Buffets always appeal to the best and the worst in human nature – should one be a picky gourmand or an absolute glutton? Normally one starts with the first and then all goes haywire. Adding to the Gourmand Gluttony of the Gurgaon-scape is the newly opened Westin at the IFFCO chowk at its coffee shop “Seasonal Tastes” which boasts of a daily 100+ course menu at Rs 1200 plus taxes.
This bountiful buffet starts with a
generous array of salads, antipasti and mezze dishes.
The greens are bursting with freshness.
The red wine vinaigrette is nicely balanced, the hummus is creamy and wholesome, and the capers fat and juicy. The well-intentioned asparagus artichoke salad, however, has all the wrong spices, and the pomegranate salad is too spicy to stand on its own. The cheese selection includes the superb stilton, a utilitarian goat cheese, brie, camembert and crackers and jams. The Cheddar however, is
dry and far too mild.
Build your own salad to taste, maybe topped off with the delightful confit of garlic and onion with some slivers of grana pradano, or pick up a little ramekin of glass-noodle salad.
For the main course, stick to the Continental and Asian fare. Though the kebabs and tikkas are passable, the Indian station is avoidable. The Tomato rice in particular is utterly vapid. The Goan fish curry lacks the characteristic spicy hit and the mutton masala is insipid. The pepper chicken in ambiguous white sauce suffers from an identity crisis.
The Continental line chefs whip up a toothsome pasta dish from the ingredients you choose. The pasta selection does not extend to tortellini or even tagliatelle, but the Aglio olio with linguini ranks among the best this reviewer has ever had. The gnocchi becomes pasty from being in the buffet too long though.
The reluctant live barbecue chef tries his best to encourage us to have the already prepared stuff, which we do, and realize that it is leathery and avoidable. But we do manage to insist that he prepare us some grilled tenderloin, which turns out to be beautifully charred and delicious.
The Asian section is the friendly one. They are happy to cook up anything for you. The mix and match continues in the Asian station – the noodles, vegetables, mushrooms and condiments you choose are made to order by the line chefs into hearty noodle soups or entrees. The Japanese salads (right at the end of the buffet) are wonderful. But the sushi is not. The rice is hard due to passage of time, ruining the taste of sushi.
The Dessert section is well intentioned, but not worth much of a mention, and can easily be avoided.
Address:Westin Hotel, Number 1, MG Road Sector 29, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4977777
– Aalok Wadhwa