Experience 'An Arabian Ecstasy' at a 10-day long food festival at this resort and spa in Bengaluru
All-day dining , Aviary brings the culinary expertise of The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo, chefs Sameh Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzy Abd, to curate this festival
Last weekend, we were off to see Nandi Hills from a vantage point that comes with a buffet and no traffic noises, crowds or monkeys that would make us regret taking the trip like every other excited Bangalorian does. How so you ask? The JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa is hosting an interesting event titled An Arabian Ecstasy and it features a sumptuous buffet. The hotel’s all-day dining, Aviary brings the culinary expertise of The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo, chefs Sameh Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzy Abd, to curate this festival.
But before venturing on the Arabic fare, we sat at The Aviary, with the view of serene Nandi Hills set as the backdrop to the property’s lake and took a moment or two to soak in the weekend vibes here, that come with sweet chirping birds and occasional appearances of canines accompanying their pet-parents at the resort.
As we walked toward the buffet, chef Sameh Mohamed introduced us to the buffet menu, his experience at JW Marriott and a couple of Indian dishes that now occupy a small corner of his heart. “When I came to the kitchen here, I saw all the products that I required were available and all the chefs here were very helpful. The view from the hotel is so green because it's just stones in Egypt. We are serving traditional dishes of the region like Black Lentil Tabbouleh, Tahini, Shanklish Cheese, and Manakeesh Zaatar and Cheese, everything that reflects the vibrancy of Middle Eastern cuisine. ”
Adding to the same, he says, “ Yesterday I tried the masala tea here and it was fantastic. I also make Butter Chicken in Egypt but it's not the same, I like it here.” Complementing the dishes, mixologists Leo and Lalit concoct special cocktails and mocktails that resonate with the flavours of the event.
We began with small eats like deep-fried savoury pastry filled with a flavorful mixture of melted cheese or meat, herbs and spices — Rokak Meat and Sambousek Cheese. Going around the section, we also grabbed the freshly baked pita bread and made a small little mezze of our own with dips like Hummus, Tahina (also known as tahini sauce made from ground sesame seeds, lemon juice, garlic, water and salt), Moutabal Zucchini (roasted or grilled zucchini, blended with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, creating a creamy and flavorful dip), Keshek (a fermented dish made from cracked wheat and yoghurt) and Muhammara (a red pepper and walnut dip made by blending roasted red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, garlic and spices for a rich, flavorful spread), all which were quite good and unique in flavour and texture.
Out of the many dishes, Vine Leaves was one of our favourites. A dish where vine leaves are stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs and spices before they are rolled and cooked. The tangy, slightly crunchy dish is a must-try for vegetarians. We downed a bowl of hot Yala Soup, with this starter — a yoghurt soup known for its creamy texture and refreshing taste thanks to yoghurt, rice or bulgur, mint and garlic. For the crunch, we picked up a couple of falafel, a popular snack that needs no introduction.
Moving on to the grills and mains, we stopped by Chicken Rotisserie with Freek (a traditional Arabian dish featuring tender, seasoned chicken cooked on a rotisserie marinated with spices like cumin, coriander, and garlic) and Egyptian Koshary, a popular Middle Eastern dish consisting of layers of cooked rice, lentils and topped with spicy tomato sauce and garnished with crispy fried onions. What a delightful and fulfilling dish both were.
Wishing that we had more appetite, with a heavy heart we proceeded to the last stop — desserts! Here too, we were spoilt with choice. From Kala Jamun to Milk Cake and Kaju Anjir Roll, you have an array of options to choose from. We couldn’t think of a more fitting end to the meal. With our heart's content and hunger satiated, we bid adieu to our serene weekend.
INR 2550 onwards. On till September 10, weekdays (12.30 pm to 3.30 pm) and weekends (12.30 pm - 4 pm & 7 pm - 11 pm). At JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa, Devanahalli.