ITC Hotels have always maintained the ethos of responsible luxury and this is very well manifested in their overall operations as well as culinary endeavours. It is in tune with this philosophy, the upscale, all-day dining cafes (or 24x7 restaurants) across ITC Luxury properties have gone one step ahead and designed their new a la carte menu in a way to ensure holistic wellness of their patrons, exemplify local delicacies and indoctrinate concern for the environment.
At a recently held #TrendingAtPavilion luncheon at HORNBY'S PAVILION, ITC GRAND CENTRAL, MUMBAI, Chef Sumeet Rohela from the culinary masters’ team at this restaurant patiently walked us through the entire process of how at an annual conclave of chefs from various ITC properties, a thoughtful planning of the new menus was initiated. He delved into various aspects and dietary notations in the new menu (as seen in image alongside) to elucidate what they entail and how they are intended to provide guests with an exceptional dining experience.
The vedic philosophy of sattvik food that lays emphasis on vegetarianism and its wholesomeness has also been used to develop certain dishes in the menu. These dishes have been prepared in a special quarantined section in the restaurant to maintain utmost purity and avoid cross contamination with any undesirable food elements. Such preparations have been represented through a green leaf symbol in the new menu indicating their preparation through the SATTVA principles.
Chef Rohela along with his colleagues apprised us of the significance that has been laid on developing SWASTHYA CUISINE or healthy culinary preparations that comprise both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes centred on use of superfoods like lentils, berries, walnuts, prunes, sunflower seeds, stevia, tofu etc. This idea has been exhibited right from the breakfast offerings to dessert creations in the menu.
Light was also shed on the collaboration ITC Hotels have taken up with the CHOOSE WISELY PROGRAM endorsed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and developed in India with the assistance of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. As part of this association, the new Pavilion menu provides vital information to guests about the catchment details and population status of various marine life sought as food. This information works towards sensitizing guests about their culinary choices impacting the environment and helps them make a thoughful decision while selecting their grub.
Absorbing all this information, I was eagerly looking forward to a very special and scrumptious meal.
So, here is a look at my gluttony at a very splendid #TrendingAtPavilion experience at Hornby’s Pavilion:
SWASTHYA BEVERAGES & AMUSE BOUCHE
This was a refreshing concoction of juices of carrot, cucumber & bell peppers and was aptly termed the MORNING ENERGISER (SKINATIZER) as it instantly reinvigorated us from our fatigued travel state on a day plagued with blistering heat.
While the affable team of chefs from the restaurant filled us in on what awaited us as food courses for the day, two more thirst quenchers made their appearance along with amuse bouche. These fruit-based drinks were prepared keeping the SWASTHYA philosophy of the menu in mind and involved either natural sugar from the fruits or extracts from stevia leaves only. Each of these drinks served a nutritious purpose through their various components that are sources of antioxidants, vitamins, aid digestion etc. . One of the best blends presented was the DATE & TENDER COCONUT BLITZ that was prepared by mulling together fresh dates and coconut water. It was a light, sweet flavoured swig that had traces of date pulp. Next up was the humble POMEGRANATE & APPLE medley that had a sweet and sour flavour profile.
The new menu at this restaurant is also paying tribute to a lot of local food grains that were once revered but today are relegated to an unknown existence in wake of offshore ingredients like oats, quinoa making a beeline into urban homes. In order to bring alive the wholesome goodness of the forgotten grains like pearl millet, finger millet, sorghum, the diners were presented with an amuse bouche of a freshly baked loaf of MULTI-GRAIN, CRUSTY BREAD with freshly prepared BASIL PESTO. This indeed paved the way for an appetising start to an elaborate meal.
For this special luncheon, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options of appetizers were presented.
MEZZE PALETTE: This vegetarian treat included the following:
PAVILION SHRIMP COCKTAIL
This new menu currently has 30% of all ingredients required in its various dishes procured from within 200 kilometre radius of the restaurant. Hence, while we are accustom to devouring this signature dish with a tart, chili and ketchup based sauce, the new menu in its effort to highlight the essence of star, locally sourced ingredients created a special dressing for the shrimps by replacing the original cocktail sauce with a kokum and curry leaf mayo. Kokum or Garcinia indicum is a fruit native to the coastal areas of Maharashtra and often used as a souring agent in preparation of a lot of seafood dishes including curries in this region. This signature prawn cocktail of Hornby’s Pavilion with the aforementioned inventive twist was lip-smacking and retained the original flavour profile of the dish but with home-grown panache.
FROM THE TUREEN (SOUP)
In keeping with the menu’s vow of providing food that is high on nutrition as it is on flavour, the soups too have been subject to a method of preparation that imbibes them with a nutritive quotient. This was aptly established in SINGAPOREAN LAKSA that was not a starchy, thick broth but one which had basic puree of coconut milk with spices that lent it a beautiful aromatic flavour and light texture. Shrimp, fish, chicken tenders and rice noodles adorned the soup bowl and their flavors were beautifully complimented by the coconut infused broth.
PAVILION PANTRY BURGER
CHICKEN KATSU: This scrumptious, medium-sized, chicken slider finds its place in the stacks and wraps section of the menu. The process of arriving at this slider was an intricate one using popular elements of Japanese cuisine. Chicken breast was marinated in the famed tonkatsu sauce to impart it with lovely earthy flavors of ginger, garlic and soy. This piece of chicken was then coated in a mixture of refined flour, rice flour and corn starch and deep fried till it developed a crispy, golden crust while the chicken encased in it was cooked to perfection. This luscious piece of chicken was then placed between two halves of a multi-grain bun and laced with horseradish and grain mustard relish to pack the slider with modest piquancy. A side of French fries and salad greens completed the dish.
The preparations listed below are popular delicacies from countries round the globe and were presented with the chef’s rendition to suit the Indian palate.
STAR OF MUMBAI GOSHT BOHRI BIRYANI: This sumptuous dish is surely going to be #TrendingAtPavilion in their new menu highlighting local & regional delicacies. Luscious lamb chunks were cooked with restraint use of spices such that they truly stood out as the hero of the dish. The meat was cooked with indeed utmost perfection and was falling off the bone. The prunes and golden fried onions (birista) in the biryani masala imparted a lovely, subtle sweetness to this traditional, Bohri community style preparation of fragrant, long-grain basmati rice. Small portions of sides like spicy Mirch ka Salan (gravy), tangy Burhani Raita (curd) and onion-tomato Kachumbar (salad) complimented the biryani and served to further accentuate the already beautiful flavors of the dish.
This was one unforgettable biryani I have had in a long time and is bound to weave a memorable dining experience for a lot of patrons.
It was time to wrap this extravagant meal on a sweet note and I did so with two distinct and delectable sweet delights.
It was one remarkable, impeccably executed meal for me provided by the jovial team of chefs and cheerful service staff at Hornby’s Pavilion. I will definitely be back here again to enjoy more delectable fares the beautiful new menu here has to offer.
So, do try out delicacies from this outstanding menu at Hornby’s Pavilion 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