Sunday, 25 September 2016

Street Food Festival : Foodie Dream Come True | 24/7 Restaurant The Lalit Mumbai | Delightful Review

Buffets are a true foodie’s heaven. And when the buffet in question is Street Food Festival showcasing some of the most loved delicacies from all over India, then there is only one thing that can prevent it from climbing onto charts to my personal favourite list and that is somebody messing up my favourite dishes majorly. Thankfully, Executive Chef Aungshuman Chakraborty and his team have dotted all ‘i’s and crossed all ‘t’s perfectly to make this food festival at 24/7 Restaurant, The Lalit, simply spectacular.

Street Food Festival Indian Cuisine Mumbai India Vegetarian Review

Heard a whole lot of great things about buffets at 24/7 from some renowned foodies for quite some time and thankfully FBAI provided the perfect excuse to check one out this Friday, a bloggers meet :) Indian Street Food culture needs no introduction, that amalgamation of ingredients and spices and flavours and colors, we all know the vast plethora of deliciousness it is all about. Since it is impossible to showcase all of it at one go, 24/7 has done a pretty good job of covering most of it by setting up dedicated stalls which will be changed every day. Adding an artistic touch to this rustic ambiance are evergreen Bollywood songs and vintage posters.

A special shout out to the staff, including the stalwart team of Chefs, who are always on their toes helping the guests choose just the right dishes for their palate and ensuring everything runs smoothly. My sister and I had actually turned up much earlier than the rest of our party and they made us feel so comfortable as if it was not a big bloggers meet and rather an evening reserved just for us! Same warm service for each and every guest. Superlative.

Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Masala Chaas and Paan Shots started our evening on a refreshing note following which the Chaat buff in me loved the Pani-Puri, Sev-Puri, Dahi-Puri and Papdi Chaat with which I started my culinary journey :) Just the right mix of spices and chutneys making them the perfect sweet-spicy-tangy concoctions.

Kolkata style Chinese counter had Momos and Chowmein flying off the shelves, though I found the momos a bit dry and chewy but the Veg Chowmein warmed my heart with those wok tossed noodles and wholesome burst of veggies, the accompanying sauces making it so memorable, I am still salivating remembering it! My sister, who is actually more of Indian-Chinese food lover, went ga-ga over the Tibetan Momo soup they served alongside Momos.

Mumbai style Tawa counter had the perennial favourite Pav Bhaji for us, made the way it is done at our beaches where tourists from all over the world rub shoulders with locals in relishing it by wiping plates clean. Not a single false note here either :)

Rajasthani style Pakodas is what the doctor recommended for us during monsoon :D Fritters made just like our moms make at home, with spinach, peppers, capsicum and more, if there is one dish that screams authentic Indian street food, this is IT!

UP style Mithai (Indian Desserts) counter was the highlight of the evening with lip-smacking Jalebis, Kesari Petha, Rabdi, Masala Milk, Rasgulla, Mathura Peda ensuring that I made 3 rounds of the counter to have everything again & again (after standing there salivating like a monkey for 5 straight minutes!) These are Indian jewels, recipes perfected over centuries, and the versions served here made me nostalgic, remembering my nani (grandmom) making them when I was a kid.

Apart from all these special dishes, the regular buffet also called out to me and trust me when I say this, the buffet here needs a Hulk level appetite as the spread is huge and still no corners have been cut when it comes to quality :) Alternatively, look at it as an example of ‘there is something for everybody’. So there was some beautiful Salad spread (it actually looked like dessert section at first glance) with a spread of breads, international cheeses, veggies et al. I recommend Watermelon with Marinated Cheese and Zucchini Rolls for sure. You will know why when you taste them and will be tempted to steal some away in your purse for later :D

Among the main course, some stellar dishes beckoned such as Malai Mushrooms, Navratan Korma, Paneer Masala, Stir Fried Veggies, Palak Corn gravy with lovely spread of Indian breads (Roti,Naan). Nothing was swimming in oil just for the sake of enhancing taste, flavours were balanced and tasted delish. Also, check out the amazing Pizza & Pasta corner with that beautiful oven that can inspire any dormant photographer to go bazooka :D We had a taste of the Pink Pasta with exotic veggies, it is indeed recommended.

The Dessert section had a wide spread of fruits, pastries and ice creams which all looked like works of art but as I said earlier, I spent my time stalking the Indian dessert counter and could not actually try anything here. Yes, I know, I pride myself on my Hulk level hunger but this is a testament to how huge and awesome the buffet spread at 24/7 is, that it made me wish I had 4 extra stomachs :D Thank goodness they had Paan, Mukhwaas, Cotton Candy to steal me away from the buffet spread!

The whiff of Indian food, all the aroma of the spices lingering in the air, that is the first thing one notices on entering here right now. The hallmark of Indian food is the way we have incorporated regional influences as well as International impact in our daily life and 24/7 aptly puts this forward through their Street Food Festival which is going on till 30 September (for dinner buffet) and is extremely value for money at Rs. 1850 (plus taxes). The usual buffet is also a stellar spread and has made its mark in my heart. This is one of those rare occurrences where the food, the ambiance, the service, the idea and the execution all come together in a magical symphony. Bon Appetit to us foodies and Kudos to the team at 24/7 :)


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