Amritsari Festival @Sofitel, Mumbai: Balle Balle to good food.

The entrance
The entrance

After a work induced break from reviews, I was finally heading to my first review in three months. I chose the Amritsari Food Festival at the Sofitel on this occasion.

Having attended several food festivals organized by Sofitel over the past few years, I had my reservations about them hosting this festival in a buffet format in their all day diner, Pondicherry Cafe like they had done for most of their international ones. I was happy to note that it was being hosted at their sit down Indian Fine Dining restaurant, Jyran in a-la-carte format.

The Lassi Counter
The Lassi Counter

A section of the restaurant was made to resemble a dhaba counter where they were churning out fresh lassis and there was a truck cut out at the entrance with Bhangra dancers and a live dhol around it welcoming the patrons.

Masterchef Season 2 contestant, Ms. Jyoti Arora was the guest chef spearheading this festival and she took time out to suggest to me the dishes to try out from her special Amritsari menu.

The non veg starters
The non veg starters

For non-veg starters, we tried a sampling of Shami Kebab, Fish Tandoori, Bhatti da Murg, Amritsari Boti and Murg Kasoori. The shami kebabs were different from their Lucknawi counterparts – quite robust in the spices, a bit drier but certainly delicious and the fish was juicy and delectable with subtle flavors though a bit under seasoned but nevertheless, with good clean flavours. The Murg Kasoori was marinated in pineapple puree giving it a slight, sweet note and had smokey flavours – a good neat starter. The starter that stood out for me was the Mutton Boti which, though a bit chewy, was seeped in flavours. The marinade in the boti had impregnated the pieces and one could taste it in each bite.

Amongst the vegetarian starters of Dahi Ke Kebab, Chukandar Ki Tikki and Bharwaaan Aloo, I relished the Dahi Ke Kebab the most. The other two starters were not bad but faded in comparison to the Dahi Ke Kebabs for sure.

Tandoori Prawns
Tandoori Prawns

The Tandoori Jhinga looked beautiful in its presentation but I felt that the marinade overshadowed the sweetness of the prawn and didn’t let the crustacean shine through. Though the marinade did overshadow the prawns, the dish in itself wasn’t too spicy.

Our mains consisted of Mutton Beli Ram, Dhabe Ka Murg, Baigan Bharta and Maa Di Daal. While the Mutton Beli Ram had similar taste notes to a Nihari gravy, the Baigan Bharta was quite mild and disappointed me as I like the pungent sharp flavours of chillis and onions along with the creamy-nuttiness of the brinjals in usual bhartas or even babaganoush in the typical home made bhartas. The Maa Di Daal was good and could have competed with some of the best Maa Di Daal one can have anywhere. The stand out dish here was, however, the Dhabe Da Murg, which was emanating a beautiful aroma as soon as it was brought to the table. The fall off the bone, juicy chicken and the coarse, thick gravy mixed with aromatic spices are sure to make you feel that you are sitting at a road side Dhaba anywhere along the highways in Punjab, listening to Punjabi folk music and enjoying the meal with hot rotis and desi ghee. A perfect and a highly recommended dish for everyone who want to get a taste of rural Punjab.

Gajar ka Halwa
Gajar ka Halwa

We finished off our meal with a nice, rich, homely Gajar Ka Halwa.I must give credit to the team from Sofitel for having been able to source carrots in off season for this treat. It’s always been my weakness and it quite lived up to my expectations here.

The Amritsari festival goes on at Sofitel Mumbai till the 14th of April, to usher in Baisakhi and I do recommend you head there to try out some lovely dishes from Amritsar cooked with a lot of love and passion by Ms. Arora.

Meal for Two: Rs.4000 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, BandraKurla 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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