"She may not be a renowned chef, but no one can make your favorite dish better than her. That's the magic of a mother"
I believe a similar sentiment is echoed even by some of the most sought after chefs in the country. Therefore, this Mother's Day, JW Cafe at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar decided to hold a very special brunch. Chef Prasad Parab, sous chef at the JW Café patiently walked me through how the brunch had been designed for this occasion to showcase some heartwarming recipes from the kitchens of mothers of various chefs employed at the hotel. Therefore, it was indeed a privilege for me to treat my lovely mother to this special Mother’s Day brunch.
The noon of 8th May 2016 began by witnessing a very interesting pizza making workshop for children by Chef Roberto Zorzoli, Head Chef of Romano's restaurant at the hotel. Children as young as 3-4 years of age sprang into action as soon as they arrived to churn out delicious Margherita pizza for their mothers. Surjan Singh Jolly, Director – Food & Beverages at this famed property was present and kept the momentum of the workshop high with his witty and encouraging words for children. In about an hour pizzas were ready in several shapes and sizes. Comprising of a luscious tomato basil sauce and buffalo mozzarella chunks, the pizzas made by the kids under the tutelage of Chef Zorzoli had turned out lip smacking.
Now, it was time to move on to the lavish buffet spread. While it is practically impossible to refer to all fares we indulged in at this sumptuous multi-cuisine Mother's Day brunch at JW Café, I am penning some of my mother and my favorites down. Here is glimpse of the same:
Numerous chefs recreated their mothers' recipes to enthrall taste buds of the guests attending this brunch. Chef Leneesh presented an array of chutney's to be relished with NEER DOSA as a tribute to his mother. These included a tangy tomato chutney, a delicious peanut chutney, a refreshing beetroot Chutney, an unusual brinjal chutney amongst the many displayed.
The tawa pulao counter recreated two dishes - a delicious CHICKEN 65 PULAO with succulent pieces of chicken and SARASON PRAWN RICE, a very earthy, mustard flavored blend of rice and juicy prawns. The former was Chef Nimesh Sharma's mother's recipe while latter was that of Chef Tayyab's mother.
From the main course counter three dishes mesmerized our taste buds:
- STUFFED SQUIDS in a zesty, Maharashtrian-style coastal curry made by Chef Pravin Manwal following his mother's recipe.
- MURGH DUM BIRYANI, an aromatic and subtly spiced creation in which Chef Asif used his mother's freshly ground spice mix.
- BHATTI DA KUKKAD created by Chef Harpreet as a tribute to his mom. The gravy was robust in flavor and the chicken was moist.
It was pure bliss digging into humble recipes from Chef Rugntiwa's childhood. Popular Thai & Burmese dishes influenced by chef's Singaporean upbringing formed some of the best preparations on this brunch. Raw papaya salad called SOM TUM had a sublime sweetness, perfect acidity and a lovely crunch from the crushed peanuts. A more humble and delicate dish being churned out by Chef Rugntiwa was the CHICKEN WITH GINGER RICE along with Thai Chili sauce. KHOW SUEY counter allowed customization in terms of toppings and choice of protein. The soup was creamy from the use of coconut milk yet packed a nice spicy flavor.
Apart from the above dishes, we relished crispy PRAWN TEMPURA and a lovely VEGETARIAN SUSHI preparation from the live Japanese food counter.
While most of dishes of this culinary style are served as part of the regular buffet there was one dish that particularly stood out and was a special creation for Mother’s Day. This was Chef Roberto Zorzoli's PAELLA that incorporated beautiful clams and prawns in saffron flavored rice. Apart from the paella, we enjoyed the Portobello mushroom and spinach crêpe from the live crêpe counter at this café.
We ended up quenching our thirst with two brilliant non-alcoholic drinks - ORANGE MOJITO, a citrusy concoction and a delightful STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE. These were recommendations by a member of the staff serving our table. Unfortunately I do not recollect his name but his service and recommendations were impeccable.
Chef Omkar and his team had created an elaborate dessert counter, the mere sight of which took my breath away. Gorgeous cakes, beautiful cupcakes, interesting sweets all carried mother's day greetings. Marzipan was used to create beautiful baby figurines that adorned most of the desserts.
Our favorite picks from this counter were as under:
- Tropical Pralines that comprised of a dark chocolate center mixed with tropical fruits like passion fruit, banana encased in a white chocolate membrane
- Black Truffle Pralines that were a brilliant blend of chocolate and hint of truffle oil.
- Opera pastry that comprised of almond sponge layered with coffee flavored buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.
Apart from the above mentioned desserts, a serving of ice cream and scrumptious waffles, probably one of the best I have had in my culinary journey so far created by Chef Ashash concluded our enormous meal.
So, do try out the Sunday brunch at JW Café at JW Hotel Mumbai Sahar and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING...
- Food & travel enthusiast