1911, the fine dining restaurant of the Imperial Delhi is hosting a French Food Fiesta from 12th to 21st July 2019 in honor of the Bastille Day! I was invited for the media lunch of the same!
It is always a pleasure to go to the Imperial for they organize the events with a lot of care. Also after going there so many times I know the people, it is great fun to meet them again!
The executive chef of the Imperial Hotel Prem K Pogakula explained that a traditional French lunch or dinner could go up to 17 courses over three to four hours!
Being a vegetarian has its own ups and downs when it comes to exploring world cuisine. However, I knew I would be well catered to at the Imperial. There was Ratatouille, baked potatoes and rice in herbs for the main course for me.
For non vegetarians main dishes to choose from are Filet de Doré Jaune, Riz Noir et Beurre Citron – Pan fried John dory, black rice and lemon butter sauce , Filet de Loup, Ratatouille et Sauce Vierge-Fillet o seabass, ratatouille and “sauce vierge” and Filet Grillé, Sauce Béarnaise aux Poivre et Pommes Allumettes – Tenderloin with matchstick potatoes, bearnaise or pepper sauce.
Desserts were Île Flottante meringue – Served on Crème Anglaise and Poire Belle Hélène – Poached pears served with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce.
A meal for two costs 7000 plus taxes. If you are craving for French food and in a mood to splurge, do check out the fiesta at the Imperial.
PS. I was invited for this media lunch by the hotel!
What do you say if 5 plates out of 15 are desserts in my collage from Sharjah? Well, I don’t need to look far as to why I don’t lose weight anymore! I could find vegetarian food in Sharjah. Most of my meals in Sharjah were in hotel buffets. There was a reason for this. On the FAM there were bloggers as well as travel agents. When travel agents are part of the group, you get to see a lot of hotels. And the hotels then mostly host us for lunch or dinner! I ate at Royal Tulip Act, where I stayed, Sheraton Sharjah, Oceanic Khorfakkan, Golden Tulip Sharjah and Zahr El Laymoun, which is a restaurant. I also had a lunch Sultan Saray, Ajman.
Arabic cuisine has fantastic mezze meal which has Pita Bread (Kuboos), hummus, Babaghanoush, fattoush, olives, falafel etc which for me is good enough as meal. However it is otherwise treated as starters.
They also make excellent lentil soup. The bread selection at all the hotels was good. For me the starters and soup and bread were quite filling in itself. I could easily find rice at most of the buffets. Arabic bread feels like roti.
But then what happens when the novelty wears off after a few days? I could always find rice at the counters, sometimes we would pour the lentil soup over it as it tasted like our दाल (curry). But I did not see dedicated vegetarian counters in the hotels. There were live pasta counters at some buffets and they were popular with vegetarians.
In desserts all kind of pastry was available. There were a few local desserts that I tried but I remember the name of only one, the most popular known as Umm Ali. If you don’t believe me you can google the name and see if it is a dessert or not. It is made of puff pastry and condensed milk!
But the most rocking thing I had was Arabic Coffee with dates. It is kept in the hotels around the reception area for the guests. The cups are small and the coffee is black and bitter. But it is to be taken with dates (not the valentine day dates but dates as in खजूर) which counters the bitter taste. I wonder how I managed to miss it in Dubai!
So overall I was fine in Sharjah as a vegetarian. I have a feeling that if we went to more restaurants rather than hotel buffets, probably it would be easier to find more variety in vegetarian food.
What do I say about food? Food should be an integral part of travel but if you have been following my blog you can see that I hardly ever talk about food. Food and me, food is not my forte! There are many reasons for this. I will tell you my food story along with the food from Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner.
I have stayed for long in hostels, with bad mess food. Then I’m a vegetarian too. Gradually I realized that the world is not a vegetarian place, in India I am spoiled for choices but it is not true for other corners of the world. I have to admit it is getting better with time, as more people are turning vegetarians around the world. But with bad mess food which killed all my taste buds and vegetarianism, I hardly ever talk about food. But then I click food pictures diligently, almost of everything I eat, only I do nothing with it.
At Narendra Bhawan (and Suryagarh) they feed you a lot of good food and it would not be fair to keep all the food pictures to myself. So for starters, I am making a collage of the food I ate at Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner. Mind you, I ate much more. There was a gala dinner where my phone was dead, the power bank was dead, so I clicked no food pictures. I missed out on clicking a lot of drinks that I consumed! What you see above is some of the food I ate! And I ate it all in my 3 night 4 days stay. You can see that it is a lot of food!
In my daily life I am a light eater, the food at my home has hardly any spices or oil. Then suddenly on my travels, I eat a lot of rich food. I am a big fan of desserts though, even at home. I have a huge sweet tooth.
I learned the art of not finishing everything on my plate (only when I am on trips) simply because my stomach cannot take it! But I finish almost all my desserts (both home and away).
And while I am traveling I do not exercise much. If the itinerary includes a lot of walking, I am happy. But there are times when we travel by car, get down and walk a little and then sit down to eat, again and again! How do I keep myself healthy is a big question, to which I do not have a good answer at the moment. I am one of those people who can’t live without sleeping a lot. So I never manage to go to the gym while on a trip.
But here I am, I started with all the intention of documenting the good food (or at least some of it) I ate at Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner and I ended up discussing mess food, vegetarian food and my health. But this is a start, I have at least talked about food. Now the trick is to make it a habit and do it after every trip!
PS. I was invited by Narendra Bhawan to Bikaner as a blogger.