What: Kerala Food Festival at Buzz
Where: The Gateway Hotel, Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway, OMR, Elcot SEZ, Shollinganallur, Chennai
When: Till 28th August, 2016 (only dinner buffet, 7 - 11.30 PM)
As the name says, they continue to create buzz through their food and intrude into diners memory via taste. Not just the lush green environment and monsoon, the Gods own Country also relish everyone with traditional spices via food. And this season during the Madras Week, the all-day diner is hosting a Kerala specific dinner buffet. As the pookkalam delights your vision, you are invited into the restaurant with a refreshing Tender Coconut (and you are in for a surprise as you sip the drink).
As I took a walk along the buffet, the counters seemed endless. The exotic exhibit of delicacies starting from Puttu to Payasam tinkles your senses with aroma. Though buffet has other cuisine, the food from Malabar coast dominates the spread. Indulged into the food with Seafood Drumstick Soup. The dominance of turmeric is visible in every mouthful and the taste of seafood and drumstick is very subtle. Though that's the authentic version, a tad less on turmeric would have enhanced the seafood flavour. Like bread for continental, you have Banana Chips, Mullu Muruku and Sarkara Varatti to accompany the soup.
And moving on to the Starters, there were plenty. Whereas my most favourite one is Vazhapoo Vazha Pindi Vadai (Banana Flower and Plantain Stem cake), the combination of banana flower and plantain stem with subtle flavours moulded into a delicious vadai. The pan fried vadas are soft like a steamed cake and melts in your mouth.
A well-cooked Mushroom Pepper Fry, in spicy pepper masala is another great addition but a little more of salt would have made it perfect.
The base for most Indian cooking is onion-tomato gravy. And any food cooked with that gravy is hard to resist. So the Kozhi Roast is one perfect dish for chicken lovers, the juicy and succulent meat cooked in the gravy makes you scream for more but beware there is more to taste. And comes one of the most flavoursome Squid Porichathu, the intense of chilli masala sans the squid's fishy smell worked perfectly for me.
There were exclusive salads with influence of Kerala cuisine and I still had mains and desserts; so if you love salads then go for this.
My heart was stuck to Chammanthi and Pachadis counter in the whole buffet, cause Keralites make the best chutney and pachadis. The spicy dry chilli and shallots chutney (Idicha Manthi) and roasted coconut chutney (Chutta Thenga Chammanthi) were my favourites. They also had mango chutney (Manga Chammanthi), Pavaikai Pachadi and dry shrimp chutney powder (Chemeen Podi).
It is a buffet but for tasting they presented two beautiful plates of main courses with one each for vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The traditional Thalassery Chicken Biryani, the juicy chicken pieces cooked with Kaima rice and spices loads your palate with flavour; the sweetness from onion crisp cuts down the spiciness.
It's been ages I ate Kappa and it's one of my favourite. And the perfect way to eat Kappa (tempered steamed Tapioca) is with fish curry. The tangy, spicy and salty Sardine Fish Curry and Kappa is absolute comfort food. Though I didn't taste the other two non-vegetarian gravies, Mutton Mappas and Tenderloin Ularthiyathu, my friend seemed to be enjoying the dish.
Meen Pollichathu is a must when we say Kerala, the luscious Tilapia fish cooked in banana leaf was yum but being a lazy person I would have enjoyed and preferred a fish with less bones.
And coming to the vegetarian counterpart, the sour and creamy Pulissery is a winner. The spicy mushroom shallots gravy (Koon Ulli Theeyal) and the coriander infused vegetable gravy (Veg Malli Peralan) are perfect for Ghee Rice and Appam.
|Ghee Rice. Veg, Mushroom and Pulissery (top-bottom)|
The steaming hot White Rice and Red Rice Puttu was served with Kadala Curry, a match I prefer. You can also try them with Meen Vattichathu or Banana. The taste of red rice puttu with shredded coconut and sugar is absolute bliss in mouth. They also make hot Malabar Parathas.
For finale, the four delicious desserts from coast of Kerala. Paal Ada Pradhaman, the rice ada cooked in milk and sugar were subtle in sweetness but the texture was rich and creamy. The Poha (Aval / Pressed rice) taste multiplies with the flavour of palm sugar, cardamom and graded coconut, a tasty Aval Vilayichathu.
The wobbly and creamy Vattalappam (Kerala style custard) is exceptional in taste, just keep them coming and I will eat everything. One of the authentic and tasty dessert Ela Ada, the perfectly steamed rice dumplings stuffed with coconut and palm sugar, what a delight to eat them.
An hearty Kerala bhaksanam!
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: At the IT expressway of Chennai with valet parking.
Ambience: Positive. Neat and vibrant; the buffet arrangement is made so well to avoid commotion at the dining place.
Food Variety: Positive. Authentic array of food from the cuisine.
Taste: Positive. Traditional and true to the cuisine, also tastes great.
Quality & Quantity: Positive. An unlimited buffet. The choice of ingredients and cooking method vouches for the food quality.
Service: Positive. Flawless.
Price: NA. The buffet dinner costs Rs. 1200 INR (plus taxes) per person.
So my Verdict!
Buzz at The Gateway Hotel is taking their diners on a journey to Gods own Country on the Western Ghats of India via their food. You can indulge your taste buds in the traditional flavours of Kerala via their "Kerala Food Festival" that is till 28 August 2016.
For Reservations, call +91 44 66802500
P.S. On-the-house bloggers meet for tasting session at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel for their Kerala Food Festival. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.
Kerala Food Festival at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway, Chennai Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 18:15 Rating: