Stepping into the property of JW Marriott Juhu Mumbai gives you an instant relief from the hustle and bustle of the city. A certain tranquillity gushes over you provided by the tabla players, the courteousness of the staff and serene ambience. As we stepped into the Lotus Café we were surrounded by wafting aromas coming from the ‘Kitchens of Chettinad’ brought to the city by the skilful and talented MasterChef Jineesh Joseph.
Chettinad Food Festival
Not only did the culinary expert of Malabar cuisine fly down to the city, the staff at the Lotus Café was also seen in the South Indian ensemble. Adorning the traditional dhoti kurta the staff brought us a cocktail menu printed in a banana leaf style. We sat back with a drink called Evening Blues and seeped in the atmosphere around us. The drink was a clever blend of whisky, dark rum, date syrup, saffron water and egg white. It was refreshing after a long travel in the scorching heat.
We were delighted at the variety at the Chettinad section that was decorated with coconut shells and Malabari spices. As we helped ourselves to Ajwain Butta, Paneer Tikki, Chettinad Meen Roast, Batter Fried Fish, Masala Dosa along with Banana, Jackfruit & Tapioca Chips we experienced some decent flavours curated by Chef Joseph. The fried fish was a delight and so was the Ajwain Butta. The show stealer for us was the Masala Dosa which was tasty with on point nariyal chutney. We even enjoyed the tiny paneer tikkis!
The mains were aplenty but the best dish hands down was the Yerra Manga Pulli Curry (Prawn Curry). The tangy, robust flavours of the curry were sumptuous though we did miss appams along with it. The Koli Biryani was also aromatic and delectable. We thoroughly enjoyed the curd rice and the spread of raitas, pickles and podi with the meal.
We ended on a sweet note with a Kulfi Falooda and were glad that Chef Joseph to come give Mumbai a glimpse of what Malabari food has to offer. The Chettinad Food Festival is here at the Lotus Café in JW Marriott Juhu Mumbai till 20th May and starts every evening 7:30 PM onwards!