‘Dumplings from around the World’ at ITC Gardenia
Food festivals or new menus generally involve overhauling the existing fare completely and going just a tad over the top to impress. However, the team at the Cubbon Pavilion at the ITC Gardenia have decided to take a sober approach to their ‘Dumplings from around the World’ festival. If the word ‘dumplings’ made you think of momos, think again. By definition, dumplings are small pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling. And keeping that in mind, we were offered a variety of dishes that hero dumplings, right from the classic Chinese dim sum, to ravioli and even our very own kofta.
Not looking to take the traditional promotion route, every section of the regular lunch buffet had dishes with dumpling at the core. My favourites came from the European section with the Spinach ricotta gnocchi and the Lamb Casserole with Caraway Dumplings taking top honours. The sauce in the latter…sigh!!! You could just give me a cup of that and I’d be happy. The Ravioli with Artichokes & Confit chicken was quite delicious, but was beaten by the two dishes mentioned above by miles.
The oriental section had a scrumptious Prawn Dumpling in Nam Prik Pao and a Shitake Dumplings in Ginger Scallion Sauce. More than the dumpling, the sauces on both the dishes hit the spot. Also included was the corn and chicken satay from the live counters. No dumping festival is complete without traditional momos and rolls.
While we tend not to think of Indian food having ‘dumplings’, the Indian section offered some fabulous dishes. The Mahi Kofta Qaliyan, a dish of fish dumplings in an onion yogurt gravy, and the Aloo Bukhara Kofta were cooked perfectly. The stand out dish from the Indian section would have to be the Gushtaba, a sinful Kashmiri style preparation of lamb dumplings in a gravy made from milk. The richness of the dish is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, but you really can’t have more than a few spoons even if you want to.
While there was a variety of desserts up for grabs, including gulab jamoon, Baklava and more, I was too stuffed to try. The festival is on every Saturday till the 30th of December and is a part of the regular lunch buffet, priced at INR 1550 + Taxes. Festivals like this while being sober in terms of promotion, deliver on the quality of food and allow the chefs to experiment and build