Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Square - Novotel, Ahmedabad (+ Special Navroze Parsi Bhonu)

The Square - Novotel Hotel
ISKCON Cross Road,
S G Highway,
079 40606060, 95371 97777

My rating of 3 for the Square is solely for their regular lunch buffet.

However, if I have to consider the special Navroze Parsi Buffet that they had over the weekend, I would have to raise that rating to 5. It was the best Parsi food I have had in Ahmedabad and the most amazing spread of Parsi food that I have had, outside of a Parsi Wedding.

The reason, I have rated the regular lunch buffet at 3, is because nothing stood out. Some of the food had turned hard, as it was lying there for awhile. The biryani grains were hard, the paneer was hard etc. The spread is really really large, but perhaps they need to focus on making a few dishes well, rather than making a large spread of average dishes.

The buffet had a large variety of  Indian breads and dishes from Kebabs to vegetable curries. They had options of both veg and non-veg soup, some Indian Chinese, bread with a selection of flavoured butters (the cajun and curry butters were interesting), a salad bar, a chaat bar and a large spread of desserts. The baked desserts were the only items, that were memorable from this meal - the hot chocolate pudding was a mass of melting fudgy chocolate goodness, the panacotta was better than average and the raspberry financiers were a delight.

The food we tried on our first trip here last week, wasn't very great, but we saw the flyer for their Parsi festival and I knew nothing could keep me away. I love Parsi food and Goodies has been deteriorating rapidly & terribly!

On the occasion of Navroze (Parsi New Year), Chef Mek from Udwada had created a special buffet menu loaded with Parsi delicacies. There were so many things to try, that a few of them had to get left out in the end. For obvious reasons, the variety of Parsi food in the non-veg section was way higher than the veg repertoire. But the husbands favourite item from the buffet was the Parsi sabut Masoor dal, followed very very closely by the nutmeg flavoured Lagan nu Custard.

The Sunday brunch offered similar varieties to the the regular lunch with an additional Waffle + Pancake station, fresh eggs to order, a Gujarati farsaan section and 2 platters of vegetarian sushi. It says a lot about how starved I am for sushi, that I ate a few pieces of vegetarian sushi, even though the rice was woefully overcooked and pasty.

But the Parsi food more than made up for the rest of the disappointments. Starting with Parsi Akuri, tamatar pe eeda, the special salli pe eeda which the chef made for me upon my request, Kheema pao, murgh farcha, mawa nu lagan nu achaar, the patrani macchi (excellent pomfret slices), chicken and mutton salli boti, mutton and chicken cutlets, prawn pulao, dhansak were all excellent and finger licking good. Sadly, given a subsequent appointment, I couldn't do justice to this spread. But just thinking about it, makes my mouth water.

The Parsi desserts included Lagan nu Custard, Rose Jelly (very diffeent from normal jelly in texture) and Parsi Sevvaiyan. The churros and the deconstructed Blueberry Cheesecake were also commendable.

As, I mentioned at the start of this review, the Parsi spread was a 5 / 5 for variety and taste.

The paneer was better quality, softer and fresher on Sunday than it had been in the middle of the week.
Next time we visit The Square on a random occasion,  we will try the a la carte option and see if we have better luck, or maybe we just might keep visiting them only when there is a chef brought in from outside for special food festivals.

The regular lunch buffet costs 718.65/- per person, all inclusive. The Parsi Sunday Brunch was charged at 967.42/- per person, all inclusive. Lunch buffets are from 12:30 - 3:30 and Dinner from 7:30-11:30

Rating : 3 / 5

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