Guilty, never been to this beautiful hill station called Coorg in Karnataka. This place is famous for it’s lush greenery and exotic views. It has been a favorite holiday spot for most travelers and families, but I never got a chance to visit it, until Hyatt happened! Hyatt brings on your table a taste of Coorg, all in one special thali! Let’s go through it one by one:
You notice the lovely decor and spacious seating as soon as you enter The Cafe (where this festival is taking place). We were greeted by Chef Anirban DasGupta, who kindly explained to us where this food comes from and what is the history attached to it. You see, he believes in the idea that food is not only about what’s put in front of you, but it brings in many stories that you can share on the table, which I completely agree with! So Coorg is a place where many warrior clans initially lived which is why their food is prepared fairly quickly and uses simple ingredients to bring in that flavor. This does not mean that the food tastes mediocre, no no, every element on your plate is carefully prepared and well thought-out and you can see that in the presentation and flavors. Let’s dive right into our tasting now:
They started bringing in appetizers like chaat (which had dahi puri and sev puri) which are amazing to munch on while you warm-up your stomach for a delicious ride.
Next came in one of the most amazing Fish starter I have had in Pune, the fish was melt-in-your-mouth soft and bursting of flavors! And the roast chicken which was so subtly spiced yet I could taste every spice in there! Lip-smackingly delicious!
How can I leave out the vegetarian starters which were equally delicious? The spiced pineapples were served to us in a bowl full of ice which was so awesome because it kept the pineapple chilled! The spiced mushrooms were excellent and I could have easily kept on eating only if I wasn’t trying to keep some space in my tummy for other dishes.
Now comes the most important part of the meal, the Thali! I couldn’t have been more happier with it and although it was my first time tasting food from Coorg, in my mind I was already in the hills. The pork masala was outstanding! It is Chef Fancy’s special dish and deserves to be savored, cannot be missed! Fish curry and chicken curry were yummy and could be had with rice roti or rice cake. There were veggies on the plate as well but we barely got to those since the non-vegetarian stuff took all our attention. There are ample varieties of chutneys that is surely like an ice-water-splash to your sleeping taste-buds and your mouth fill be filled with all these exotic flavors you can’t even believe! You must ask for this thali specially and not go for the buffet system because it’s easier for the team to put specific Coorg dishes on your thali and this way you won’t miss out on anything.
It’s no surprise that desserts served were also from Coorg. The kheer/payasam is made from broken rice and chana dal, although simple, it’s like comfort food with the perfect sweetness. The matka dessert (that’s what I call it) is made from crushed biscuits, topped with fresh cream and tropical fruits. Again, it’s a delicious combination and it was difficult not to finish that last bite in the matka. The Egg custard was presented gorgeously, it had very little sweetness to it and was tasty but I personally preferred the kheer.
No South-Indian food is ever complete without Filter Coffee and that is exactly what they serve at the end. Usually the coffees we have in Pune are milky and sweet, so do not expect anything like that here. Hyatt’s coffee is strong and less milky. It may take a while to get used to the taste but I am sure my friends from South India will truly appreciate how they have kept things as authentic as possible.
Lunch – Rs. 999/- +taxes
Dinner – Rs. 1399/- + taxes
Last but most importantly, the festival ends on 30th May and so that doesn’t leave you much time to procrastinate your visit. If you enjoy your curries and payasam, you must give it a try!