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ITC Kakatiya

The past few years have been interesting when it comes to food industry. Chefs have started to concentrate more on ingredients and restaurants focus more on the eating habits. The same change process could be seen in the new menu being showcased at Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya.

The ITC Kakatiya is a premier property in Begumpet which has just completed 21 Year Anniversary. Pavilion at the ITC Kakatiya changes it’s menu every 2 years and this time around they’ve adopted a the healthier menu for the holistic wellbeing. With the ITC Hotels following the ‘Choose Wisely’ Program by WWF, the new menu had been re-designed as per the ‘Choose Wisely’ guidelines.

The focus of the menu has been on the freshness of flavors and clean eating of Sattva and Swasthya, a direction that quite a lot of restaurants have been inclining towards lately. The new menu carries local and international flavors that are curated with locally sourced ingredients, rarely used grains. This also provides the local dishes with a touch of modernity.

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The lunch started with a spectacular Burrata with Anise Poached Pears. This was beautifully accompanied with currant celery pistou and rucola leaves. Burrata is not easily available in Hyderabad and Chef informed us that it was sourced from Bangalore. The burrata cut in the center gave the rich tasting creamy taste and went well with the celery pistou. This is definitely one of the signature “Best of Pavilion” dishes and is must try.

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We then moved on to fresh soups from the tureen. The Singaporean Laksa again is one of the signature dishes that can be a complete comfort meal. The Shrimp, fish and chicken provide enough meaty flavors and the coconut broth accompanied with rice noodles brought back our journey to the Asian cities we’ve been in the past.

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The Chicken Katsu Burger and Lamb Rib and Broad Tagine is another of my favorite dishes here. First, these dishes are not available at any restaurant in Hyderabad and the taste is bang on. The Tagine with mint couscous provides the much needed texture to the dish.

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We do suggest you to definitely try the local cuisine that are specially curated by Chefs to give you the authentic taste of the Hyderabadi Khaana. The Tarkari ki Luqmi gives a rich taste to the evening snack that we have all loved in Hyderabad. The soft melt in the mouth Shikhampuri Kebab added a spark to the meal. Do also try the favorite combo of Kaddu ka Dalcha and Baghara Khana which is absolute comfort food for the soul. You can end your Hyderabadi treat with Tarkari Biryani or Kacche Gosht ki Biryani that’s cooked with succulent pieces of meat that’s gives off the perfect flavor.

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The dessert was the much need closure to the amazing meal we’d been eating so far. The dessert can sometimes make or break the entire course of the meal for us. The Crème Brulee was served with apricot fig biscotti and served with mono floral litchi honey and lime elixir. Chef informed us that the honey was specially flavored by feeding the bees only litchi flowers and hence there was a distinct litchi taste.

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We were in for a surprise when the Pavilion Chocolate Fudge with the jaggery caramel sauce was kept on the table. It looked like a piece of an art on a platter which only an artist can recreate. The soft fudge doused with the jaggery caramel sauce was heaven in a bite. The Vanilla bean ice cream can be used to cut through the sweetness of the caramel sauce but I’d definitely have shot of that sauce to end almost every meal.

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The Mylapore Food Festival at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya is one of the most beautifully thought out food festival in recent times. Curated by Chef Rajan who has been with ITC for more than 45 years, this is a fresh take on a city’s cuisine. Mylapore was once the cultural hub of South India. The city of Mylapore abounds in temples, mosques, churches and is also a home to many music sabhas.

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Many people throng to Mylapore for religious purposes along with the city’s penchant for Carnatic music. With the numerous temples around, the city had a huge number of Brahmin population. Consuming onion and garlic was considered unholy and thus the cuisine of Mylapore took a huge turn.

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At the dinner at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya we were joined by at our table by Chef Rajan and Chef Sakala Sankara. I’d definitely say that alongside the amazing food, I absolutely loved the company of dining with Chef Rajan. He is an extremely humble person who walks around the restaurant with a smile on his face. Dakshin is one intricately designed restaurant catering to South Indian food. The pace is beautifully lit up and the traditional cutlery complete the South Indian feeling with aplomb.

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We started off with Thakali Rasam and Bread Bom. The Bread Bom is a dish which has been created by Chef Rajan himself. He is famous all over the country for this unique creation of his which is essentially bread cutlets stuffed with loads of vegetables and cheese. The Thakali Rasam was absolutely heavenly and hit all the right flavors.

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Even the menu does include non-vegetarian dishes, but Mylapore cuisine as a whole is completely vegetarian. Hence they’ve been classified separately as just Chef Rajan’s special. We decided to stick to the Mylapore dishes for the night as Chef Rajan talked us through the food.

Most of the dishes were simple, authentic and packed with flavor. If you’re a person who loves South Indian food, trust us when we say that you won’t be disappointed. The Malabar Avial had been beautifully cooked and paired perfectly with the steaming hot appams. Among the other dishes were the Urlai Roast, Thakali Purapu, Murmgaikai Vathakuzambhu. My favorite dish among the great line of dishes was the Bendakai Morkuzambhu which is essentially fried okra cooked with a chilly coconut paste in a yogurt gravy. It went perfect with appams and also the Bhahaam Sadam i.e rice tossed over in almonds.

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Like we’ve already stated before and will continue to tell it once again, this festival is an absolute delight. It isn’t just about food of a city, but brings forward the expressions of the Mylapore city on a plate. And of course while you’re there, it’s hard not to miss the smile of Chef Rajan as he serves his patrons.

The Mylapore Magic Food Festival is on from 22nd-31st of July 2016 for dinners only at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya. The dishes are available on a’la carte orders.

Address : Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya, Begumpet
Phone : 040 33194210

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Indian Chinese/Indo-Chinese or whatever else nomenclature you might give it is our comfort food. Tell me the number of times you’ve come back home one day, opened up your food delivery app and ordered for Schezwan fried rice and chili chicken. Or picked up a parcel of hakka noodles and Manchurian on the way back from work and sat down to relish it in front of the TV. The best part is you go to China and actually order for chili chicken or Manchurian or even say Hakka noodles, the only thing you’ll get is a look of bewilderment.

Deccan Pavilion

We as Indians have adopted our own version of Chinese food. So much so that this Indian-Chinese cuisine is actually the most popular foreign cuisine in India, surpassing the likes of Italian or Mexican. It is only fitting that Deccan Pavilion at ITC Kakatiya pays a tribute to this love for Indo-Chinese food.

The Indo-Chinese food festival has been incorporated as part of the regular dinner buffet at Deccan Pavilion. We had a chat with the Chef Kamal and it was exciting to know that they have their entire one week’s menu panned out differently. So you might end up with the Chicken Manchurian on one night and a Schezwan Chicken the next.

Indo Chinese Food Festival

The night that we visited, we absolutely relished on the Talumein Soup. And with a side of prawn crackers, this was absolutely fabulous. They might have been labelled as a Dimsums, but one opening the basket, what awaited us actually Momos. Sweet Corn soup, Momos, Chicken Dragon Balls, Deep batter-fried Mushroom, yes this was the beauty of Indo-Chinese all along.

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Chomein

As part of the main course of Fish in oyster sauce, lamb meatballs in schezwan sauce, stir fried vegetables and lots more. The Fried Rice was perfect with a topping of the oyster sauce. For deserts it was a sweet ending with Darsan, honey noodles with vanilla ice-cream.

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The Indo-Chinese Food Festival is on at Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya till 15th May as part of the regular buffet during nights only and priced at 1500+ taxes. The buffet includes other varieties as well.

Darsan

Address : Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya, Begumpet, Hyderabad
Phone No. : 040 33165113

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