Siesta Hitech - Kashmiri Food Festival
Qube Cafe an all day diner at Hotel Siesta Hitech has already proven its place for consistent and VFM buffets for lunch and dinner. To always keep surprising the customers and food lovers like me, they keep hosting interesting and exciting food festivals and I have been to almost all of them till date. All of them have given me good and above experiences and things cannot excite more when they have started "Flavours of Kashmir", the Kashmiri Food Festival running from July 15th till July 24th only for dinner. They have flew down two exclusive chefs specilised in the cuisin to join their in house Kashmir Pandit to give customers the most authentic experience in their standed every day changing buffet menu experience.
Normally the resutrant tries to adapt to the cuisine based on which food festival is organized and it looked symphonical to me always but this one was high notch level as they made it more vibrant and visually more appealing than usual and loved the paper boats typical to be in kashmir in each table with colorful table clothes. Overall looked very colofrful and pleasant to dine in.
Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite for their festival preview and was on the house but experience and reviewsd shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.
They had the regular strawberry coolor and mango cooler to start the buffet with but on myr equest to get me something interesting, they brought in this Pineapple Delight which not only visually looked great but also tasting something very different and was definilitey setting the right tone for the experience ahead.
They had their regular soups and salads which I skipped because I wanted to relish their kashmiri speicalities. Starters had array of veggies and non-veg. Kukur Dudhiya tikka was our typical chicken kebab but the richness of milk infused tikka masala which made it very rich and of coursed softened the chicken much to my liking. Gadh Veri masala Tikka fish based tikka made with kashmiri veri masala which is basically made out of Stir fry chillies, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cumin and cinnamon. Taste was mild and to my liking again nothing overpowered the fish.
The starters array impressing me blew me out with this one dish named Tabak Maaz which was kashmiri style fried lamb ribs and also a good influence from pakistan as the dish seems to have been concieved during the partition. The lamb meat was so succulent and soft that it almost melted in my mouth and also came just slid from the bones. TOP NOTCH. Tsaman Martaban Tikka was another interesting Spit-Roasted Paneer Pasanda Tikka and again panner was splendidly cooked and super soft. Kukur Dhaniwal Korma which a rich and nicely served chicken curry which has kaju paste and fried onions which give it a interesting spin apart form the regular chicken curry.
Following such good array of dishes were some decent ones like the Gadh Korma which is nothing but a typical fish curry with some richness from coconut cream. Though the fish was cooked good, the bones in it much to my dismay interrupted to relish the dish.
Rista which is meatballs in a fiery red gravy looked very appealing but the meat balls were very dry and not to my liking but the curry was spicy and almost spot on. Kashmiri Dum Aloo the baby potatoes always excite me as I love the richness and taste they bring in unlike the bigger ones, this curry was very good to be had with their array of breads (mentioned below) and of course the aloo as such could have been cooked a bit more but was not too bad.
With mostly hit items and impressive authentic taste of them . followed another show stopper namely Anannas Ke Boti which is grilled pineapple cooked like typical boti kebab in grill furnace. The pineapple and the masala coating was gelling so spledindily that though it was on the spicier side , I relished it to the core. If people could relate this tasted exactly like the savory version of tamil nadu's temple famours panjamirutham (temple offered prasadh to devotees).
Urad dal Kebab unfortunately was too dry for me and also could have been cooked a bit more to get a decent crispiness on the outer side and so I should say this was the least of my likings for the night.
Kashmiri Khubani Pulao expectting Kashmiri typical sweet pulao, I was disappinted to find only the kubani rice variant but then I was proved wrong when I had this with Kashmiri Rajma Dal. The sweetness of the apricot and the rich flavorful rice blended well and each sppon was so heavenly and add their Rajma Dal , it was top class.
Bakharkhani Their round naan was the best of the lot in breads section and was super soft though should be had super hot and fresh as they get colder becomes rubbery. This variant went well with almost all curries I tried. This was followed by Kashmiri Naan which was typical buttern naan with shredded fruit gels which gave it a sweeter spin.Kulcha was a regular affair and nothing WOW about it.
With an almost impressive array of buffet experience, I was too stuffed and had to head to desserts sections as some of them looked very interesting.
Looking at Sabyasachi's post about the food festival, one dish that caught my eye right away was Chukandar-E-Afroz otherwise regularly called beet root halwa with rich dry fruits and kismis and I did insist chef to get me that and was sweet to prepare it for my request and was served specially. This was top notch and nothing like any regular halwa you would have tasted. Nothing sugary about it but still every bit takes you through a elevated palate journey. Brilliant cook on the beet root as well as its tough to get this texture of it gelled with sugar and they nailed it. Kheer Korma was rich and flavorful but I felt there was more dry fruits to it and could have reduced it a bit but hey the flavor was spot on. Anjeer Ka Halwa I'm not a big fan of Dates but this halwa did impress me as it was super tangy and rich but yet the sweetness was well brought out . Its not for people who want light desserts as its very strong flavoured.
Follwing impressive desserts, Jau-e-Shahi A combination of rich koya rabdi and small jamun balls immersed in the rabdi and tossed with grated dry fruits . This was top notch again and the serving quantity also was super good. Amazing Amazing..
Kashmiri Mango Phirni & Orange Souffle - oth impressed me much among the amazing spread of desserts array. They did had regular fresh fruits, and all sorts of pastries but was super stuffed and couldnt try them out but since they are part of their regular buffet, I guess I didnt miss much.
For a debutant kashmiri experience like mine, Qube Cafe - Siesta Hitech has indded made an amazing food festival and surely made a spcial Kashmiri Wazwan at a very affordable price of 699 AI.
"Flavors of Kashmir" Food festival again proves Siest can always provide consistent buffet experience to customers at affordable prices and still keep exicting with such various cusines to be served. This one I would say has been the best in terms of authentic dishes from the cuisine without much adapting it to hyderabadi flavours.
Verdict: If you would love to experience a new cuisine and dont much wory about non-spicy food, this one is a must for you.
Note: The was part of Management Invite for preview of their food festival and it was on the house but review and recommendations are honest and unbiased. service aspect could vary on your individual experience and not to be compared.