Picture this- a gorgeous view of the sun kissed mountains, lush green fauna and a gentle breeze that touches your cheek to remind you of luxury tucked away from maddening city crowds and pollution. No this isn’t some scene off the Sicilian countryside but it is the backdrop of your meal at the Terrazzo restaurant at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa. Lunch in the lap of nature could not get any finer or classier than this!
Ample space is the catalyst for a flourishing organic garden whose produce is used for making the phenomenal meals. There is an option of both ala carte as well as a buffet spread. I started my meal with the organic fine green salad which was a medley of various greens tossed together with a selection of dressings on the side. Crisp and fresh is the best way to describe it.
Next was the live quesadilla counter. Perfect tortilla with cheese was a real treat. The Kashmiri dishes were sampled next. Chuk Wangun is a typical Kashmiri dish wherein the slight bitterness of the brinjals is offset by the tartness of the apples. My first sampling of this dish and I have to say it was really tasty. The yakhni pulao was equally good.
Eggplant moussaka with feta was another knock out dish. This vegetarian moussaka was so rich and creamy owing to the feta that it could give the meat version a complete run for its money. I guess the fact that so much emphasis is placed on seasonal organic produce be it the meat or the greens that the food really tasted awesome. A fine example being the simple yet sumptuous dish of grilled herbed vegetables. The dish was so good that I kept going back for more.
The show stopper though would have to be the Red Thai chicken curry. It was also my personal favourite. The aroma of the lemon grass was just mind boggling. It was the prime reason why this particular curry stood out amongst all the others that I have tasted. Incidentally lemon grass grows all over the 350 acre retreat and is used for food and beverage as well as in its award winning spa.
Next was the dessert counter. To say that I have a sweet tooth would be a total understatement. The honey walnut tart was delicious with the right balance of the sweetness of the honey with the crunchiness of the walnuts. The homemade ice creams were awesome too.
The real hero would have to be the signature dish of Chef Akhil Ranjan. It sounded intriguing when Ranjan mentioned it. “Poppy seed halwa,” he said and I responded with “Wow! Let’s go for it”. I confess I was gob smacked as when you think poppy seeds, the most obvious picture is of a thick curry but a halwa was something I just had to try for myself. One bite and I was a convert. The richness and earthiness of the toasty poppy seeds was delicious. The buffet spread follows a cyclic menu and the variety is not just diverse but appetizing as well. The chefs table is highly sought after. Apart from Terrazzo, Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa also offers other culinary treasures in the form of Mountain Bar Bistro which has a Mediterranean café concept, The Reserve for wine, cheese and cold cuts and The Valley Bar which has tapas and housed special cocktails, mocktails and liquors. I guess the reason why all the food and beverage options at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa are so amazing is because you get to enjoy delicious food in a magical setting that refreshes your mind, body and soul.
Reviewer – Sanaea Patel
Address: PAWANA NAGAR, TALUKA MAVAL, Javan Tungi Road,Shillim,near Lonavala, Pune, Maharashtra 410401
Phone:02114 712 468
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.