoured flour based little nuggets that were light as a feather and subtle in flavour] and the Morroccan vegetables[Coloured capsicums, green & yellow zucchini, brocolli, sprouts cooked with their spice mix].
The ambience was simple and comfortable, there were little touches here and there that added to the whole feel- A few jazz musician figurines, and a few photographs from the bygone era.. The waiters all wore Sombreros, though i wondered the connection!
Moving on to the main course, i took a spoonful of the Pigeon Peas & Rice that was red in colour, with refried beans and tomato flavours leading the pack.There was also the Patatas a las importancia [Potatoes cooked in onion & saffron sauce] and Cajun Bean Cake with Creole Sauce that was like a hara bara kabab except it had a bang of flavour.. I noticed two bowls of chutneys near the live counter.
The chef explained one was Mint chutney and other was Banana chutney, it was sweet and thick with banana pulp [an acquired taste am sure]
Found it a bit strange that they served Indian Rotis on the table, because it kind of sticks out amidst the Creole & Cajun dishes. But then, when i did wander around the buffet, i discovered there were quite a few Indian side dishes on display as well- Dal Panchmela, Paneer Kali Mirchi Masala and Getti Kozhambu [Tamarind based South indian curry] along with vazhakkai melagu peratal [raw banana curry made south indian style]...
I steered towards the non indian dishes, choosing the Noodles and Thai Vegetable curry for the main course. I've always loved the Thai Curry and this was quite a treat, loved it... For those whose meals ends with Curd rice, their wish is fulfilled here as well... :-)
Phew.. that was a lot of food, right? I was not done yet. Still had to test out the desserts, and between me and mom, we tried almost all the items on display.... Among the desserts on the menu, the Best were the Baked Blueberry Cheese cake, Orange Mousse cake and Lemon tart stood out. The Kiwi Eclairs, Almond Brulee, Prunes pudding and the make believe Baklava were ok, some were missing flavour while others were thick & dense... Oh the Chocolate Truffle Fritters were the highlight of the evening, they looked like little lollypops and there was a burst of chocolate in the mouth as you bit into these little wonders....
What a way to end the evening... I now look forward to going back for the festival and on a normal day to experience the other dishes they have to offer.
Price- well, it was for a review, so i cant really comment on this, but if one were to go for the Fest, the buffet is for Rs799 per pax.
Overall Rating - 8/10
The Fest is on from November 25 to December 4, and will include Jambalaya, Spicy etouffee, Saucy Screole, Crispy Grillades and Grits, from 7.30 pm onwards
For reservations, call: +91 44 28150500
Thank you burrp for an awesome evening and thank you GRT Grand for a fun experience!!