A Gujarati at heart, I felt almost compelled to experiment with Sofitel BKC Mumbai’s Gujarati Food Festival. Although we cook Gujarati dishes at least twice a week, there was a part of me aching to test the waters at a luxury hotel.
Keeping with the Gujarati trend of going spicy and sweet, the menu leans towards pleasing the all vegetarian palate. The regional fare was packed with flavour, showing that Chef Mukesh Kumar Baghel and Diwakar Joshi from Novotel Ahmedabad along with in-house ‘Maharaj’ Jankidas Vaishnav certainly knew their way around the cuisine. Using the trio’s secret signature blend of flavourful and tangy spices, the offering includes a range of classic regional dishes.
While there, take a moment to appreciate the décor, inspired by Gujarat’s rich cultural heritage. Sofitel BKC Mumbai has pain-stakingly dressed up every inch of the restaurant in vibrant hand-made torans (hangings) and beautiful elephant miniatures. Each table was embellished with traditional lamps, parrot-green runners and ribbon-covered miniature horses, enhancing the overall festive look of the restaurant.
While specially designed set menus are offered to guests for dinner, an inexhaustible menu of ala carte is also available for those who prefer an assortment. The Thali menu is priced a little more reasonably, making it the ideal choice for business meetings or afternoon binges.
Our cheerful servers Kiran and Rohit quickly took me through the theme of the evening, which entailed a specially designed set menu.
To start, I had the crispy and satisfying khakra, paired with an appetising assortment of four sambals; pudina chutney, tamarind chutney, mango pickle and jaggery.
The Nylon Dhokla, a fermented chickpea favourite, was sprinkled with pomegranate beads and chopped onions, making it the perfect starter.
As I progressed through first course, I thoroughly appreciated the Sev Roll, a deep fried potato cake coated with Indian vermicelli. The Ratalu Puri and Kachori were cooked to precision, while the Handvo was crisp and freshly seasoned with lemon and coriander. The scrumptious yam puris made using yam and flour were an unusual combination – who would have thought the blend would work so well.
By now, as you can imagine, I had already consumed a plethora of starters; but the main course was extremely inviting. The Val nu Shak was a firm favourite, with a silky gravy and tender vegetable bites. Unfortunately, the Undhiyo was distinctly average,lacking that typical Gujarati taste one would expect in a regional favourite.
For something a little spicier, tuck in to the KaithiyawadiKadhi or the Green Shak.The Baigan Bharta – prepared by mincing grilled eggplant – was vibrantly orange thanks to its blend of spices, making it the showstopper of the evening.The Khichdi was not far behind either, showcasing a perfect blend of rice mixed with toor daal and tempered spices, along with generous dollops of well cooked pumpkin pieces.
Tuskers’ ability to appeal to the humble fresh lime soda and transform it into a refreshing flavour-packed mocktail was admirable.
Always one to have room at the end of my main meal, I patiently awaited the arrival of dessert;Basundi and Gajarka Halwa. While Basundi’s consistency was questionable, the Gajarka Halwa was rich in almonds and essence, the perfect end to our meal.
Where: Tuskers at the Sofitel BKC Mumbai,
Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East,
Phone: +91 22 6117 5000