Food festival is one such new culture to which no restaurant can keep itself aloof. Big or small, branded chain or retail, restaurants are continuously trying to bring a in a different flavour and trying to lure customers by means of food festivals. One such food festival is currently on-going at Level 12 – DoubleTree by Hilton – The Great Kebab and Biryani Festival (From 22nd to 31st Jan). The festival as the name suggests brings in a range of assorted kebabs and biryanis to your plate. The specialty of the festival is that there are enough kebabs and biryanis in Chef’s menu to keep a new one everyday. The menu is carefully handpicked and includes recipes from the royal kitchens of Punjab, Kashmir, Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Now, Double tree has numerous dine outs but the one hosting the festival is Level 12 – the rooftop restaurant at the plush hotel. The restaurant sports an open infinity swimming pool and a swanky bar on one side. The location of hotel is a big plus and the roof top makes the best use of every bit of it. The breeze and subtle music in the background is perfect to unwind and relax over a glass of aged single malt.
Lucknowi Tangdi Kebab: The standard dish from kitchens of Lucknow and a dream come true for every fan of lucknowi cuisine. Huge, juicy succulent chicken leg pieces just waiting to be devoured. They are perfect partner in crime to your scotch on the rocks. A dash of lemon is must however for you to appreciate its true caliber. #DrumsOfHeaven
Hussaini Seekh Kebab: The most unique seekh that I have had till date. The preparation was rather simple and one that you might find easily in any cook book but the Chef touch was brought in by the brilliant use of crushed peppercorns. The malabari peppercorns transformed the dish into something unlike you would get at any other place. #MustHave
Mushroom Malai Tikka: As much it si difficult to admit for us; the mushroom tikka was actually the best dish for the night. Vegans have a reason to rejoice, finally. The perfect justice to the use of cheese, cream and hung curd. #SignatureDish
Broccoli Chaar Magaz Ki Seekh: A decent affair; which used broccoli mash and a coating made up of magaz (Watermelon seeds). The use of magaz gave it a definite texture and taste but it was incomplete without the accompanying chutney. The taste was kept mild and flavorful. #WorthaTry
Kacche Kele Ke Kebab: A dish that belonged to family of Dahi ke kebab but using raw banana as its core ingredient. The texture was brilliant and the kebabs were moist. Something very unique that I had not had till date. I liked them but being a strict carnivore that I am, I remained loyal to my side of the starters and occasionally pounced on the mushrooms that came along.
Matke Ki Murgh Dum Biryani: We got this one in two variants – Veg and non-veg ofcourse; no points for guessing that. Both were very close to each other with difference just being that of boneless chicken pieces missing from veg one. The biryani was mild and less on overall masala quotient. I like my briyanis with tons of masala. The biryani used lots of ghee while cooking and as such those who love subtle flavors are sure to enjoy this one to last bite.
Murgh Musallam and Veg. Shahi Korma: I liked what I was served but sorry to say I cannot accept it for Murg mussallam. The dish was a reincarnated butter chicken or murg makhani in opulent creamy gravy. The shahi korma with all the veggies like green peas, carrots, cauliflower in a creamy base was a grandeur tangibilized in itself.
Amritsari Kulcha: The bread basket had the famous Amrtisari kulcha. Now I cannot really bet on authenticity of it being close to Amritsari but if you ask me I was sold on it being a close cousin of the bread. It was too damn soft and had a thin layer of filling within. This was a perfect partner of any and all the gravies that find its mark on the restaurant menu.
Malai Pista Kulfi: The kulfi was a slight misfit but helped in completing the meal. The kulfi is best enjoyed by roadside and this one was certainly missing a few essential points that could make it the perfect kulfi but no points taken as it wasn’t meant to be a part of the meal.
A big shout out to Devendra from Bookwormedia for inviting us & Mridul and Team Level 12 for hosting us.
The festival is till the 31st of Jan and is a must visit for all you foodies out there. Make the most of it while it’s still there.