China celebrates its new year like no other country does. New year equals to almost a months vacation…jealous? Every year is associated to an animal as per Chinese zodiac. This Chinese year is the year of the Fire Monkey who is said to be ambitious and adventurous. Hope it brings in luck for our neighbors.
Like India, China has a diverse culinary culture. The eight major culinary cuisines of China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang originating from their geographic diversity. Sofitel at BKC decided to celebrate the joy of our neighbors by hosting a Cantonese food festival at Pondicherry café while they stepped into their new year. Now when Sofitel does it, it does it in style! Chef Allen Zhao flew in to create a special menu for the occasion and how better could he have presented food from the Gondong province?
From the designers perspective!
Pondicherry café located on the ground floor of this 14-storied French hotel is its 24-hour restaurant. It is a quite spacious café with abundant seating, which could delightfully host small and large groups or even a meal for two. Isabella Miaja has designed the place with French elegance evidentially taking inspiration from old school French décor and giving the café name Pondicherry (a French colony) its essence. The wooden tables, golden upholstered seating, carpeted floor, a cylindrical glass wine cellar, artistic wall décor and a buffet station sums up the place. The entrance was temporarily clad with Chinese décor like umbrellas and a laughing Buddha etc. on occasion of the Cantonese food festival.
For the love of food!
The buffet menu had a Chinese (Cantonese) spread and an Indian spread. Since we were there more specifically for the Cantonese food festival we personally chose to stuff ourselves with Chef Allen’s preps. Authenticity was given the most importance in the entire menu. The Choi Chow Fan (vegetable fried rice), Chow See Choy (Stir fried vegetables), Kaw Lao Main Choy (Vegetable fried noodles), Chang Thew Chow Tofu Tausse Latch Chu Che (Stir fried beans with tofu in chilli bean sauce) were the menu for the evening.
A very important thing to be noted and a less know fact by the masses is that authentic Chinese (Cantonese) food is not spicy as Indians are used to have. On the contrary it is flavourful and every sauce has distinct taste. The vegetables more or less would remain the same while stir-frying but the sauce is the key, to how would you want your meal to be. With the Wok station set up, they let us pick our choice of veggies and having an Indian pallet we requested for a spicy sauce and the chef at the wok station was kind to explain us the consequences of eating spicy food and more so red chilli. We let him pick is choice of sauce and did not regret it one bit.
The Dim Sum’s served at the table had a very thin batter covering and were perfectly steamed. They did not have a strong taste but an amazing flavour. The sauces did the trick.
And what a spread they had! Desserts were the best part of this buffet dinner. Be it traditional Indian dessert like Churme ka ladoo or the Blueberry cheese cake, everything was just awesome. They were serving fortune cookies as a part of the festival and one of our messages read “You will live a long life and eat many fortune cookies” Yay! We recommend going to them even if they were serving just desserts. Must Try!
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Ms. Varsha Nair gave us a warm welcome and a tour of the café while telling us a little about the hotel before leaving us with the food. The staff was diligent and informative of the food they were serving. They made thoughtful recommends and were prompt to respond. Just what you expect of a luxury hotel.
Hawk eye view!
The Cantonese food festival was an absolute pleasure to attend and would surely visit them again for we would love to engage in the other cuisines they serve with their buffet and a la carte.