Kafe Fontana, the all-day dining restaurant at Taj Palace, New Delhi is running a week long British Food Festival from 25th August to 1st September 2014. A special menu with few appetizers, soups, main course and dessert options has been created for this festival, which is being conducted by Daniel Ayton, one of the known chefs in the UK, and with The Taj Group in London for over 7 years.
British dishes are going to be available a la carte, with some that maybe more suited for the Indian palate also included in the multi-cuisine lunch buffet. I have been invited by the hotel to sample the British food. This is an event I have been looking forward to because traditional British cuisine has some of my favourite dishes. I am hoping to find the roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast lamb in mint sauce, steak and kidney pie, pig with crackling, fish and chips, jam roly poly….I could go on and on.
The afternoon however, is a bit of a dampener. The buffet is more or less what other hotels serve, with a sprinkling of some British food, which, owing mainly to choosing safe dishes and local sourcing of ingredients fails to impress. The saffron smoked fish soup is a pleasant and light start, though the soup needs to be a little less watery. Billingsgate Fish Pie just does not have the depth of flavour of the original British fish pie, and tastes rather bland. Butchers meat pie could have been a good dish, if the quality of meat had been better and the meat had not been so tough. One of the few vegetarian choices is Capsicum with Rice and Portobello stuffing, which is a competent dish as is the Summer Berry Pudding.
In cheeses too, the choices are limited and the famous Stilton is conspicuous by its absence. Cheddar and a smoked cheese that are on offer are both pleasant.
The dinner a la carte menu has a few interesting options like roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and toffee pudding. But looking at this festival, it does not have much of Britain in it. In the words of the Bard, it is ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.