Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bunts Food Festival | Saptami Holiday Inn Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

This is the first time I have been to Saptami for their ongoing Bunts Food Festival and am very impressed with the authenticity of the spread which is quite reasonable at just about Rs. 1600 (with taxes). Situated at the ground floor of Holiday Inn, literally at 2 minutes walk from Saki Naka Metro Station, the ambiance is very modern elegance with floor to ceiling windows, beautiful ceilings, soft music, tables situated at good distance for facilitating private conversation and a good buffet spread with vegetarian, non-vegetarian delicacies, desserts, live counters. The staff is very polite, helpful, non-intrusive and I love how their badges mention their names as well as their passion (singing, dancing etc.)

The bunts food festival celebrates food from Mangalore-Bangalore region and has good use of various spices, coconuts, tamarind, rice. The food here is very close to authentic food (vouched for by my sister who has tasted Mangalorean food at her office frequently) and has not been made extra spicy/ sweet/ moulded to suit 'modern' palate. Rather, they have included few neutral dishes in the buffet and actually, everything tastes really good. 

First up we had soup, a tangy spicy Kuduta Rasam, made of horse gram tempered with garlic and home made spices, I hardly ever like soup but this was brilliant, ignited our taste buds completely,

Off to Salads section and they included a cross-section of Cucumbers, Carrots, Corn along with special dishes such as Moong Dal Kosambari i.e. Moong Dal seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaf and coconut (extremely crunchy), Cucumber Pachadi i.e. Cucumber slivers in yoghurt,tempered with sesame seeds (very cooling), Mix Vegetable Kosumully i.e. Mixed Vegetable tossed together with South Indian spices (again, crunchy and wholesome),

Up next was the starters section and the non-veggies had a choice of grilled fish, but we gorged on special deep-fried Split Gram dumplings Biscuit Ambade, Vada alongside sweet-spicy Kung Pao Veggies and cooling Mint Yogurt and Curd Rice,

Check out Ganji, nutritious calorific dish traditionally eaten by farmers during mid-day while working on their fields- rice based dish served with Yetti Chutney, Garlic Chutney and Dry Prawn Chutney! It was a pleasure meeting the jovial Chef who happily shared stories from his childhood in Mangalore while showing us around the buffet :)

The main course had regular dishes like Steamed Rice, Veg Pulao, Paneer Lababdar, Pasta, Thai Yellow Curry, alongside special dishes such as Gulia Puli Koddel (Sweet,Sour and Spicy Eggplant), Mix Vegetable Korma (creamy mix veg, distinct coconutty flavor), Tomato Togari Bele Saar (Tangy Toor Dal tempered with Garlic and Home Made Spices), Suran Chana Ajadina (Yam and Chickpeas tossed with Coconut Mangalorian style), Beetroot Poriyal (Dry Jackfruit Mangalorian style, never tasted better!) and a plethora of papadams. Sounds like heaven? Completely was, absolutely loved the distinct flavors in each dish, felt like was having food made by grandmother at someone's home :)

The live counters of Chaats served some delicious Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, Pani Puri Mumbaiya style and we also enjoyed Appam as well as Neer Dosa, 2 dishes that cannot be missed when talking of any South Indian food festival!

Finally, the desserts. The spread was evenly divided between Indian and Western desserts. So apart from the regular chocolate brownie, strawberry pastry, rose ice cream, white chocolate pudding, we had a choice of lovely home-made Managalorean desserts including Mysore Pak, Halwa, Ladoo, Sweet Appa, Kesar Pak and Gujhiya (this my personal favorite). Of course, fruits and Gulab Jamuns were also there who might not wanna be adventurous with this spread.

But I suggest, go ahead, be adventurous. We highly enjoyed our meal and got acquainted with some distinct flavors and I hope everyone enjoys this different deliciousness galore :) 

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