Gourmet grabs and scintillating music

Gourmet grabs and scintillating music

For best friends Jyoti and Bela, the wait to meet the rest of their friends in the gang was way too long. So the two grabbed a seat and kept looking in the direction of the entry gate at the recently concluded NDMC Palate Mini 2015 at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri.

Sitting under the shade of trees, absorbing the aroma of various cuisines, a jolly Jyoti says, “Our group of seven is the best of friends since Class 6, in Convent of Jesus and Mary. After our 25th alumni meet, we got back in touch and now have regular ‘kitties’ every month. By chance this time our kitty party fell on the day when one of our friends was busy with her stall at the Palate Mini, so we all decided to meet here instead of any other restaurant.” The open environs in mid-spring infused a new energy to this merry group.

Competing with them were the young ones who lined up at the mini ice cream parlours set up by Gelato Vinto, Möven­pick and Azoté. Donning a chef coat, Kartik Chadha from Azoté switched on the ice cream making machine and soon smoky clouds erupted, catching the attention of young and old. A taste of their chocolate ice cream and the sinful indulgence was etched in memory, forever!

These were present in the food mart, amidst 35 shop carts which displayed local and international gourmet foods, largely dominated by patisserie items. “The Palate Mini is designed keeping in mind the 2-tier town. 

But we wanted to debut in Delhi to see how people react to it,” says Ruchi Sibal, co-founder and director, Palate Fest Pvt Ltd.

Considering that the New Delhi Palate Festival 2014 was held just a few months ago, many a visitor thought that this food fest would herald each season in Delhi.
“The main Palate will be held only once in a year, thou­gh we can’t really say about any other additions in between,” clarifies Aditi Kapoor, the other co-founder.

Nevertheless, the more the merrier seemed to be the case for visitors at this encore. Owing to the fact that Delhiites love food, few among the 15 cafes participating in the event came up with special menus/dishes only for Palate. In this list, the Spring Pizza at Fat Lulu’s – thin crust with loads of coriander – turns out to be just above average.
The Absolut cake by pastry chef Rishabh Anand from The Leela Palace New Delhi touches hearts of sweet lovers and actually sold like ‘hot cakes’!

“It has three layers -chocolate mousse, praline crunch and chocolate biscuit,” says chef Anand as the soft mousse on top made way for the crisp base at the end within no time. Available for the duration of three days (of the fest), the cake priced at just Rs 500 for half a kilo was the best pick for many.

For a quick bite, the sushi offered by Sakae Sushi were a hit. Especially the Spicy Salmon and Avacado Cheese options that dissolve in the mouth without much effort.

Those wanting to indulge in wholesome meal headed to the stall of Hyderabad House, Punjab Grill and Royal China.

The otherwise fine dining places changed their avatar to cafés and attracted
you­­n­­­ger crowds as the sunset approached.

There was a presence of art in this edition of Palate as well. Seema Kohli’s installation titled ‘Cutting Chai’ and Puja Bahri’s installation ‘Chidiya Udh’ comprising sculptures of various birds became hotspots for many a lensman.
 
With live music by individual artistes and bands such as Astitva, Rock Veda and Antakrish  complementing the food offerings, it was a match made in heaven! After all, what more do Delhiites want to indulge in over the weekend?

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