Coorg Food Festival at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola

When somebody (read blogger) writes something not-so-great about you (read a recent food festival), there are a few ways to react. 1. You could stop talking to them ever. 2. Call them names and malign them. 3. Do more mean things. 4 All of the above!

There is a 5th option I guess. Make the blogger eat his own words by making sure the next festival will blow his mind! After a near fiasco with the Mumbai to Goa food festival, I thought I will never be allowed into Grand Chola. It was near scathing. Ideally, they should have kept a separate security guard to make sure I didn't come within a 200m radius!

But when they called me over for their new food festival, Coorgi, it was the packed restaurant that was the first sight. After the food, tt was like Anton Ego eating Remi's food! Really.

After a few minutes, three of us were seated and the trolley arrived with a simple but super yummy drink, the Coorg's Spice Market. Herbed and served with rum for the drinkers and without the rum for me, I am starting to have an affinity for these drinks. The starters then arrived, three of which stood out! The chicken. Oh-My-Kadavule! Stunner. South Indian at heart, mind and soul, this was the dish of the day for me. The super yummy lamb, followed and then a Banana Flower cutlet. Ha ha ha. What's a big deal about the 'Vazhapoo vada?'  It had the faintest of Asian flavours kissing the otherwise predominantly South Indian and made it a great great vegetarian starter. The sheer number of starters in the buffet was amazing. A fabulous mushroom followed all of which completely overpowered the Yam Cutlet which was average. We finished with brilliant deep fried prawns. What so amazing with the batter fried prawns? The batter! Richly flavoured, this was the Coorgi take on Golden Fried Prawns, I guess!

Dessert! Oh. Wait, there is main course.

A live grill with green chicken, red fish and yellow prawns. Now the fish and chicken were all nice, but I need to talk about the prawn. Small prawns, minced and stuffed back into whole prawns and tava fried. Looks simple, but it was so juicy, you could have it as your drink! Unfortunately it is at the back of the grill platter and I was in no mood to shoot it after I tasted it. It was dead anyway! Yes, pun intended!

Dessert! Oh. This was grill. There is still main course to come!

Simple as it can get. Sophisticated as it can get. Dosa. Idly. Nothing fancy with the dosa, everything fancy with the idly! Long and steamed in a shell and called the Kabudu, it went super well with gravies on offer, but one gravy that stood out was the Bamboo Gravy. Ha ha. Not just flavours, even the veggies were wide in variety. Stuffed as we were, I really wanted to try their mutton pulao. Wanted just one spoon, but went back and got another one!

Dessert. Yay! Dessert is the weak link in most buffets. And even more so in food festival buffets where they are usually disasters. Not here! A jackfruit halwa and a Khus Khus payasam. Who would have thought. The fact that I have to roll home is the only reason I didn't take a second helping! Special mention for the coffee that was served with espresso on the side. Why will you serve coffee with espresso? Turns out it isn't espresso! It was jaggery syrup!

Priced at Rs. 2200 plus tax, the net price will be Rs. 2600 odd for a super well researched food festival!