Friday, March 26, 2010

Luncheon at The Asiana

I have passed by the Asiana a dozen times on my way to work. It is a five star hotel, the only one of its kind I think, in that lonely stretch of software high rise buildings on the OMR. I knew it is quite heavy on the pocket, but a lot of rave reviews made it sound worthwhile.

When my long time friend and I suddenly decided to meet up for lunch from work, we were rummaging our brain to go to a decent place for a meal, and found ourselves at The Asiana. The ambience is really nice and the customer service is simply one of a kind. I felt at home and very happy. The staff greet you at every turn, and seem genuinely happy to have you there, even if you know they are just doing their job.

But I was faced with the problem of the choice of food. I was more inclined towards the Thai menu, and my friend was dead against it, and stuck to the usual buffet. I was assured by the staff that it was an international spread and I need not be apprehensive at all. So we walked in excited and hungry, eager to make a clean sweep of the variety.

To my disappointment, there was no continental featured in the buffet, and the variety seemed predominantly south Indian, with the usual sprinkling of the north Indian fare like the aloo-tamater gravy, palak panner, paneer tikka, and dal. I was not sure why they had a dosa counter in the middle of the afternoon. The counter looked deserted anyways, no firang takers either for this one.
For starters, I had cream of mushroom soup accompanied by some lovely assortment of bread to start off the course. The main course was a sampling of palak paneer, aloo-tamater gravy, rotis, dal, and spicy cabbage salad. We also tried a mysore bonda, mushroom in garlic gravy and noodles, and, stir fried veggies. The stir-fry and the mushroom in garlic gravy was delectable, well cooked, mildly tempered and teases your palate! The noodles was a disappointment. I did not bother trying the south Indian curries. I was in no mood for that!

We finished the main course with some curd rice, which could have been better, accompanied by some lovely mango pickle, and a cup of curd.

The Dessert spread simply stole the show. The display was seductive and I went weak on my knees. Off all the wonderful creations that I could lap up, I enjoyed the jilebi, mocha chocolate mousse, and the Shah Tukra. Of special mention is the jilebi, which was served at the right temperature, not too hot or luke warm, but just right, and the moment you bite into it, the juices come rushing into your system and you feel transported. I then realised that the chocolate ads which showcases people taking off into this exaggerated grin actually had an element of truth to it. I still remember the expression in my friend's eyes, we were literally jumping for joy! But alas, she missed the Shah Tukra, which had rasamalai poured over some yummy stuffing.

I had stopped counting the calories at this point, because if I had done that, I'm quite sure my heart would have stopped. Post-lunch, we stayed back to chit-chat in the lobby, enjoyed some good conversations, and headed back with pleasant memories, both of the dessert and our moments in time.

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