23 September 2014

Punjabi Khana-Shana and More

My search for the city's best buffets are still on. It's such a hard job eating through all the food, sifting through the dishes, and putting up what's best, right here for you. Just kidding! It really is so much fun. My search led me to a far, far destination in another galaxy. The place called Goregaon. (South Mumbai snobs, thank you for your attention. You may stop reading here).

I'd eaten a lunch buffet at The Grand Sarovar Premiere, Goregaon a while ago, and I had a memorable team lunch with the colleagues. 180 degrees is their multi-cuisine specialty restaurant that caters lunch and dinner buffets. We were there to try their dinner buffet, and the night we visited they had a 'Discover India Food Festival' running. Different cuisines from different states of the country, each on a different night. The nine day long fest was on till the 20th of this month.

On the night we visited, they were highlighting Punjabi food. I was a tad bit disappointed. I was hoping for Gujarati or Rajasthani fare since I don't get to eat that too often. (This is a subtle hint for my Gujarati and Marwari friends to invite me home for dinner. Thank you). The buffet had a soup and salad counter which was routine stuff, for their foreign patrons. In addition they had a live tandoor section for rotis and kababs, mains from Punjab and other states, and a huge dessert section. As always, here are my top five favourite things that I enjoyed at the Discover India buffet at 180 degrees, Grand Sarovar Premiere.

1. Dhaba Food on my Plate: Give me hearty, ghee-laden, Punjabi dhaba food over the deconstructed, experimental stuff anyday. When you mention, food from Punjab, there are certain quintessential dishes that you cannot avoid. The buffet had sarson-da-saag, chole kulche, chole samose, dahi bhalle and all those dishes that you'd stop roadside on the Punjab highway for. Special mention to the chole samose that were perfectly spiced and not too heavy on the tummy. I missed having lassi though. Didn't know if it was there on the menu and I overlooked it, or that they just didn't have it.

Sarson-da-saag
Dahi Bhalle
Pour Some Chole on Me
Some Samosa?

2. The Little Touches: The effort to showcase Punjab was visible in the small things. To having a Punjab stall with Punjabi speaking staff, to earthen copper vessels. And desi-ghee and 'gud' (jaggery) for you to liberally smear on your food.



3. Variety is the Spice: In addition to highlighting Punjabi food on the night we visited, they also had few dishes from other states as well. So there was spicy fish curry from Goa, a bland Punheri Aloo, Kadhi Pakodi from Gujarat, a rich Awadhi mutton korma, and more. This in addition to Punjab food staples of Rajma masala, palak makkai malai and a butter chicken, which was a unanimous favourite. 

(Clockwise): Kadhi Pakodi, Rajma Masala, Aloo Punheri, Gobhi Awadhi
Jinga Biryani
4. Kababilicious: The live kebab counter was interesting. We ordered for some kebabs to be brought to our table and ate our way through paneer tikkas, Sarson fish, and chicken tandoori. Average fare with typical flavours.

Tandoori Chicken
Sarson fish
5. Meetha Khaoge?: The best way for me to judge a buffet is by their dessert section. Some dessert sections have so much going on, and that's such a struggle after a heavy meal. Then again there are some with barely any options. The dessert section here had very few Punjabi desserts to boast of considering it was a Punjabi meal. I would've killed for a gajar ka halwa or a jalebi. But they had some delicious angoori rabdi and badam halwa that compensated. And then there were the sweets from other states: Gujarati ghugra, Rajasthani ghevar, soan papdi, and laddoos. The tiramisu and mousse looked out of place, comparatively.


Overall, a decent spread of dishes at a price point of Rs. 995 (plus taxes) for dinner. The buffet is deems a visit if you reside and work in that area, considering there may not be many buffet options around. The suburbs are definitely proving their worth as a food destination. The meal was worth the 180 degree turn.

Contact: 180 Degrees, Grand Sarovar Premiere, AK Plaza, SV Road, Goregaon West, Mumbai.
Phone: 022 30151362.

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