Restaurant Name and Address: Zeera, Conrad Pune, 7, Mangaldas Rd, Sangamvadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411001.
Inquiries and Reservations: +91-20-6745-6745
The Culinary Turns Black Food Festival by “Conrad Pune” last year stunned the F&B community of Pune with its uniqueness and pushing the envelope further this year they have come up “Seven-Gredients” Food Festival. This festival focuses on lucky number 7 as they have chosen seven very common ingredients and Indian dishes and have revolutionized it by preparing these as a dish from another global cuisine, leveraging very articulate techniques. The festival is a very different and pleasing culinary experience for gourmands.
Some of us from the Food Prowl Team were invited for a Food Tasting by Executive Chef Pavan Chennam.
It’s an eight course (including amuse bouche) fixed menu meal, with options in Vegetarian, and Non-Vegetarian dishes to choose from. The surprises start with the amuse bouche – Pindi Chole, that had chole (chickpeas) as its base. The Pindi chole was made into hummus with garlic aioli served on kappa chips with a red currant berry, and then there was a tiny plastic like packet with spices in it, but it was not plastic but a transparent obulato sheet that feels like plastic by look but as it meets saliva it fluidities, it was a flavor bomb we could taste 4-5 diverse flavors one after the other.
Kagzi-Lemon: A lemon with thinnest skin on a bed of ice. These huge lemon skins intact were used as the vessel to carry the dish. Inside the lemon, base had corn kernels in a spiced Indian masala and topped with liquid nitrogen charged guacamole that had a mousse like texture. It was a very light yet flavorful preparation.
As we were polishing away the guacamole foam, a pretty looking bowl came with a French press, like a French soup. The bowl had coconut jelly with curry leaf oil, with curry leaf fat powder. The French press had the coriander infused Dal and the dish was a quintessential Maharashtrian amti. The Dal was poured in the bowl and with a stir, all elements came together. A very pleasant heart-warming bowl of happiness named Pun-Ya-Paisse.
Kuzhipaniyaram: Duck Galouti like a Paniyaram which was prepared like a Japanese Renkon Manju. The Duck meat balls with Lotus Stem casing and the galouti on the inside. It also had dehydrated duck floss on the top and served with a sauce that felt like a meet between 2 global superpowers – the combination of BBQ sauce and Indian Saunth chutney. The textures from the galouti and complex flavors of this sauce did wonders to the extent that it was difficult to know if you were having BBQ or Saunth. We could feel both flavors at the very same time. The Vegetarian counterpart has a Sweet Potato Chaat replacing the duck.
Lamb Bomb: Crisp phyllo pastry sheets enclosing the meat from rahra mutton, with a dash of curry reduction on top served along with a slightly sweet quinoa churma. A very Indian dish prepared like a pastry. The sweetness from the churma added good flavor depth to the dish. Vegetarians can have a Paneer Bomb.
It was the turn for the main dishes, the options were Corn Fed Chicken or Britanny Lobster for Non-Vegetarians and Winter Greens for Vegetarians whch was Undhiyu stuffed Khandvi (Khandvi Chung Fun). We tried all dishes. All of them were served with Bajre ki Khichadi and a jakya and kutu atta cookie crumble that had an aroma of pure ghee. The Chicken version was paired with Pista Korma. Lobster with Kundan Qorma and khandvi with white Kadhi. You might be surprised but the Khandvi just stole our hearts and we ordered it again. Lobster on its own was fabulous yet it took taste buds sometime to accept it with the qorma.
It was time for Dessert and they picked the most common fruit as the Dessert star – Banana. There were layers of banana phirni, banana tart, banana ice cream and a fried banana slice with besan cookie crumble and red currants. It was a very well-made dessert, and if you love banana then you are bound to go bananas about it!
The Festival is yet again defined by its uniqueness. Executive Chef Pavan Chennam and his team have worked hard to create something out of the box. The creativity and imagination has no limits abound and the culmination of all the ideas that were thought and worked over for several days or months have come together in Seven-Gredients.
The Festival is on until 17th August 2018 in the evenings only. The pricing is Rs. 2000/- AI for both Vegetarian and Non Vegetarians.
Seven-Gredients Food Festival, Zeera, Conrad Pune | Food Prowl – The Hunger Stories