The mention of street food gets us all salivating. But, many of us hold ourselves back from indulging in several street food preparations over concerns of hygiene and food quality. It is to allow their patrons to enjoy street food without these aforementioned apprehensions that the 24/7 restaurant at The Lalit, Mumbai is holding a Street Food Festival until 30th September, 2016.
For this festival, Chef Aungshuman Chakraborty, executive chef at The Lalit, Mumbai and his team of talented chefs have created tantalizing live food counters depicting the street food from different cities of India as an add-on to the restaurant’s regular buffet. Since it is difficult to showcase street food from all over India in a single day, the restaurant will have a setup of different street food styles each day.
Here is look at the street food specialties that were presented at this restaurant when I dined here yesterday.
I began my gluttony with an appetizing PAAN SHOT that clearly set the tone for what awaited my palate at this food festival. MASALA CHAAS was aptly served as a thirst quencher and accompaniment with the numerous street food delicacies being churned out at various live food stations as under.
RAJASTHANI-STYLE PAKODA COUNTER
People thrive on various kinds of fritters as a quick fix snack or even a meal on the go. So, if you haven’t indulged in pakodas or bhajias or vegetable fritters, you have not really tasted the street food of this country especially the way they are served in the streets of the Rajasthan state. This food station offered a wide range of mouth-watering fritters including those made with green chillies, onions, potato, corn and even spinach leaves. These fritters were served with a wide variety of dips like tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, garlic chutney and sesame chutney. My favorite from this counter were the mildly spicy MIRCHI PAKODA or green chilli fritters with the sweet and tangy tamarind chutney.
MUMBAI-STYLE TAWA COUNTER
An enticing spectacle of three glistening griddles laden with colorful elements draw you towards this counter. For the vegetarians, there is the famous street food preparation PAV BHAJI to feast their taste buds on. The chef sprinkled a restrained amount of spices into a mashed vegetable mixture to serve up this delicious dish along with a butter laden bread. For those seeking non-vegetarian options, there is the mutton KHEEMA PAV spiked with garam masala and the quintessential Mumbai egg preparations - bhurji and omelette to go with the bread. My pick from this counter was the humble, delectable pav bhaji.
KOLKATA-STYLE CHOWMEIN & MOMO COUNTER
The mere sight of the gigantic momo steamer and woks in action at this counter catch your attention. This counter is recreation of what one would come across as a street side food station in the Tangra area of Kolkata. The aromas emanating from this counter are so powerful that they compel you to take notice of the delicious fares at this food kiosk. The highlight of this counter was the CHOW MEIN that was greasy, spicy and delicious. It was a true representation of the street food savoured by the populace in Kolkata. The momos both vegetarian and non-vegetarian had copious amounts of lip-smacking filling but were let down by a thick, chewy coating.
MUMBAI-STYLE CHAAT COUNTER
A look at this counter immediately reminds you of the scores of make-shift kiosks that prop up every day to cater to those demanding, evening hunger pangs faced by Mumbaikars. With offerings covering a wide range of tasty street style preparations like pani puri, papdi chaat, dahi puri, sev puri and much more, you are lured to linger around this counter till you cannot stomach food any further. The chef at this counter did a brilliant job with all the dishes and served one of the most delicious dahi puris I have had in a long time. The puris were crisp and had the right balance of all ingredients.
U.P.-STYLE MITHAI COUNTER
After having indulged in savory goodies at this street food festival, it was time to turn my attention to some sweet treats. This counter offered sinful treats like sumptuous kesar petha with warak , piping hot jalebis with rabdi, yummy malai sandwich and made to order, steaming hot, dry fruit laden masala milk in a way that reminds you of stalls selling sweets in the streets of Uttar Pradesh state. The former two sweet delights were my favorites from this counter and I am guilty of enjoying more than a modest amount of these two sugar treats that were rich, scrumptious and not overtly sweet.
PAAN & MUKHWAS COUNTER
A sweet gulkand paan provided a befitting wrap to my gluttonous journey at this street food festival. This is also the most sought after way to get rid of bad breath and enhance digestion and the justification for this can be found in placement of scores of paan thelas or kiosk right outside most eateries. Other popular forms of mukhwas that adorned this counter included toasted fennel seeds, candied amla or gooseberry, kesar supari or betel nut amongst the many.
This street food festival is taking place every day from 7.00 – 11.30 pm till 30th September.
Price per pax: INR 1850 plus taxes
So, do try out this festival and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING…
(PS: The dishes were served as part of special bloggers’ table so actual portion sizes and preparation may vary. However, my review is subjective and unprejudiced.)
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast