First impressions are long lasting and this place has always hit a masterstroke when it comes to truly LIVING the theme.
Boulevard Orchid, Pune is hosting a 100 % vegetarian Rajasthani Food Festival from July 28 to August 7, 2017.
Decor: As you enter the place, small tilak ceremony with rajwadi lassi is served in kulhad loaded with fresh cream and dry fruits.
Hawa Mahal setup is replicated at the entrance with the team dressed up in the traditional attire.
This doesn’t stop here, the artifacts, interiors with nice vibrant colors, thele wale bhaiya( cart) for chaats and gola bliss is indeed impressive!
Rajasthani cuisine is synonymous to usage of pure ghee, different spices and red chillies in their preparation.
Personally, my childhood best friend happens to be a Marwadi and all my life I have loved her tiffin be it the papad ki churi, different types of bhendi, masala khicidi, and so many different types of aachar (pickles) for everything on this earth they have an aachar version and trust me I have loved them all!
This is one of the vegetarian meals which has always given me reasons to smile a little more and ask myself- how do they think of innumerable variants of one simple thing?
To know more of it, let’s see what all does this fest offer:
We started with my basic & all time fav- panipuri with ragda and alu (potato) filling then settled with corn patties- nicely mashed corn with jeera (cumin seeds) and mint chutney was a good start.
Crispy kachoris with tangy tamarind chutney and awesome view was just the perfect mausam feels!
This was followed by garam garam moong, kothimbir bhajjis and we blessed the thele wala bhaiya more- he was very efficient!
Dahi wada and crispy 65 were next on the table- crispy cauliflower with honey topping is a good option for someone who wants to skip the pakodas and chaat.
However, the dahi wadas weren’t up to the mark, basic wadas were quite hard.
Aromatic flavors and the open live kitchen where hot,cute phulkas, parothas and rotis are made, you’re certainly tempted to try them out.
Started with alu chaat cum salad-good change!
Gatte ki sabji nai khayi toh kya khaya? quickly served this spicy delight with hot phulkas. I loved it! One of the best tried till date.
I am a dal person, need it almost every day. There were two types- panchratna ( hi- five dal) and chilke wali dal, enjoyed the latter simple in flavors with basic ingredients.
I had this one with masala parotha with jeera and ajwain seeds- complete homely feels!
Next was the very famous dal batti, I am not really fond of this dish, but the team did a good job with the masala battis with ghee overload and churma.
This was my first encounter with rajasthani patodi ki sabji- besan (gram flour) plays a very important role in Rajasthani food, this is commonly mistaken as alu or paneer by appearance, as the chef suggested have it when it’s hot- mouth watering, spicy and tasty wonder play with besan, ghee.
Skipped some of the regular options like palak paneer, gawar and tried jaipuri pulav and alu ki sabji. The pulav was full of dry fruits and saffron somehow despite of the richness, the dryness was felt, alu ki sabji was ordinary.
While the team was arranging the desserts, I had already made my list, this section was very interesting.
No, no it’s just not my adulterated love for sweets, but also because of the nice medley of items on the table.
Started with staple gulab jamun as they looked completely photogenic or currently Instagram worthy.Soft,spongy with extra sweetness!
Sweetness overload made me try malai ghevar- perfect crunchiness!
Rajbhos here are excellent this time as well they were delicious.
Tried the churma laddo with shudh desi desi ghee. Amidst all these traditional dessert items they also have some bakery options. This one looked like a kala jamun with rabadi and chocostick, but turned out to be chocolate mousse which should have been more fresh minus the chocostick as it turns soggy by the time you try it.
The last and the best way to conclude the meal had to be mawa kachori- loved the overload of dry fruits and combination of khoya and sugar dipped, this is one of the most delectable sweet option.
The traditional desserts served were the showstoppers and the winners!
Anu’s final verdict:
Superb job with the theme, decor and ambience, did I mention they also had folk songs played and a royal seating arrangement?
Most of the regional items were delicious, good idea to keep some non-regional items which appeals to the masses. Desserts were quite interesting.
I would have loved to try variants in mocktails with indian spices.
Service has to improve, especially when you’re hosting a fest-Team Orchid you guys are there, just some more efforts in this section.
Addition of more starters as the start has to be with a bang.
I noticed many customers weren’t aware of the items served in the thele (cart) -maybe in addition to the starters, customers should be informed about the options there.
Overall,I am happy to relive my childhood days again and thank you team Orchid for being the warm host as always.
You should note:
The festival ends on August 7
Timings- 12.30 to 3.00 PM & 7 to 11 PM, Sunday Brunch- 12 to 4 PM
You need to pay Rs. 1050/ for this meal.
Happy Festive Season!
Contributing Writer: Anu Banerjii
Anu is a Bong by genes,Punekar by birth, Media professional by choice and Foodie by heart. Food Blogging for her is not being a critic, but it’s all about relishing the flavours to the fullest, thereby share experience.