Overall
5.0/5
Ambiance
5.0/5
Food
5.0/5
Service
5.0/5

       Awadh region known as then granery of india for its wealth,  fertility and of course their authentic and flavorful Awadhi Cuisine. Primarily from the city of Lucknow and its neighbors,their cooking styles are similar to middle east and Central Asaa. There is a huge influence of Mughal Cooking techniques as well. Normal Foodies like me dont get to hear about Food Festivals bringing up these Unique Cuisine Experience to our palates and Hotel Sheraton did that commendable job of Hosting Awadhiana Food Festival at Feast which ended recently on 23rd March. Thanks and Respect for Executive Chef Kapil Dubey and Chef Satish. and also to Vishal Fernandes (JetSetEat) as a co-curator & co-host of this awesome event.

       The festival is an ernest attempt to bring in the variety of Awadhi Spread including Kormas, Kebabs, Warqi Parathas, Romali Rotis , Biryanis with influence of Cardomom and Saffron. The Food bloggers I know off spoke highly of this festival during their blogger's meet and I felt Hotel Sheraton would have delivered a top notch feast. Many planned visits but kept skipping and finally it happened on the Last day of the festival. The Festival and the dishes presented only was a clear proof of how rich and flavorful Awadhi Cuisine was and how much their importance of normal spices were to bring out the real meaningful taste to their dishes.

Ambience (Decor & Interiors):

            Feast - Their All day Dining and exclusive fine-dining Buffet grandeour was the hosting venue of this festival. Located on the ground floor, the welcome by the grand and rich spice box with all the rich spices was an authentic way to invite us into the festival as such. The dining area is vast and definitely upscale with those hi-raise bulbs and grand decor it provides. The huge picture frames and the highly inviting desserts display sector lures you in at all levels. Overall the place and the decor impressed me in terms of space utilization and keeping it simple for comfortabillity.

         The buffet space was as such overal seemed to be meshed into different sections but overal it works. A luring desserts section, the salads / dips  starters section , the usual chinese counters / live kebabs counters / separate area of the feast specific curries and main dishes. I felt if I had to comment was the seating table coverage was a bit congested though as such the chairs were comfortable. A bigger table would easily accomodate 4 adults for a relaxed fine dining experience.

                  After we were comfortably seated , we went through the entire sections to glance what in stock for us in the feast and also see how much we can stuff ourselves and not to miss dishes. They do have wide spread for dessert which caught my attention and I was sure to leave some space to attack those baddies towards end of the meal.

     

         We got to try lots of dishes which If I keep reviewing them individually would be an endless list. So let me introduce to few of the unique dishes I tried and that WOWed me and (very few) that quite didnt impress me. But overall none of them were below average which itself was quite impressive.

 

         Soups: Murgh Pudhina Shorba (Chicken Soup), Tamattar Shorba (Veg tomato Soup)

         Salads: Mutton Sheekh Salad, Chicken Kheema Salad, Papdi Chat Salad, Groundnut Sev Salad, many more

         Starters: Tawa Tarkari (Mixed Veggies) , Murgh Tandoori Kebab, Galouti Kebab, Mutton Shami,

         Curries: Samundari Khajan Taka Tak, Majunu Ki Takhnae, Murgh Dohara Masala, Kaliyan Jinga, Mehr-e-

                       Aftaab,Chicken Aur Pyaz Ka Pakado, Zaffrani Raan, Lauki Musallam 

        Parattas: Ulta Taka Ka Paratta, Tawa Paratta, Romali Roti n Naans

 

MY STAR PICKS:

       Lauki Musalam (Veg) - Yes you read it right a veg dish tops the list. Bottle Gourd stuffed inside with masala paste and cooked in perfection in gravy was the SHOW STOPPER. The cook on the bottle gourd was so perfect that when I knifed, it just sliced like butter and one bite you are in HEAVEN. Brilliant Orchestration of flavours and I loved it to the core.

       Samundrai Khajan Taka Tak (Sea Food Curry) - The dish with visual appeal of sea food platter curry decored with huge red teasing lobsters surrdoung in the curry , bright RED colors scream all over SCORED for me. Having prawns, squids, fish, lobster meat slices, this combination of sea food along with curry strongly based with green and yellow bell peppers was absolutely divine in terms of the cookes on the sea food meats and the curry as such not too dominating but just near perfect to make u feel the star.

       Zaffrani Raan (Lamb) - Lamb based curry made legs, raw pappaya, yogurt and saffron. The curry and the cook on the raan meat was absolutely spot on. Though it wasn't as hot as I would have liked it but the flavors was spot on and it went amazingly well with rotis n parattas.

       Murgh Tandoori Kebabs & Galouti Kebabs - Both the grill kebabs were served unlimitedly to us during our course and both delivered not so over powering flavors but just complimented the chicken and mutton meatss respecitvely so well. We did request them to serve Galouti kebabs with the parattas for a change and even then the kebabs as such were melting so easily in our mouths. Hands down the best Galouti I have had till date in Hyderabad.

       Majunu Ki Takhnae - This dish name is quite enough to attract anyone to try it out. The apperance as such might be so dul and make you feel it should be a regular chicken curry but dont move on. This dish was the best curry in chicken that was buttery and so elegantly rich that it was just making us go rounds with naans :)

       Kaliyan Jinga- This pranws curry was looking so sweetish but had the right spice balance and was not over taking the star of the dish - prawns. Again cook on the prawns were emazingly . Yet another curry that made us go WOW.

 

   One dish that was in the buffet  though had nothing to do with awadhi cuisine but did catch my atetntion was Steamed Red Snapper with Chimmmichuri Sauce.The dish totally blew me out on tasting only few bites (as I was totally stuffed and had to jump on to desserts) - AMAZING - Cook on the fish was brilliant.

 

DESSERTS:

        Now here is where things weren't as I expected. I really wanted to taste some authentic desserts but couldnt. Not that I coudnt find any desi desserts, but wasn't impressed by them compared to the western array of BADDIES :)

       Gur Ka Rasgulla - Jaggery Syrup Rasgulla. Was too sweet and Jaggery overpowered the rasgulla.

       Malpua  - This was hotty hot and was absolutely brilliant but again a tad sweet for even a dessert lover.

       Jilebi - This along with Rabdi  served in western section , was a pure blissful marriage. Both complimented.

       Gur Ka Rasgulla - Jaggery Syrup Rasgulla. Was too sweet and Jaggery overpowered the rasgulla.

       Malai Sandwich - too dry and average.

       Milk Cake - aptly sized and too good goodies.

       Malai Sandwich - too dry and average.

       Gulab Jamun - sweet but average. Definitely not the best.

 

     Now as we move onto the Western Desserts, right from their display, look , appeal and flavors I was bowled left and right.

      Banan Banoffe Tart (Liqour) , Tiramusu (Liqour) , Baked Cheese Cake , Philadelphia Cheese Cake, White Chocolate Mousse, Rashberry Cream Brulee  every single one of them was SPOT ON except for the rashberry one which was too srong on the rashberry jam. The desserts though didnt marry with the festival were amazing finale for our feast at feast.

Service & Hospitality:

       Sheraton's Customer Engagement at my visit for Inazia Zomato meetup was all top class. So compareively I felt this time the crew was more interested in something else and I felt we had to figure out most of the things by ourselves. We had to ask reaptedly for water refills and no recommendations as such. After a not so impressive start, things did fell into place and was prompton refilling kebabs and roties. But overall did it elevate the experience, probably not but definitely not ruling out future visits on this basis as the feast did full justice for our money.


Verdict:

    Awadhiana Fest hosted by Sheraton as such though seemed like a costly affair, was Worth every penney. Except 2 dishes or so, every thing was spot on , unique and nothing we have dined before. Surely they have planned , designed and executed a well crafted menu and for me this goes into my list of one of the best feasts that I have enjoyed other than normal cuisines. SHERATON - Chef Kabil Dubey - AN AWESOME GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY - Hats Off . 

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