Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kongu Gourmet Festival at Feast, Sheraton Grand, Bangalore

A bit of Tamil Nadu, a bit of Karnataka and a bit of Kerala; this is what I felt at Kongu Gourmet Festival at Feast, Sheraton Grand Hotel which is happening from 13th May to 22nd May, 2016.

Kongunadu dishes are created by the visiting Chef, Chef Sakthivel from Le Royal Meridien, Coimbatore and that's the highlight of this fest. A very humble person, Chef Sakthivel has got 30+ years of experience as a Chef and has worked with many big groups of Hotels. He was happy to share more details on Kongunadu cuisine.

Kongunadu comes in the western part of Tamil Nadu. It has got an influence of Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdom. Now the main places which come under Kondunadu are Coimbatore, Namakkal, Erode, Tirupur, Dindigul and few more. At Kongu Gourmet Festival, chef curated menu had lot of interesting dishes which actually made me to say 'Wow!'.

Starters- Vazhapoo Vada and Kuzhi Paniyaram (Vegetarian)
               Kuchi Meen Varuval and Kozhi Sukka (Non-vegetarian)
Welcome drinks - Neer More (Sugarcane juice) and Ragi Cool (Finger millet drink)
 Soon after I settled down in a couch, I got my 'Neer more' drink which was so refreshing. They have put a stall for fresh sugarcane juice. Starters were so delectable especially the deep fried fish which was Kuchi Meen Varuval and Kuzhi paniyaram. All the starters were served with a bowl of fresh coconut chutney.
They have live-counters for Appam, Kuzhi paniyaram and Idiyappam (String hoppers). So for the main course, I started with a plate of Appam and Veg stew (Kerala special). The soft and fluffy, Appam is my all-time favorite breakfast dish and when it is combined with a veg stew, it's so foodgasmic. Chef suggested me to try Appam with his special dish, 'Nattukottai Mutton Kuzhambu'. Initially I was a bit hesitant as I am not a mutton lover, but when I tried this dish... Oh boy! it was damn good with mutton cooked in onion and tomato gravy with coconut slices and other spices.

Festival special main course had Nattukottai Mutton Kuzhambu, Njandu Milaku Peratal (Crab cooked in thick gravy), Peerkankai Parippu Kootu (Moong Dal curry), Vandakayi Podi Thoval (dry Okra preparation), Muringakai Kathrikai Sambar (Drumstick-lentil curry), Egg masala and Jeera Sambar Kozhi biryani with accompaniments like appalams and pickles. Both veg and non-veg dishes gave a village home cooked food feel with a 5-star restaurant Chef's touch.

Along with Kongu special food, they also serves the regular dishes including Italian, Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. I skipped the salad counter this time though it was very interesting with 20 varieties of sauces you can use for the salads.

Next comes my favorite part- desserts. This was even more special as the Chef himself brought lot of sweets (Ginger toffee, lemon/orange candy, thein mittai, ellundai, chikki, kappalandi mittai and jaggery sweet) from Coimbatore. All these were childhood favorites and it gave a nostalgic feeling. Kalkanda pongal (Sweet Pongal/Rice pudding) was the festival special dessert of the day.

After a feast at 'Feast', I was not having space in my stomach for trying their regular desserts like fresh fruit tarts, Indian sweets, caramel custard, pastries etc. But when I saw the Teppanyaki ice cream counter, I couldn't resist myself, so I got one bowl of ice cream which was a mix of Strawberry and Black currant ice cream with nuts as topping. They have 6-8 varieties of ice creams in the menu.

I had a quality time at Kongu Gourmet Festival. Every dish which was part of the food festival was phenomenal. Chef Sakthivel's knowledge and experience are very well combined in creating every dish and that makes this festival very unique :)

Lunch is priced ₹1445+ taxes and for the dinner, ₹1595+ taxes. They also have weekend brunch with a different pricing.

Feast- Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel
26/1, Brigade Gateway
Dr.RajKumar Road, Malleshwaram
For reservations, contact 080 42521000

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