I like it when high end eateries combine ethics with avant-garde ideas. Posh luxury hotels and restaurants bringing in the concept of local seasonal foods and farm to fork meals is a great trend we are witnessing now. It is a pleasure to see a bed of cabbages and lettuce, mustard and spinach, assorted herbs and flowers in the middle of a sprawling five star hotel that caters to the globetrotter populace and gives them a taste of nature served on elegant plates.
When I got to know Pullman Aerocity has an in house farm I was immensely curious to see how they work. How much they grow on this farm and what is their philosophy on food as I see many hotels having farms in the outskirts of the city but a farm within the hotel is a novelty. Much welcome, much appreciated I must add.
Chef Ajay Anand, Director of Culinary at Pullman Novotel Aerocity New Delhi, told that they have a contract with an organic farmer in Himachal Pradesh and get all the seasonal produce that they cannot grow at their in house farm. Serving seasonal produce is their focus and they serve it in style.
The decor is modern chic, elements of nature can be seen in patterns of flower petals, extensive woodwork and vibrant colours.
Each piece of crockery is unique just like elements of nature, some in the shape of flower petals or leaves, some of them are shaped like rock beds. The thoughtfully served food adds beauty to it.
The amuse bouche came in the form of sweet sun dried tomato soaked up quickly in herbed water that was very refreshing in one shot.
The butter was served coated with green and black olive dust, very beautifully presented along with fresh crusty bread and soft bread rolls. Then came Mulligutawny soup poured over roasted black rice, a tadka dust (made with flavored coconut oil) and flower petals. I loved the use of black wild rice and the soup was wonderfully flavored and smooth.
Main course was roasted Cod served over Puy lentils and mashed potato, topped with tender pea shoots. Wonderfully tender fish dotted with candied orange peel was a great flavor combination. Mashed potato quite smooth and creamy, puy lentils perfectly done. My friend had chosen lamb served over beans and mushrooms and that was very nice too.
The dessert was a piece of art on a white plate. Matcha green tea custard served with Lychee puree and Jasmine sorbet was served beautifully dotted with flower petals and dark chocolate bark.
The flavors were nice, presentation took the cake. Literally.
Bringing the real freshness of nature on the plate is something that needs to brought into trend. If such star hotels take the initiative it is a great start as the food industry always needs new trends to keep innovating so why not natural real food be the new trend. There wouldn't be any dearth of ideas once nature takes it's course.
Thanks to Chef Ajay Anand for a wonderful experience and for creating a menu inspired from nature and seasons.