As usual, my punjaabi soul loves to experiment with food. Jaha food… waha hum! But experimenting means try once – soul doesn’t like it – step away. And so after a weird experience with gujrati cuisine, I have managed to stay away from it for over a decade.
Therefore when I got the invitation from Gitanjali at Sofitel to be a part of their Gujrati food festival organised at their all-vegetarian restaurant – Tuskers, I was curious. Curiosity killed the cat, and that cat was me.
Before I take you to gujrat ki galliyan, let me take you to what goes into Tuskers. It was my first time there and from the first look, it is a fairly simple restaurant that could be sitting in any 5-star hotel. Peeling the layers revealed its true colors – the only fine dining fully vegetarian restaurant in the city. Not only is there food vegetarian, their cutlery & crockery is also vegetarian!! The specific stock for this restaurant has never even seen sight of meat. That’s how vegetarian they are. I didn’t check if they only hired vegetarian staff.
Ab chalte hain gujrat ki taraf. Awaiting – colors, vibrant surrounding, folkfare music, puppet show, mehndiwalis, achaar tasting counter and beaded dolls corner – all decked up in the lobby of the restaurant. It was slightly disappointing to see none of the serving staff dressed as gujju. But smart people nonetheless.
The motto of Tuskers is home-cooked food in a fine dining space cooked by people who cook at home. If you get my drift! Hence 2 home-maker ladies were specially flown down from Gujrat to cook (or get it cooked) authentic cuisine. My panjaabi soul was laughing by this time – I was going to have vegetarian food that too gujju.
Gujrati food = everything sweet. Yes and Yes. And let me tell you how.
Main course thali (see picture) – Surti Dal (sweet), Sev tamatar (sweet), Beans and aloo (sweet). As much as I tried, I couldn’t get myself to like all of these. So while gujju’s wll revel in this, I seriously doubt saleability outside that boundry.
Now for the parts I liked. Make it loved – Bajra Vada (I asked for a repeat serving), Ringnanu ollo – Stuffed brinjal – Bestest of all. MUST TRY!
Passable – Methi dhokla (too dry), Toor kachori (very average), aam panna (lacked the punch), Undhyo (boring), Boiled rice (name says it all). Methi thepla is like methi parantha.
Dessert course – Aadiya Pak (sweet obv!) & Angoor ki rabri (sweet & thank god for that!). Both we nice enough. You can’t eat more that 2 spoonful of adiya pak – its made out of desi ghee – for real!
My panjaabi soul won and I still couldn’t develop a strong taste for this western cuisine. Maybe another try in next decade. Till then, where is the butter chicken!
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.