Where: Curry Town The Savera Hotel
Address: The Savera Hotel, Dr. Radhakrishnan Road, Chennai - 600004.
When: 19th - 28th February 2016
To taste the flavours of North, it isn't always necessary to travel all the way to Northern part of India. The international hoteliers take immense care, right from choosing the best of Chefs to finding the authentic regional foods across India and bring them to your hometown. Among the different diners at The Savera Hotel, Chennai, Curry Town offers the flavours of North. Curry Town's effort to serve the food of Northern Indian Regions have extended their roadway to Kashmir. And their "Kashmiri Food Festival" showcases lip-smacking dishes that origins back to the Queens of Hills designed by Chef Rehman Mujeebur (to know more about him click here).
Also Check the Chinese New Year Festival at Wangs Kitchen
Another note-worthy thing about Curry Town is their ambience. They hypnotize you at the very moment you enter the restaurant. Even the world's worst lover would fall in love with the roof-top set-up; perfect space to kill your alone time enjoying the cities view or romance with your special someone or to make memories with family and friends.
Disclaimer: On-the-House Bloggers Invite for Kashmiri Food Festival
Before indulging ourselves into the Kashmiri delicacies, we ordered Mocktails to chill & kill our waiting time: Cardinal Punch, Spring Fever, Strawberry Cooler, Fruit Punch and Shirley Temple. The Spring Fever and Strawberry Cooler were the best taste-wise. Others, didn't suit my palate. Though I wished for a better visual presentation. (Note: They are not part of the Kashmiri festival).
For the Kashmiri Food Utsav, a separate A La Carte menu is designed along with the usual menu. Grab the Kashmiri menu to choose the dishes of your choice. With the maker by our side, we left the food choice to him (the Chef). A well-planned set of dishes kept lining up on our table to reveal the flavours of Kashmir.
The crispy & flavoursome Appetizers. Both veg & non-veg diners would be pleased with the choices! The sauces given for the starters were the Best; they had a sweet Beetroot sauce, delicious Mint sauce and spicy sauce. For veg starters:
Rajmah Akhrot Kebaba - The kebab's made of Red Kidney Beans & Walnut. Healthy! Screamed the kebabs in all possible ways. Any day I would choose a crispy cutlet over the Kebab. But no complaints with the taste or flavours.
Jhelum Khhumb Masala - The button mushrooms were juicy and melts away in seconds. Best among the veg.
Tsaman Warimasala Tikka - The soft and spicy cubes of paneer was a bite of delight; it melts away at ease and could be addictive!
Wazwani Aluv Tukri - The huge potato same as wedges consistency tasted better with the sprinkle of masala powder on them, which adds the tanginess.
And for the love of meat-enthusiasts came;
Kukur Lebabdar Tikka & Kukur Dudhiya - Two different chicken preparation. The Lebabdar tikka was my pick, taste-wise; the chicken pieces were moist and juicy and the red curry marination was brilliant than the latter. Kukur Dudhiya wasn't as juicy as the Tikka is the reason to push it second; but again the creamy and subtle spices makes the taste delectable.
Then, two different lamb dishes. Tabakh Maaz, the lamb ribs with the crispy lamb-crackling looked sexy. The outer layer is crispy and irresistible to let go. But the lamb inside tasted plain; the chef told the dish was supposed to taste so as the dish brings out the lamb's novel flavour. Later came the minced lamb kebabs, Gushtaba, the dish propels with strong flavours and I wished for a more juicer texture rather it was little on the dry side.
Finally, I was happy to see fish to soothe my seafood love. Gadh Dhaniwal Pasanda, the moist and beautiful fillet of sear fish. Loved it. And the salads along with each starter plate deserves a mention.
After giving rest to our tummies, the Main Course dropped at our table in a go. Quite a long wait for the mains but the wait seemed worth for some of the dishes. The Kashmiri Meva Pulao, the one time I didn't run away from a pulao. Not because I didn't have choice but I loved the taste. The aroma of saffron and rich bites of nuts were perfect for the long-grains of basamati rice; the sweetness wasn't overpowering and goodness they didn't have raisins or fruits! To make it taste even better, taste it with Rogvan Josh gravy. The famous kashmiri lamb gravy was the best one for the evening. Do try it for yourself!
To satisfy the vegetarian in me, they had Nadur Yakhni and Kashmiri Dal Preparation. After tasting the Rogvan Josh, it's hard to praise any other dish. Still, I preferred the dal as it was perfect for the Roti & Kashmiri Naan (do try this; the nuts elevates the taste). Nadur Yakhni, a lotus stem gravy (similar to a Moore Kulambu or Kadhi) was too soar so I didn't enjoy it much with the rotis.
They have three Desserts in their menu and we went with Shufta and Chukander E Afroz. Shufta, the cottage cheese and dry fruits halwa had a unique texture and the nuttiness uplifts the taste. But the latter, Beetroot Halwa stole the show. Delicious and rich! A cup of Kashmiri Tea (Kahwa) with cardamom-cinnamon touch was a perfect way to signoff the Kashmiri Food Ride.
Also Check the Chinese New Year Festival at Wangs Kitchen
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: Positive. These two shouldn't even be questioned! Chennai people know Savera & Curry Town is on the 11th Floor (top-most). Valet Parking.
Ambience: Biggest Positive. If not food then this should definitely be the reason for your visit.
Food Variety: Kashmiri Festival - Good. Simple & perfect collection of dishes to choose. It's A La Carte.
Taste: Good. Hardly could find faults. Remember your palate & food-preference while placing order.
Quantity: Ok. Could share among two people but isn't big.
Quality: Good. Presentation scores well. The usage of authentic ingredients from the Kashmiri region deserves an applause.
Service: Positive. No complaints. Except the timing between courses could be well-planned so the wait-time is reduced.
Pricing: Ok. They are "Extremely Expensive". But we can't expect anything less for the standard and quality of food they offer.
My Favourites: Kukur Lebabdar Tikka, Gadh Dhaniwal Pasanda, Kashmiri Meva Pulao, Rogvan Josh gravy, Kashmiri Naan, Beetroot Halwa & Kashmiri Tea.
The Kashmiri Food Festival isn't going to be yearlong so gear-up and make the food visit to Kashmir at Chennai. Worth a visit if you love or want to explore Kashmiri Cuisine.
P.S. This write-up is based on my food palate and dining experience during restaurant visit. Bloggers meet invite, only for their Kashmiri Food Festival. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.