The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi in association with Alvear Art Hotel, Buenos Aires is hosting a four day Argentine Food Festival in New Delhi from 23 – 26 September at Machan, its coffee shop. Daniel Godoy, Executive Chef, Alvear Art Hotel has travelled all the way to give the diners an authentic taste of his homeland, Argentina. The dishes are available at the Machan lunch buffet (at Rs 1950) on weekdays and al a la carte menu for dinner.
I have been invited by the hotel to taste the buffet where these dishes are being served. I am a sucker for any new taste experience so I reach the hotel in an excited frame of mind. And this is an experience which I am unlikely to forget for some time. After a long time I am at a hotel food festival that I truly enjoy.
I start with the cold buffet. Mote Corn & Quinoa Salad has Mote corn, a grain particular to Mexico and Argentina has been mixed with quinoa, baby potatoes, quail eggs, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, fine herbs, and dressed with an olive-lime vinaigrette is a salad one would welcome at any time. Sour chicken escabeche, cooked in a herb-vinegar stock, bay leaves, pepper corn, vichy carrots & grelots onions is a new taste experience to me, rather close to a ceviche.
In the hot buffet, despite it not being Argentinian Beef, the Fillet mignon has been cooked to a perfect medium rare, and is delicious down to every bite. It has been grilled and drizzled in Malbec sauce and served with baby potatoes, mushroom, with the famous chimichurri and criolla (South American version of salsa) sauces, making it a dish one would want to keep gorging on. Argentinean Locro is one of the country’s national dishes. It is a stew like preparation made with white corn, white beans, pumpkin, bacon, pork leg and meat, spring onion and paprika dressing, and is a nice comfort food which can be ideal for a chilly winter evening.
No South American meal is complete without Empanadas, which are close cousins of our own keema samosa. They are classic deep fried dumplings stuffed with beef and humita (masa harina and corn, slowly boiled), and are every bit as delightful as a samosa. The accompanying chimichurri sauce (their chutney, made with finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and vinegar) completes the picture.
From the dinner a la carte menu, the Patagonian Lamb (Rs 2600) simply takes breath away. It is so soft and succulent that no one can stop at one. It is served with fresh Turkish lentil salad, smoked eggplant creamy purée, malbec wine sauce
I end the meal with another wow dessert dish. Vigilante Kebabs are served on wooden skewers, and have a layer of a sweet potato confection, and another of fresh cheese, drizzled with a vanilla honey sauce and crushed walnuts. I am truly in love with this dessert.
I would recommend a visit to this festival at Machan. The flavours of Argentina will delight you.
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.