We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
Somewhere between the sophisticated & unparalleled feast to the inexpensive quick bites, lies a thin line of comfort food. For us comfort food is more of home-made spices, mixed and matched to ones liking over the years. It can range anywhere between a simple Dal Rice to the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata. According to us the very reason that it’s home-made makes it ‘Comfort Food’.
Talking about nostalgia, when that moment takes you back to cherished memories, we had a similar experience at Wrapped – Four Points by Sheraton. The simple fare curated by the Chef was more than enough to make us shed a tear or two (in happiness). We were invited to the Express Lunch Buffet by NuvoFoodies, for their mini global menu conceptualised specially to cater the swift moving crowd.
This was combined with a special menu which has been inspiring the Chef for years, a special nostalgic menu from the far lands of Maharashtra to the very by-lanes of ‘Aamchi Mumbai’
Joining us were some big foodies and passionate food lovers, who travelled from different parts of the town just to be a part of this resplendent lunch. We were welcomed by Atika Singhal & Debdeep Chakraborty, who showed us around the impressive buffet spread and settled us in a table specially reserved for us.
Within moments of taking our beverage orders ranging from Beer, Mojito, & Red Wine, we were joined by Chef Mukul Jha. The man who had come up with the new menu and some dishes really close to his heart. He explained how his childhood memories had inspired him to curate this authentic menu, simply by using the original recipes of his near and dear ones. He had come up with some really awe-inspiring dishes from our local land. He took a personal note of our palate choices and took our leave to head back to the kitchen to do his magic.
In the meanwhile, with our drinks served, we were asked to head to the Buffet spread to get started while waiting for the Chef to return with the specials.
Now, the journey.
Immediately grabbing our attention were the very varicoloured spread of mini salads. It was small sized portions of various salads from their Global menu.
The salads ranged from the simple ‘Tossed Green, ‘Tomato & Cottage Cheese’, ‘Basil Tossed Yellow Zucchini with Tomato Verde’, ‘Smoked Chicken Piccata with Ratatouille’, ‘Mustard Glazed Baby Corn’, to the ‘Zucchini & Pepper Rolled Eggplant’. There were a few downs, with the Cottage Cheese getting a bit hard on the bite, not letting the tomato marinade mingle up. The others were well made with fresh vegetables.
The ones which stole the show were the ‘Mustard Glazed Baby Corn Salad’. Perfectly diced Baby Corn tossed in mustard and herbs. The ‘Smoked Chicken Piccata with Ratatouille’ was an instant hit with everyone. Lightly smoked juicy Chicken pieces with the signature Ratatouille style rich savouriness that tasted more sinful than what its virtuous ingredients indicated. The salad menu came to an end with the ‘Zucchini & Pepper Rolled Eggplant’. A unique combination with a mild sauté to red and yellow Bell Peppers and Zucchini rolled up in thin slices of Eggplant. A decent start with our choice of drinks while waiting for the Chef’s surprise to get ready.
While we were waiting in anticipation the Chef sent out some personalised welcome notes thanking us for our visit and describing the launch of the new menu and the inspiration behind it. Beautifully presented with a personal touch.
Now, the moment had come for us to indulge in some surprises. One by one, we were presented with some local and never to be forgotten age old recipes. The Chef’s first inspiration had come from a friend’s mother back in Kolhapur.
The ‘Missal Pao’ in its real and authentic Spicy and Tangy taste was first to blow our minds. Even people with a softer palate would love the infusion of home ground spices or the Goda Masala as the Maharashtrians prefer to call it. With such a blockbuster entry that was finished within seconds we were sure that the rest of the surprise will be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (always wanted to use this word, thanks to the chef to make it possible).
Now, with our appetites whet, we were craving for more from the local ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ menu. Following suit was the ‘Ussal Pao’. Though we thought this would be a simpler version of the Missal, it was a totally different preparation. Taking inspiration from the Malvan Region and tweaking it a bit to the Mumbai style, the Chef had created a delicacy. A little thick in consistency, mildly spiced, served with pao, chopped onions, lemon and green chillies for those who love a little bit of spike in between.
The next was a surprise from the east, a recipe made and perfected by the Chef’s Mother-In-Law, also much loved and the most accepted finger food of Kolkata. Yes we are talking about the ‘Kolkata Kathi Roll’. A perfectly crispy parantha with a soft & spongy layer of egg that was cooked to perfection. All this wrapped the julienned onions with a dash of lime and basic spice. A trip to the by-lanes of Park Street and back with every bite.
Now came something for the hard-core carnivore, substituting the Kolkata Kathi Roll was the ‘Mutton Tikkia Parantha’. A flavourful shallow fried tikkia spiced mainly with Clove, Garam masala and Cinnamon. This godly creation was none less than the ones available at Mohammad Ali Road only during festivals. Thanks to the Chef, these pieces of heaven will be available all year long. Accompanying this was the thin flaky and crisp melt in the mouth Paranthas. Most delightful combination.
Another popular and craved delicacy – The ‘Kheema Samosa’, inspired from the streets of Mumbai was next to end this extravagant meal which left us spell bound. We’ve had Kheema samosa at the best of places, but this was by far the most convincing by the means of being deep fried but not too oily, with a crispy shell and a zesty and mouth-watering filling.
With our stomachs full and our hearts contented, we were in for a pleasant shock that a whole spread of express buffet was still waiting on us. Being fair to our stomachs we covered just a few specials from the spread.
The ‘Murg Awadhi Biryani’, a true Lucknowi delicacy, prepared in the most delightful way. With the right amount of spices and a distinct flavour of Saffron and Ghee. A similar ‘Veg Biryani’ was prepared on special request by the Vegetarians.
We had the ‘Semolina Mashed with Mix Sauce’, a unique concept but somehow not matching the rest of the cuisine. Mashed Semolina (Suji) in a tomato rich gravy with a blend of mixed sauces. A head turner by looks.
Our favourites in the whole lot was the ‘Paneer Kumbha Pasanda’. A gravy very rich in taste with the right amount of spices and flavour from the saffron, which had sautéed mushrooms sandwiched between thin slices of paneer. Loved it. Following this was the ‘Murg Methi Khaas’. This was one of a kind Chicken Gravy we’ve ever had. Soft and succulent Chicken in a fenugreek leaves gravy. The anticipated mild bitterness was a welcome taste taking the juicy chicken to a different level.
Like they say all’s well that ends well… on a sweet note. We finished our rather elaborate course of a locally inspired menu to a global fusion buffet with some glorious desserts.
The ‘Gulab Jamun’, our all time favourite was tender and hot. A perfect dessert like this needs no explaining. The ‘Kiwi Marquise’ a mousse type preparation made from Cream, Eggs, butter & Sugar on a bed of crisp waffle like base. Not too sweet and with the natural sourness of the Kiwi fruit, it was a delightful dessert for those who don’t have a liking for too much sweetness. The desserts were indeed soothing after the varied spice our palate had witnessed.
Our experience did not just end here as we carried back special hand crafted goodness (Karanjis & Srikhand) compliments of the chef.
It was a varied experience for us at “Wrapped”- Four Points by Sheraton. Starting with an array of local dishes prepared to bring back fond memories and a gastronomical high, to a perfectly balanced meal form their Express Lunch. Our verdict for the food, the ambience, the service and the overall experience stands at an all-time high.
And with such a munificent Buffet spread priced at just INR. 450/-. Who is complaining?