Gujarati food festival @Sofitel, Mumbai : A Gujarati Food Fiesta

_DSC0359Given that Parsis lived in Gujarat for several years and adopted most of their customs, it is perceived that Parsi and Gujarati food is quite similar. Except that one is purely non vegetarian while the other is the complete opposite.

It is for this reason that bawas generally don’t like going out to eat a Gujarati Thali as we simply consider it as home food…and the fact that it is vegetarian of course. However, the recent Padhaaro Gujarat festival in Sofitel Hotel proved to me that while both communities share their love for potatoes and have several sweet teeth, the similarity ends there.

For the festival, Tuskers at Sofitel ensured that the menu was created not only by their experienced in-house maharaja but was also designed in collaboration with two Gujarati housewives specialising in the cuisine, Mrs. Urmila Gohil and Mrs. Neha Varma. And the verdict? It was a good move!

_DSC0353After getting through the typical Rajasthani decorated lounge and the puppeteers, we were presented an extensive eight page menu to choose from. I decided to give decision fatigue a skip and we went with the set course thali option – a very good decision indeed!

As always happens in my case with such food festivals, the part I enjoyed the best was the appetisers. My favourites were the Vatena Gugra which is like a Gujarati version of the samosa and the Methi Dhokla which had just the right amount of moisture and tadka. While we also tried the Bajra Wada, this was a bit too crunchy for me and I’d probably give it a skip the next time.

In between this food fiesta, came the Aam Panna which was perfect given the days are now starting to get hotter. I liked the fact that the Panna was fizzy and the sourness of the raw mango was simply perfect. I am not the only one who thought so apparently as the restaurant manager told us that this accidental last minute addition to their menu had been the best selling item of the festival!

_DSC0357For the mains, we got the thali that had a selection of food ranging from Ringna nu Ollo to Dal Dhokli, Undhyo, Surti Kadi and Sev Tamatar.

Now, every Parsi I know of my mom’s age craves Undhiyu as soon as winter creeps into Mumbai. Some even go to Soam to pre-order their Undhiyu – a kind of madness that’s generally unheard of amongst bawas for vegetarian food. So, I was relatively excited to try the Undhyo here and it did impress. Often many thali places just make Undhiyu with a mix of the starchy vegetables and don’t add in the plantain or new beans. However, this one at Tuskers was made the original way (I presume) it’s made in Gujarati households and I licked my fingers clean.

_DSC0362Other notables were the Ringna nu Ollo, a Gujarati spin on the Baingan Bharta and the Surti Kadi which was so different from the sweet dal they feed us in normal restaurants. My only gripe was the Sev Tamatar. Though the dish was made how it’s supposed to, I found the dish lacking any spice and having the sev inside the gravy meant that the sev was all soggy and had lost its texture.

Despite heavy persuasion from the manager, we really didn’t have space for the Khichdi so we had to give that a skip. We did manage to try the Sitaphal Basoondi which was nice but couldn’t match up to the lovely meal we’d had.

Overall, this was one Gujarati meal that I’ve enjoyed in a long while. Basis this meal, I’d happily go back to Tuskers even for a regular vegetarian meal the next time I am in the area!

Ratings out of 5

Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 3 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5

Meal for Two: Special price of Rs 2600 plus taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes |

Timing: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 12 Midnight | Wheelchair access: Yes

Address: Sofitel Hotel, C 57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

Telephone : 022 30151035

Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.




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