New menu that has recently been introduced at The Pavilion, ITC Maurya can be described in simple words – comfort food, seasonal produce, farm to fork, locally sourced and responsible food which is caringly selected and mindfully prepared.
Having been invited to a blogger’s meet to taste the newly introduced menu was an invitation that transported me back in time. My first visit to ITC Maurya was about 16 years back when I was with Delhi Times and had come to sample their signature and world famous dal – Dal Bukhara. As soon as I got this invite, believe me I could sense that taste that still lingers in some corner of my mind. But this time I was heading to The Pavilion (that’s a different thing that I got a pack of Dal Bukhara after all the feasting ;))
Ever thought what is it like to have a new menu introduced? What kind of planning, thoughts, and ideas go into making it a reality for us, the guests? I don’t have a quantifiable idea but I can imagine and the results were clear when I tasted the menu. Everything that you would see on the à la carte menu has a distinct character and is just more than food on your plate.
I started with Amaranth and Finger Millet Ciabatta with Beetroot Pesto where the pesto does wonders to your wholesome bread. Beetroot is a seasonal vegetable which is ample during this time of the year and hence the pesto which is not only amazing to taste but the beautiful ‘beetrooty’ color is a treat for your eyes. The next on the menu is Molten Brie that will make you say ‘cheese’ and then you will devour it all because the salty flavor of cheese is well balanced with the Apple Chutney that is served with Molten Brie. For the nonvegetarians, it’s the beautiful looking Pavilion Shrimp Cocktail which is citrus-spiked prawns drilled with classic cocktail sauce.
The main course too looks comfortable and the food is not over-powering either. The chefs have used unusual grains like Amaranth, Finger Millet (Ragi), Tulsi seeds which are actually the forgotten grains now. “ITC aims to create awareness about the treasure trove of ‘Indian Super Foods’ like Amaranth, Finger Millet ( Ragi ), Tulsi seed etc under the ‘Grains Of Goodness’ which are not only nutritious but are as versatile in their culinary uses as their western counter parts like Quinoa, Chia,” said Manisha Bhasin, Senior Executive Chef, ITC Maurya when I asked why the unusual grains were chosen in the first place.
The Green Burger and the Chicken Katsu Burger will help you relish the burger as it is supposed to be. That’s the fun of fine dining there is nothing fast here (you know what I am saying, right?) The rye and sunflower seed buns leave a sweet taste of the grain in your mouth plus the burger patty too doesn’t play hide and seek between the slices of buns and you can relish it with sides like French fries, Green Salad and the dip which again is my favourite because of the perfect balance of mayonnaise and mustard sauce.
Then in the main course is Butter Chicken which apparently is everyone’s favorite and I am also amused that everyone travelling to Delhi actually wants to try it once atleast. So, if you have never tried it then what better place to have it at The Pavilion, ITC Maurya and if you are a fan of this dish and you should have it only at Pavilion (remember my Dal Buhkara incident?).
There was also Dilli Ki Chaat in three variants – Dahi Gujia, Moong Dal Gulgule and Tikki Chaat. If you ask me, I am a lover of street food and like to eat at various joints and kiosks selling street food when I am travelling, it instantly connects me to the spirit of the place. Chaat is to Delhi, what Vada Pav is to Mumbai and I liked Dahi Gujiya the best with melt-in-mouth Gujiyas and the sweet well-blended curd, with chutney and seasonings that perfectly suited to my chaat loving palate.
Like I mentioned, this menu is all about comfort food, Soul Food bowls like Mushroom and Bean Fricasse and Lamb Rib and Braod Bean Tagine clearly fall in that category. It’s a bowl full of good food.
To wrap it up on a sweet note I had Pavilion Chocolate Fudge and the great thing about this fudge is the sweet jaggery sauce on top which I am sure you would ask for more.
The Milk Chocolate Parfait is also recommended for its play of colours and the chocolate sauce.
A lot of local and seasonal produce has been used to curate this menu talking about this Bhasin informed, “A ‘Responsible Luxury’ ethos underscores ITC Hotels’ culinary brands and initiatives to present innovative luxury dining experiences without compromising the earth; a philosophy that resonates with similar global initiatives like the ‘slow food’ movement wherein use of local and seasonal produce is encouraged to showcase the ‘Best in Season’ produce for our guests.”
I asked her what are her favourites from the new menu and she points to Chicken Katsu Burger, Southern Railway Lamb Curry & Pavilion Chocolate Fudge.
By the way to keep you updated the new menu at The Pavilion was launched simultaneously at 7 ITC properties pan India. And you can choose from Best Of Pavilion (BOP) section which is common to all The Pavilions in India. Wow! That’s a little bit of India everywhere.
I say this because the ‘Local Love’ selection in the menu showcases the dishes selected by ‘Food Sherpas ‘ who highlight the best of regional offerings through the section. Food Sherpas are the guides who take you to the local food destinations like Khari Baoli in Chandni Chowk in Delhi for local food tastings. Imagine what a treasure these Food Sherpas would have picked up from all over India.