One of the good things about being in the F&B space as a blogger is that I get to learn a lot. I meet many chefs in person and learn from them. Learning is not only about food though. Sometimes it’s about cultures. The festivals, the ingredients, and just everything else to learn about a place.
Talking about festivals and events, there are so many things that I learnt over the year. From cake mixing to the tree lighting and from Chinese to Sri Lankan cuisine, I learnt a lot. More recently though, one of my fav places, Novotel HICC had invited me to experience their Oriental Feast. A food festival celebrating oriental and pan-Asian flavours to ring in the Chinese new year.
The Oriental Feast at Novotel HICC is on till February 5th, 2023. Please reach out to @novotelhyd or at the number mentioned at the end of the post for reservations.
Oriental Feast at Novotel HICC
Chinese Theme and Vibes
Being a regular at Novotel HICC, I absolutely love the attention to detail. Whether it’s dressing up the servers or just decking up the place, they’re too good at it. A similar thing was observed for the Oriental Feast as well. Unlike the food exchange, this one is happening at La Cantina, their poolside restaurant.
The restaurant is all decked up in red and white, from lanterns to danglers. The cutlery too is suited for the festival. Red plates with chopsticks absolutely loved them. You have the option to sit inside or enjoy the cool evening breeze by the pool. Either way, you’ll have a good experience.
Menu & Food
This is a specially curated menu that includes Pan Asian dishes right from the starters to desserts. There are even mocktails and cocktails inspired by Chinese flavours. The a la carte menu has more than 20 vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Being a vegetarian, I’d say there are quite a few things to try on the menu.
Dimsums and Soup
We kicked off the proceedings for the evening with a Veg Wonton Soup. It was a clear soup with warm vegetable broth with wontons. For the unaware, wontons are like dumplings but with fillings. Something like momos. This was a comforting and wholesome soup.
While we enjoyed the soup we had Truffle Edamame Dumplings, Veg Crystal dumplings and Turnip Cheesecake served. My first interaction with Edamame was as a soup that I had at Ohm. And due to that, I was able to appreciate the flavours even more. Both the dumplings were nicely done and the accompanying sauces elevated the flavours.
Turnip cheesecake was a revelation. It had water chestnut within which was different. On the top, it was crisp and laden with garlic and spring onions. Without the garnishing, this would have lacked the flavours.
At first, I thought that the variety of mains in the oriental feast for vegetarians would be less. But I was proven wrong. We had an array of dishes that were served. We had a serving of Braised Mushroom With Seasonal Veggies, Cantonese Style Buddha Delight and Plant-based meat in Hot Bean Sauce. All of these were served with Jasmine Rice.
The Mushroom platter was the most colourful one out there. It had a variety of mushrooms – Button and Oysters predominantly along with veggies like pok choy. For mushroom lovers, this was pretty good as the flavours were different and good. However, my favourite was the Cantonese Style Buddha delight. Not only the presentation, but the flavour was pretty good.
Plant-based meat platter had some gravy, thanks to the hot bean sauce. The flavour was nice, but I feel not everyone will like it. Plant-based meat has its own characteristic flavour, and not everyone who has it the first time will find it palatable. All of this is served with Jasmine rice just completed it. A wholesome meal for sure.
Delicious Desserts and Drinks
As I mentioned earlier, the Oriental feast had specially curated desserts and drinks as well. Being a teetotaler, I asked for two drinks along with the dessert. Le Menthe Aux and Blue Moon Princess.
The first one was made from lime juice and cucumber in tonic water. It was different and refreshing, the hint of cucumber added to the flavour. The Blue Moon Princess was made from Blue Pea tea which was lime, orange and peach juice. This was not only good-looking but flavourful as well.
For dessert, we had the 5 Spice Rabbit Hole Cake. This was an exquisite piece of art by the pastry chef Sudhir. It was essentially a chocolate dessert but with different forms. It had a chocolate mousse, a ganache along with crispy chocolate layering. All of it is topped with hot chocolate syrup and drizzled with nutmeg and cinnamon. It was lots of chocolate! You surely love this if you love chocolate.
Relish Pan Asian flavours at Oriental Feast
For a long time now, I didn’t like Asian flavours. However, over the years, I have developed the taste. The Oriental Feast at Novotel HICC had not only the choicest of dishes but all of them were flavourful. The soup and dumplings were my favourite followed by the buddha delight. The drinks and desserts were refreshing too.
Overall, it’s a good feast for your taste buds. Novotel HICC often comes up with such festivals and they’re good at it. This a reminder that the Oriental Feast at Novotel HICC is on till February 5th, 2023. Please reach out to +91 96423 26162 for reservations. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or get in touch.