Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Peshawri - ITC Grand Chola

There is something about the ITC Grand Chola, this will be the third post directly related to it and is a result of the Indiblogger meet hosted by them earlier. I got the complimentary meal for two at Peshawri their signature North West frontier cuisine restaurant and this post is about that lunch.

After much procrastination and faulty scheduling I thought that I should make the lunch occasion special and so decided to use the voucher on the birthday of my better half and so we went there on the 4th of this month. The fact that both our workplaces are in the vicinity helped our planning.

I remember that last time they inspected under the bonnet of my car at the gates but this time they stuck to the regular boot check and then the mandatory flag on by the many security staff led us to the porch, though this time we took a shorter route than my first visit.

We were greeted by a Namaste by the entire reception / security team and ushered in. I would have really loved a Vanakkam keeping with the theme and the local flavour. We entered the restaurant and handed over the letter to the hostess and we were escorted to our seats. There were around 4 groups of diners at the time so we had a cozy corner to ourselves. A point worth mention is the d├ęcor and the uniforms of the staff.

We were handed a menu and frankly I was overwhelmed since I did not expect to be given a choice so I informed the waiter that we were here for the set menu, they handed me one set and informed me there were others, I said that I will go by their guidance and so I did not bother to see much of the menu except the all important price which I will share a little later.

As mentioned it was a set platter and we had a choice of the breads and I preferred the roti while D went for the butter naan. The see through kitchen kept me occupied and I actually saw the flour being flattened and our rotis and naans being made in front of my eyes. (D was facing away so she had only the wall to amuse herself, besides me). Also the most popular order seemed to be the kababs and I saw several skewers being cooked at the same time.

The papads and pickled onions came first accompanied by the best green chutney I have eaten. Then we saw the platters before us. 3 cups of the thickest curd (raitha actually), black dhal and butter chicken, a vegetable salad and 2 pieces of chicken & mutton kababs made up the platter and the bread of choice. At first glance I wondered if it will be enough but all misgivings were soon dispelled.

Oh by the way we were politely informed by the waiter in the tradition of the Peshawri, we are recommended to eat with our fingers. This was very sound advice indeed and finger licking is way better than licking a spoon or fork. I was licking my fingers as the meal progressed the chicken curry was delicious with tender pieces of chicken, but the highlight was the murgh malai kababs, better than the ones at BBQ Nation I think.

The food was nice but what made the meal enjoyable was the wonderful service. We were constantly checked on the food and whether it met our expectations, the waiter even gave us a small explanation of the kababs which reminded me of “The Great Kabab Factory”. During one of my conversations with the friendly staff I mentioned that I would like to blog about the lunch and I asked for a soft copy of the menu. I later received the a la carte menu so I am unable to list the names of the dishes that we had.

As we finished the meal the chef called on our table and enquired again if the meal was good and if we were happy with the same. We nodded our appreciation then they asked us for the choice of dessert. Frankly I skip desserts nowadays (bored with the ice cream / gulab jamun combos) and we were full since the portions were filling and very rich, after much persuasion from their side we settled on a firni for both of us. The waiter who took the order was a trifle disappointed but we assured him that we only declined dessert because we could not eat any more.  The firni was light, smooth and very enjoyable and we managed to finish it with little guilt.

We left the place after thanking the team who again enquired if we were satisfied and if we liked the food, I wondered if this was the standard practice or it was because it was a lean day, but it made us feel very good. One photo op at the lotus pool which was my favourite photo in my earlier visit after the massive stairway we left the ITC Grand Chola. But I know that this will not be my last visit.

Before I forget I tweeted to the ITCGrandChola handle about our visit and about my feedback on the Vanakkam and they promptly responded. I know with this responsiveness and thoughtful service they will go far. I was informed that their rooms were fully booked!!!

And oh before I sign off the set meal was 1450 plus taxes and I think it is quite good.

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