Nawab of Arcot's Home at ITC Grand Chola
How do you spice up a buffet? Send your chef to a king's house, I guess!!! I've gotten to not like buffets very much and Madras Pavilion being a buffet only restaurant never caught my attention, much to the amusement of my friends who really like it. Spicing it up might be difficult and I understand that a buffet restaurant has to cater to so many people with so many different tastes, so, it is only natural to try to fit it all, even if it means that it may not be great! But, at least for the next week or so, it will be great! Why? How?
Why did this invite to a buffet interest me? It has been spiced (literally) up! So, they send their chefs to Amir Mahal, the palace that houses the Nawab of Arcot, and Arcot biriyani is quite something, indeed. Yeah, so back to the chefs. These guys spent a couple of weeks in the kitchen of the palace and learnt what and how these kings (or nawabs) eat! And they recreated it in the kitchen of Madras Pavilion. While the fabulous restaurant, Peshawri might have been a better host for this festival, for something like this, which is part of Kitchen's of India's Royal Repast, buffet is not a bad idea!! And no better place than ITC Grand Chola to host the kitchens of the Nawabs.
We started off with a stunner. It was stunner for me because normally, I would have expected only non vegetarian dishes to have been great in a Nawab's house. There were two shorbas, a lamb shorba, but the second one, the Badam Shorba with saffron was fantastic. Yes, a vegetarian dish from the Nawab's Kitchen!!!! Also, I managed to get a nice shot of the dish!!! Yay!
Next was a bunch of disappointing dishes, the starters and kebabs. There was fish, some tikki, some spinach and something else and each of them weren't good for me. Either, the Nawabs like it that way or the chefs have not recreated it properly because it was like most average kebabs.
Thankfully, I had very little starters because the main courses and desserts were excellent. What else is a main course in a Nawab's house, but biriyani!!! In this case, the Arcot Biriyani. Very few restaurants get it right and the chefs here got it, close to perfect. The aroma was fabulous, the lamb was succulent and the flavours were all there. It is almost like a tamil muslim wedding biriyani but with some saffron!!! There were three non veg gravies, a mutton, a prawn and a chicken! The lamb and prawns were both tomato based with great flavours, great meat and the prawns weren't the tiny ones but decent sized. The chicken gravy was white and again packed with flavour. My friend said that the paneer gravy that he had, wasn't great, so I'm glad I stuck to the other three gravies.
We had two helpings of dessert!!!
No extra charge for this and it is part of the buffet which I believe changes everyday!!!!