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A date with the Arabian Sea

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Times Food
13th January, 2020 17:54 IST

The picturesque city of dreams, Mumbai is flanked by the magnanimous Arabian Sea. The charm it possesses is simply enhanced by the clear moon-lit sky and the pleasant evening breeze. A large number of people are drawn to its serene beaches to witness the sunset. The sky adopts myriad hues and the sand conspires to cleanse one’s soul. Amidst all this beauty stands Bageecha, the seasonal restaurant of Novotel, Juhu, ready to serve an array of delectable dishes to its guests, whilst they rejuvenate in the peace brought in by the sea.

Being an ardent admirer of nature’s bounty and a fan of ancient Indian cuisine I found myself sitting at the terrace restaurant on one of the pleasurable December evenings. The location had already etched a special place in my heart, the music had set my feet tapping and the candles that were lit kept dazzling. I was introduced to their chef Gopal Jha, who brought with himself years of experience and an eye for detail. Mr. Jha explained the layout by saying, “Our menu for the day is a sheer reflection of the rich Indian culture and we bring for our guests the flavours from pristine royal kitchens of the country.”

My love for Indian cuisine fuelled my hunger as I waited for the starters to be served. The flavourful Galouti Kebab, which is a finely minced lamb patty cooked in authentic species was an experience in itself. If tangy is the taste you like, then the Kandhari Kebab offers a taste palette, that you will surely like. The chicken legs marinated with pomegranate molasses were slow roasted over a charcoal oven, which gave it a unique tinge. The dish that got my attention was the Corn Akhrot Ki Seekh. As the name suggests it was a wonderful blend of two contrasting elements – sweet corn and healthy walnuts.

The variety laden starters made it difficult to transition into the main course mood, but I was elated when the huge “Thaali” rolled in. Serving food in a “Thaali”, which is made of stainless metal, is an integral part of age old Indian tradition. Bageecha, served a Sabz Bageecha which was a delicacy comprising hand-picked vegetables. It was not only tasty but extremely healthy. Spring onions are my personal favourite and the Hara pyaaz ka murgh, cooked with spring onions and served in tomato gravy, simply satiated my taste buds. The Kerala Fish Curry entailed a very appetizing coconut flavour and looked utterly delicious.

Dessert is that part of a meal, which inevitably makes room for itself in one’s stomach. However, Novotel took the art of presentation to a notch higher than its market counterparts, and served sweet surprises on a miniature bullock cart. The Badman Halwa, had a very enticing aroma and was a hit low-sugar recipe. Additionally, the Malai Chamcham was rich in flavour and brought back a plethora of childhood memories. All in all, the venue did not merely serve food; it presented to its guests a host of memories and desirable experiences.

By: Apoorva

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