Monday, June 09, 2014

Petals, Junagadh

The Lotus Hotel
Station Road
Junagadh 362 001

+91 285 2658 500 / 01 / 02

I first stayed at the Lotus Hotel in August 2012. At that time it was quite recently constructed and still did not have its own restaurant. They only supplied room service.

When I first reached this hotel at 10pm at night, I was quite wary of its appearance and was ready to turn around and drive another 1-2 hours in the dark to Gir to stay at the Taj, because it looked quite shady from the outside and I wasn't sure if I would be comfortable having my mother and younger sister staying in such a place.

Fortunately, I took a look inside at the rooms and that assured me a lot on the safety and "decency" of this hotel, so we decided to spend the night here itself.

Sadly of all the food that we ordered in room service, I couldn't eat anything except the masala papad. Even the fresh lime soda, I had to re-order as it was too sweet for my taste. The tomato soup was like watered down tomato sauce. The veg biryani was extremely oily. The spring rolls were too thick, too much large sized fillings and oily and soggy. It says a lot about how bad this meal was, given that I can recall the horrible tastes even after 2 years have passed (I normally forget any bad meals I have had)

1 year down the line, we returned to Junagadh and I had packed my own food, so that I wouldn't have to sleep hungry another time. But surprise, surprise - they had opened up a new restaurant called "Petals" and when I made a very tentative initial order, the quality of food that was produced, encouraged me to have my entire meal there.

I now stop here regularly, each time we are in the area when driving across Saurashtra and have mostly had good experiences with them.

They offer a complimentary cooler and some fryums as soon as you sit down. They have an Executive lunch buffet for 180/- that has a lot of takers.

Their Chinese starters are good and I can heavily recommend their Baby Corn Crunchy (130/-) and the dragon potato starters (140/-) that they have. I'm happy to admit that the veg spring rolls (180/-) have also improved tremendously. They have a very intriguing Paneer Kapicho (135/-) on the menu. But since none of the waiters seems to know what it is, I have not yet had the courage to try it.

They have quite a few tandoori items and I personally like the kaju paneer sheekh kebabs (175/-). Baked pastas, baked vegetables, sizzlers and cocktails are parts of their menu, that I have not yet ordered from.

Their Indian dishes are the best of the lot, on the menu and they make some lovely paneer gravies. The paneer toofani (150/-) is a nicy tangy, semi spicy gravy that goes very well with rotis. Their dals too are very good.

Their green peas and jeera pulaos are quite good, but this time, I made the mistake of trying their palak pulao which ended up being extremely oily and tasteless.

I heavily recommend their Masala buttermilk / chaas / chaach. At 25/- its a steal for the quality and flavour.

Seating is standard. Air Conditioning is a blessing in the heat of Junagadh. Washrooms are reasonably clean, depending on who was the last person to use it.

However, there are a lot of new fancier hotels & restaurants opening in Junagadh, wonder how Petals & the Lotus Hotel will stand up to the competition.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

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