Gorging on a phenomenal selection of Street Food in a palace?
That’s definitely unheard of, but this luxury hotel has succeeded in combining well-known flavors from the streets of India and creating an array of dishes meant for the royals.
Citrus, the Indian restaurant at The Leela Palace recently hosted us for an exclusive preview of their ‘Street Food Festival‘.The Street food festival at Citrus includes a specially curated menu that brings together unique street delicacies from different parts of India with an added twist to create something that I would call gourmet street food.The waiters were dressed in traditional attire to bring in a feel of the festivities, the street food menu will be a part of their regular buffet spread starting September 1st.
We started off our gastronomical journey in true Punjabi style with a glass of Rose Lassi, it came in a matka with a beautiful layer of malai of top, my distaste for drinks that are overly sweet is quite pronounced, but this one was perfect on the sweet quotient. They also had a healthier option, something that can be found in ever nook and corner of Bangalore, a refreshing drink called naarial paani or simply tender coconut water. A few munchies were laid out on the table for us – my favorites being the banana chips and Rose cookies, yes the Malayalee in me has spoken 😉
Next on the menu : one of my favorite Indian snacks- Chaat. The waiter recommended the Palak Pan ki chaat, two very common street treats (Chaat and Paan) combined to create something simply divine. The palak leaves was lightly batter fried to give it that added crunch and the freshness of the paan flavour came right through. Oh it gets better, all this dipped in a slightly sweetened mix of yogurt and topped with fresh coriander and pomegranate, absolutely loved this dish, kudos to Chef Zafar Ali and his team for this beautiful creation. I really hope this dish hits the streets sometime soon 😛 Can’t possibly head to Leela every other day. They also had the traditional Raj Kachori Chaat and an interesting Murgh ke chaat, an innovative chicken starter made up of chunks of lightly flavored chicken.
Time for some typical South Indian street delights, we had two varieties of the famous Kothu Parotta,a delicacy in Tamil Nadu, both the variants were light and delicious. Another interesting dish was the Bheja with Egg Dosa, some refused to try it, but for me this dish was absolutely mind-blowing, an uttapam filled with some tender bheja cooked to perfection is how I would describe it. This was followed by some typical chai time snacks,Goli Bajji, Maddur Vada, Jheenga Koliwada and some Nethili Fry. The Nethili fry was crispy and delicious, loved the prawns too, it was marinated perfectly and tasted a bit like ghee roasted prawns. Fresh from the Indian Sigri, we were also treated to some Beef Phal, Quail Roast and Pathar Gosht, tender pieces of meat, flavored beautifully and cooked to perfection.Absolutely loved these three dishes.
Now for Main Course, yes, it’s only now that the main course starts. Again an interesting mix of flavors and combinations awaited us. A perfect combination of dishes, from Hyderabad and Kerala-presenting to you some lacy steamed rice cakes (Idiyappam with a flavorful Paya Korma. I tried a small piece of the Keema Baida Roti, a popular Mumbai street food. They also had some Thatte Idly that I decided to skip, but my fellow vegetarian friends mentioned that it was light and soft.
Coming to my favorite part, even after being full, the sight of this dessert just made my day. Hot jalebis with a glass of Badam milk and some delicious mouthwatering Kulfis. We ended our meal(I know phew) in true Bangalorean style, with a glass of Filter Coffee or Kumbakonam Degree Coffee as they called it.
Thank you Leela Palace for hosting us, we had a wonderful time. What better way to enjoy food that with great company, met these lovely bunch of people last Saturday.
TheStreet Food Festival is on from 1st September to 11th September at Citrus Hotel@ The Leela Palace only for dinner.
Ensure you check it out! The hospitality, the food and the ambiance is simply out of this world and speaks of the luxury and grandeur associated with the Leela Group of Hotels. We took a walk around the property before our cab arrived, the waterfall right in the middle , the lush greenery, a perfect place to relax and enjoy a great meal.The sounds of water trickling down, well could your day get better.