Showing posts with label Courtyard By Marriott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Courtyard By Marriott. Show all posts

Monday, 14 July 2014

With the advent of Ramadhan month, most Chennai restaurants are engaged in dishing out yummylicious kebabs. But the only setback is that the kebabs at these restaurants include only the basic such as Tikka, Tandoori, Sheek or Malai. With people getting tired of savouring these over and over again, now seemed the perfect time to find a place that brought in some unique kebabs.

Just as this thought was running on, I was informed that ‘Paprika’ at ‘Courtyard by Marriott’ was running an “Awadhi” food festival. For those who might be wondering what Awadhi is, it is known better by its other famous name, the “Lucknowi Cuisine”. Awadhi is perhaps the cuisine that very closely resembles what we call the Nawabi khaana. Their spread not only includes mouth-watering kebabs like the Galouti & Shami but also the traditional Nawabi Biryani and delicious Kormas. Having savoured an amazing Galouti Kebab recently at one of the outings, a group of passionate foodies decided to check out the “Awadhi” food festival and deluge on some authentic kebabs. When we were further told that they had flown in their Awadhi cuisine specialist, Chef Yunus Khan, there was no turning back.

As we entered ‘Paprika’, the first thing that came to our notice was that the restaurant was very lively even though it was only a weekday. The décor along with a live Kathak performance resonated well with the food festival. The Awadhi cuisine is part of their regular buffet spread and started off with 2 Veg & 2 Non Veg starters brought to our table.

The first starter that was brought to our table was the majestic ‘Galouti Kebab’. Yet again the Galouti ticked the right boxes in terms of texture and softness. However, I personally felt that there was a tinge of one spice that had a more dominant taste on my palate which made it slightly unbalanced. Also the Roti was a bit soft which when enquired with the Chef was as I imagined intentionally done so to create a different texture between the melt-in-your-mouth kebab and the roti. This was followed by the ‘Malai Prawn’ which was a first for me. The prawns well delicately cooked to perfection and carried the right balance of flavour to make it truly the best dish of the evening. As they have an alternating menu, we were told that the other starter on the festival menu was a mutton chops.
(Mutton Chops)
(Galouti Kebab)
(Malai Prawns)
Coming to the vegetarian fare, we were served with another amazing starter that can rightly be called as the vegetarian’s Galouti. It was called ‘Khoya kas Galouti’ and was made using Paneer and Khoya. The kebabs were outright fantastic and is the best veg started I’ve savoured till date. I just couldn’t resist eating more and more. This was followed up with the traditional paneer starters, namely the ‘Malai Paneer’ and ‘Awadhi Paneer Tikka’, which were amazingly soft and loaded with flavours but nothing to beat the Khoya Galouti.
(Khoya kas Galouti)
(Malai Paneer & Paneer Awadhi Tikka)
By the time the starters were all done, we were so filled with amazing kebabs that a few of us decided to head straight to the desserts because there was one very unique dessert that kept intriguing us. But not wanting to miss savouring the speciality mains, I ventured on to the spread to savour some of them. The highlights amongst the mains was the ‘Nawabi Biryani’ which was very light on the palate and had loads of fabulous flavours bursting on every mouthful and was a raisin riot. The way the raising blended was truly outstanding. The other dish that picked my mark was the ‘Paneer Pista Hariyali’ as I’ve always had hariyali as a starter and never as a mains. The curry dish delivered at par to the standards set by the starters. The pista enhanced the flavours and made for a rich curry. The curry from the non-veg section that stood out was the ‘Mutton Korma’. The mutton was cooked to amazing perfection as you could still see the pink from the meat but could reassure yourself that the mutton was well cooked. Together with the naans, it made for a great combination.

(Mutton Korma)
Now coming to the desserts, like I’d said earlier, there was this particular dish which we’ve never heard before nor could we imagine as to how it would be. This dish of intense interest was the ‘Mirchi ki Halwa’. Yes, a dessert made of Chilli but not like the chilli chocolates that you must be thinking about. This was a proper halwa that was made using Bell Peppers. True to the expectation, the dish delivered hands on, a very palate friendly dessert with strong tinge of hotness. This alone should probably be your biggest motivation to indulge in some exquisite Awadhi cuisine and convince you to try them.
(Dessert Platter)
The Awadhi food festival is available at Paprika in Courtyard by Marriott till the 20th of July, 2014 and is priced at ₹ 1,250 including taxes.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014



More than often we predetermine what kind of eggs we would like to have for Breakfast or snack time. This often depends on our mood and the accompaniments that we want along with the egg. But did you ever experience a situation where you knew you are going to eat some eggs but highly confused by looking at the egg menu. This is what Chef Sridhar from Paprika in Courtyard by Marriott Chennai has exactly in mind. Take this simple ingredient and make a menu completely surrounding it.

Yes, they are running an Eggs special menu festival called “Eggs & Kegs”. With 10 different preparations to choose from one can only sit and wonder how such a simple ingredient can be cooked in so many different ways, each having its own unique flavour and taste. To accompany the egg preparation, you get a mug of Beer and for those who do not consume alcohol, it will be replaced by a Mocktail of your choice.

Having never consumed more than two eggs at a time, I was a bit wary about how the entire evening was going to be gastronomically for me. Just as the conversation was ending with a friend who had accompanied, we get four different preparations of the eggs from the menu sent to our table. The ones we had were
(Assorted Platter)

  • Egg – Salt N Pepper
  • Egg Pakoda
  • Burmese Egg
  • Muttai Kal Varuval

I take a bite of the ‘Egg Pakoda’ and my first impression was on how delicately the eggs were boiled. They were one of the finest boiled eggs I’ve seen and tasted. The yolk were perfected such that a fork pierced came out clean while the whites still had that tad bit of sweat on them. It took the entire experience to the next level. The batter for the pakodas was very light and fluffy that it felt awesome having the pakodas. Very different from the one’s we make at home. The secret to the perfectly boiled eggs was the time which the Chef revealed to be * minutes. Did you really think, I would be entailed to such a privilege? Yes the Chef did give me that privilege but I believe it’s his secret and should remain so.
The ‘Burmese’ Egg was a twist on the famous Burmese dish ‘Khow Suey’, as the boiled eggs were topped with fried onions. The ‘Kal Varuval’ was the Chef’s take on the classic ‘Meen Kal Varuval’. This imparted the flavours of south and Chettinad into the eggs which gave it a different dimension over the others that we had so far tried out. The ‘Salt n Pepper’ was again slightly similar to the pakodas but the batter here was very thin almost just like a small wrap over the eggs with flavourings of salt, pepper and chilli incorporated along with the batter.

The portion sizes are between two and three eggs depending upon the preparation and the eggs used are Free-range gggs.With this adventure, we were willing to call it quits as we couldn’t take any further intake of eggs. That’s when we realized that how can we miss the King of all Egg preparations, the mighty ‘Bread Chutney Omelette’.

(Bread Chutney Omelette)
The instance the ‘Bread Chutney Omelette’ was placed on the table, the aroma begin to play with us with an intense desire. As were honestly full, we just ordered one serving and decided to split it between us. The omelette was wrapped around the two humongous slices of bread that were smothered with butter and a very different chutney than the ones we regular get on such omelettes. It wasn’t spicy yet carried the hotness, wasn’t fluorescent green but on the contrary was a darker dull green with strong influences of mint. The incorporation of the cheese within the omelette gave it a good fluffiness and texture.

The ‘Eggs & Kegs’ is available all day at Paprika, located on the Ground Floor of Courtyard by Marriott on Mount Road until the 31st of March.

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

(For the Love of Coffee Platter)
Who doesn't loves having pastries during mid-day breaks, more so if you can tag along a few friends for a small get-together. On the other hand if you are the one who would prefer some serene and calm from all the bustling activities that your busy work day throws at you and all that defines a perfect break is to spend some me time listening to music and munching away some sinful desserts, this could be for you too.

Chennai being synonymous with Coffee, Paprika the all-day dining restaurant at Courtyard by Marriott has introduced a new offering called “For the Love of Coffee”. Available throughout the day, this concept brings you 5 Classic Éclairs paired with a choice of coffee from some of the finest coffees around the world.

The Éclairs that form the platter are
  •          Classic Chocolate Éclair
  •          Mixed Berry Éclair
  •          Dark Chocolate and Orange Éclair
  •         Chocolate and Almond Éclair
  •         Salted Caramel and Coffee Éclair

(Éclair Platter)
(Dark Chocolate & Orange Éclair)
(Classic Chocolate Éclair & Coffee Éclair)

(Mixed Berry Éclair)
(Chocolate & Almond  Éclair)
The Éclairs are all served together on a single platter and are quite a bite size. My favourite of the lot was the Choco-Almond one and the Coffee éclair. I just couldn’t resist with one such that I flicked another one from my friend’s plate.

On the other hand, the coffee options are
  •          Kumbakonam
  •          Colombian Supremo
  •          Ethiopian Sidamo
  •          Rajgiri Pearl
  •          Coorg Blend
Having savoured the Indian coffee at various occasions earlier, I decided to go with the ‘Ethiopian Sidamo’. As is well known, Ethiopia is commonly known as the birthplace of Coffee, so why not try some coffee that was grown and harvested from the birthplace itself. The coffee felt very light yet packed a good punch of flavour. Together with the éclairs, the evening felt like a full-fledged dessert expedition.

The ‘For the Love of Coffee’ is available all day at Paprika, located on the Ground Floor of Courtyard by Marriott on Mount Road.

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

For those of us who lived in the Europe, the concept of Pub food would bring in vivid memories of our experiences there. Personally for me, some of the great food memories of my time in the UK are characterized by the food that used to be part of our weekend feast. Often then ever, it evidently ends up in something that is available only in the Pubs. But be assured that food in British Pubs are one of the best pub foods you will ever get to savour.

Having been away from the pub food scene for quite a few years now, was uber excited when I came to know that Courtyard by Marriott was organizing a Pub Fest. When I was told that it is no ordinary pub food but instead a celebration of British Pub Food, I was determined to visit. The visit happened soon and was I not disappointed. The dishes were so authentic that it took me back to my old days in the British Land.
Upon taking our seats, we were met by Chef Sridhar, the Executive Chef at the Courtyard by Marriott. Having a great amount of culinary experience in the Europe, Chef Sridhar came about the pub food concept to showcase the same to the people of Chennai. My expectations were quite high especially on dishes like Chips and Pies. The first dish that was served to us was the 'Vegetable Burger with Hand Cut Chips'. The other vegetable loving friend savoured the burger while I was busy savouring the chips. They were one of the finest chips I've had especially being triple cooked. The advantage of being triple cooked is that the flavours are all preserved while the chips is still crunchy and wholesome. This was followed by the 'Vegetable Lasagna' accompanied with some Garlic Bread. I gave a miss to this dish as I was eagerly awaiting the dishes to follow.
(Vegetable Burger with Hand Cut Chips)
(Vegetable Lasagna with Garlic Bread)
Next up was one of my all time favourite pub food, the Cottage Pie. We were served a dual dish on a single platter with a sizeable portion of 'Cottage Pie and Mashed Potato' and 'Lamb Liver in an Onion Gravy'. The first mouthful of Cottage pie threw me instantly tumbling down the memory lane. It felt like I was dining in some restaurant in the UK. The blend of flavours and consistency were much much better than some of the best pubs there too. They meat was succulent and was filled with flavours and the mash topped it all. Being aversive to Offals, I generously donated my share of the liver to another friend of mine. But I did have a go at the gravy and the veggies. The gravy was again packed with flavours but my only regret was not being able to have the meat. The vegetarian version of the pie was a 'Onion, Cheese & Potato Pie'. Having tasted the Cottage Pie, I was in no mood to split the after taste and hence gave the veg pie a skip. Having thoroughly enjoyed the hand cut chips, we requested the chef if we can have another serving which was obliged in a grandiose manner. This was again a clean sweep.
(Cottage Pie & Lamb Liver)
(Onion, Cheese & Potato Pie)
(Hand Cut Chips)
(Hand Cut Chips)
With the mains done, the desserts were slowly reaching our table to our awe and wonder. The desserts arrived in style and by style, I mean real style. They were so creatively plated that we couldn't resist tasting all of them. The first dessert of the day was the 'Apple Crumble Pie'. This was a de-constructed version of the traditional apple pie. It resembled a lot like an apple muffin. This was followed by the a very unique yet weird named dish called 'Spotted Dick'. Yes that's why I mentioned weird. But trust me, this was the best dish of the evening. It is quite complicated to describe but imagine a dish that is a combination of a cupcake, muffin and a scone. This served with some thick custard made one helluva dessert. The next up was the 'Treacle Tart' topped with a cone shaped tuile. The last dessert and dish of the evening was a 'Chocolate Pudding' which was thick and chocolaty with some generous shaving of nuts. 
(Apple Crumble Pie)
(Spotted Dick with Custard)
(Treacle Tart)
(Chocolate Pudding)
Overall I had an amazing time tasting some of the traditional British Pub food that has been recreated true to the sense of the original ones. The British Pub Fest at Courtyard by Marriott is on till the end of November and is priced at ₹ 800 plus tax for Beer, Mains & Dessert.

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