Seasons Hotel in Aundh enjoys a prime location in that neighborhood and houses several different restaurants serving a variety of cuisines in its premises. They used to house the hugely successful Melange, a rooftop lounge which was quite popular amongst corporates and young professionals of this area; but has now been turned into a rooftop banquet. They also house Cinnamon Spice, a bollywood theme North Indian restaurant, which is my personal favorite amongst their offerings and they consistently serve some good North Indian food.
Flavors, their multi-cuisine Buffet restaurant has been a favorite amongst the hotel guests and residents from the western suburbs of the city; since they have been serving a consistently good quality, reasonably priced buffet, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are currently hosting a food festival named “Tasteful journeys” from 17th to 26th February and I was invited for a tasting for the same ongoing festival.
Tasteful journeys is conceptualized to be a global food festival; and they have curated a menu comprising of North Indian, South Indian, Maharashtrian, Mexican, Italian and Oriental cuisines. I had imagined the actual buffet to have a good mix of dishes from each cuisine every day of the festival; but they are in fact focusing on only one type of cuisine on a particular day; with limited options from other cuisines for diners who still want those options. So on the day of the tasting, the buffet focused on a larger spread of North Indian cuisine with limited Oriental and Italian options. This is what I tried from the buffet:
Fruit delight had orange and strawberry crush with some sprite; a bit too sweet for my liking but quite refreshing on a warm afternoon. Jaljeera was quite good, the kinds that set your apetite going for a hearty meal.
The salad bar had a selection of veg and non-veg salads, as well has sauces and dressings for those who want to make their own salad. I tried a few premixed salads and gave the DIY options a skip. Tandoori Murgh chaat was the star dish that day, it was loved by everyone on the bloggers table that day. Soft, succulent shreds of pulled chicken in a luscious, medium spiced dressing; made for an excellent start to the meal. Fish and Spinach salad seemed to have interesting textures, fried fish with crispy shreds of spinach; but the fish had gone soggy and the spice mix in which it was tossed was a tad overpowering. Aloo chaat was really nice, with the tanginess of the imli chutney balanced with the sweetness of fresh yogurt, and it had just the right amount of chaat masala. The carrot and radish salad was also very fresh, with a light lime, chili and pepper dressing; perfect for those preferring a healthier option.
There was a limited mix of mostly oriental and Indian appetizers. Fish in spicy black bean sauce had pieces of basa batter-coated and fried and tossed in a balanced black bean sauce, and made for a nice starter. Curried Flavor grill chicken unfortunately was quite undercooked (pink to be honest) and no distinct flavors were recognizable. Murgh Kasundi Kabab on the other hand, while it had the nice flavors of the mustard sauce, the chicken had dried out too much from staying too long in the buffet Bain marie. Also, it was not deboned properly. Salt and Pepper Mushrooms: batter fried mushrooms tossed in pepper, garlic and soy based sauce; while the flavors were quite good, the mushrooms had again gone soggy. Pesto tossed Potatoes: fried cubes of potatoes tossed in pesto sauce; here again the potatoes had gone soggy in the Bain marie and the flavor of the herbs was lost. I suggest they serve starters on the table, instead of having them on the main buffet; since most of the problems with taste, texture and lack of flavor with the appetizers were because of them having been on the buffet too long. They do replace the starters for you and make a fresh batch if you ask; but I feel it’s better to just serve them freshly made, on the table; rather than waiting for someone to complain and ask for a replacement.
Since the theme for the day was North Indian, I decided to stick to mostly North Indian main course dishes on the buffet. Murgh sharabi tikka masala: had tender pieces of chicken, probably marinated in alcohol, and cooked in a medium spicy red gravy. Gobi mussalam had thick florets of baked cauliflower in a tangy and creamy gravy, and topped with some cream; I loved this the most on the main course menu that day. Daal panchmel was quite nice, with subtle spices and a soft texture. Dum aloo Punjabi had a flavorful yellow, yogurt based gravy; which I quite liked. Sabj saagwala was a preparation with mixed vegetables in a spinach based gravy; and I felt that the earthy flavor from the spich needed some more balance from perhaps tomatoes, onions or cream. Indian breads were served on the table and were all made well.
There was a live Bhel and Dabeli counter that I gave a miss; but my co-diners loved the bhel.
Overall, they have a fairly good buffet with something to appeal to everyone’s taste-buds; and it is a good option for a buffet if you are dining in the area. But I honestly felt that there was nothing new on offer as a food-festival, atleast on the day we visited.