A connoisseur's haunt

Large spread

A connoisseur's haunt

A scene out of ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’, there isn’t a corner in ‘B Cafe’ where your eyes won’t run into food. The elegant and enormous spread which caters to a broad palate shouldn’t be underestimated. Tread lightly — don’t walk in there unless your stomach is dry hungry, for the buffet will get the better of you otherwise. And the larger the group, the more you’ll get to try.

Settled on the ground floor of ‘Shangri-La Hotel’, it is a food connoisseur’s haunt. Wrack your brains and name a dish, and you’ll probably find it there (if not, the talented chefs could whip it up for you). There are culinary delights from India, the Mediterranean, regions of South-East Asia and more, but the blend is well-entwined and isn’t jarring to the tastebuds.

While self-service can be annoying at times, the only problem you will face here is choosing a dish. There are so many sub-categories that picking one is close to impossible (especially if you are an indecisive foodie). But the service is so warm that they might just find a way for you to try everything.

The first counter is dedicated to ‘chaats’. Unbelievable as it sounds, their ‘dahi puri’ and ‘papdi chaat’ is better than any local ‘chaat wala’ you’ve sworn loyalty to. A cheese counter follows with slices of gouda, cheddar and more. And the salad counter is large enough to make a health conscious person swoon. You can mix and make your own salad — beets, zucchini, bellpeppers, carrots, caperberries, jalapeños, olives...pick your poison and a fresh bowl of it will be there.

Unlike other restaurants, though meats are aplenty, the spread is inclusive of vegetarians and has an equally delicious layout for them. To warm up the belly, try slices of smoked turkey, chicken and pork salami, smoked salmon, pita bread with hummus, labneh or tabbouleh and more.

There is a separate sushi counter with options like ‘carrot maki’, ‘asparagus maki’, ‘pickle radish maki’, ‘prawn tempura uramaki’. A bit of wasabi or pickled ginger and you’re set. Since it’s an open kitchen format, you can see the chefs at work, picking the best of ingredients. The Mediterranean counter includes pastas, risottos (the chef’s special, ‘seafood, lemon risotto and strawberry compote’, is worth a try) and grills of pork, beef, squid and more.

For a taste of the ‘Orient’, flat noodle and glass noodle soup, tofu fries, pan-tossed noodles, fried rice and more are available. Any combination, for the vegetarian or non-vegetarian, won’t be disappointing. To be honest, you could just throw a stone, see where it lands and eat that dish, without thinking twice. Indian dishes include freshly made biryani, ‘methi murgh’, ‘fried chicken’, ‘tandoori fruits’, ‘fish tikka’, (incredibly soft) ‘paneer tikka’, raita and Alleppey curry.

But the highlight is the homemade ice cream (try chocolate and fresh berry flavours) and, wait for it, candy floss (floss that doesn’t stick to your fingers)!
Though the dessert counter looks seductive, other than these two, it’s a bit of a let down. But that doesn’t take away from the rest of the meal — a buffet worth trying.

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