The buzz at the coffee shop of Hyatt never dies down. Specially flown in from Hyatt Regency Incheon, guest Chef Ik Sun Son and Chef Seunghyun Bae are showcasing Korean flavours at Café between 4 to 11 September, 2013. For this special week of Korean flavours the chefs have created a rotating menu which allows guests to experience a wide variety of Korean delicacies.
Korean cuisine s largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are known for the number of side dishes that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented red chilli paste), however ingredients and dishes vary by province.
Since I live in Gurgaon, I have been exposed to good Korean food for some years now. I ask Chef Ik Sun Son if he has made any changes to the food to suit the Indian palate. “We have not used beef in any of the dishes, and have chosen more vegetarian centric dishes to suit the Indian palate” is his reply. We take a quick round of the dishes on offer in the buffet and then eagerly proceed to pick up our plates and attack the spread.
We start with a variety of kimchis – cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi and heart of Korean cabbage kimchi. I prefer the cabbage kimchi. The Korean cabbage kimchi does not delight as much since having been kept out in the buffet, the kimchi has wilted. The two pickles, cucumber namul and onion namul, are zesty. The acon jelly with spicy soy sauce is a bit bland while the jabchae (Glass noodle salad with vegetable) delights as always with its light and sweetish taste and a crispy texture of steamed wontons and crisp beans. The shrimp salad with pine nut is fresh, nutty and optimally salty.
Miyeok kook is a seaweed soup which the chef informs us as being great for lactating mothers. It is a a bit too subtle for our seasoned Indian palate. Kuk soo, the spicy Korean noodle soup was perfect with a wonderful broth.
Sadly, the bulgogi is missing from the main course because of the hotel’s ‘no beef’ policy. The deji gamja jjim (braised pork and potato with soy marinade) and domi gooi (snapper with sesame seed sauce) are both interesting. Dak dori tang (a sweetish spicy chicken stew) delights with its spicy red gravy. The vegetarian section is exciting too. Kimchi jun (kimchi pancake) can be addictive. The vegetarian bibimbab is most enjoyable thanks to the exciting chilly pepper paste which is sweet, salty and sour, with a good zing of chilly thrown in.
We take our time to move on to the sweets but apart from the cinnamon punch which is refreshing, the sweet bean rice cakes just do not do it for us. The Indian palate would find the sweet rice cakes a bit less sweet and a bit lacking in texture.
The coffee shop at Hyatt never fails to please with all the new exciting food festivals that go on there. As usual this festival delights the diners though I would have loved to taste the famous bulgogi. Also perhaps a live station dishing out fresh grills to the diners would have added to the true taste of Korea.
Promotion dates: 4 to 11 September, 2013
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two: Lunch & Dinner Buffet at INR 1,750 plus taxes per person
Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12:30 PM to 2:45 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Address: The Café, Hyatt Regency Delhi, Bhikaji Cama Place, Ring Road, New Delhi – 110 066 | Telephone: + 91 11 6677 1306
– Aalok Wadhwa with inputs from Pavleen Gujral