Coorg food is a pretty well kept secret of South India. I've been lucky to have come across it thanks to a couple of Coorg friends. I've drooled over the delectable Pandhi Curry (which is a slow cooked Pork in a fabulously dark masala that's almost black).
So when The Orchid Hotel in Mumbai was hosting a Coorg Food Festival in their restaurant - The South of Vindhyas, we had to go! The place had a beautiful ambiance that transported us to South India almost immediately. Soft piped music, bright silk and zari place settings, authentic tableware, washing our hands in rose water, leaf plates, it was all authentically luxe.
|The luxe place setting|
This was a seated buffet (a fixed menu, if you please) where I chose the Seafood menu and the husband naturally, the non-veg meat menu.
First up was some great buttermilk (that almost served as a warning of the spiciness of the food to come) with fried papads and then a bowl of rasam (which was like a really spicy meat stock, with a few pieces of meat). The starters were quite nice, with Meen Bharthad (shallow fried tamarind fish), Meen cutlet, Prawns Bharthad and more.
And then we dug into the mains, as food just kept appearing at our table, and I was at a constant battle with myself over which to eat at every morsel. Bowls of fish curries, prawns curry, stir fried prawn, crab, mixed vegetables and more lined my plate while the appams kept coming. Until finally I knew I had to stop. So I had some steamed rice, to try and finish at least half the curry in my plate. I couldn't decide which was the best, but the Meen curry and the Prawn curry were both especially delectable.
We finished off our meal with curd rice in typical South Indian style, followed up with an extremely rich and sweet kheer.
By the time we were done, we were in an absolute food coma, and I looked at my plate in horror, I'd barely managed to finish half of it. We sat there for a while, unable to move, and finally, reluctantly but necessarily, stepped away from our table. While I did feel a bit disappointed at the beginning of the meal when I found out there was no Pandhi Curry, by the end of the meal, I was so satiated by everything else, I completely forgot all about the Pandhi Curry. Food festival or not, we'll most definitely be returning to the South of Vindhyas pretty soon. Once we've lost at least some of the weight we put on that sunny afternoon.
The Coorg Food Festival is on from 20th Sept to 29th Sept 2013
South of the Vindhyas, The Orchid Mumbai, Adjacent to the Domestic Airport
They refresh their menu every day through the festival, so the menu available on the day you visit, may differ from the dishes shown here.
For reservations, call 022-26164040 Ext. 4060
While this post was made possible thanks to the people at South of the Vindhyas, The Orchid Hotel Mumbai, the views as always, are my own. Photos partly my own, partly provided by the restaurant management.