Hope you guys have had a lovely weekend. Back with another post, I’m here to share my experience at the Catalan Food Festival that’s currently on at Trident, Bandra-Kurla Complex. Since the vegetarian phase is still on, my cousin, Varun joined me and the evening of course only got better (he’s amazing company). 🙂
Also it was lovely to have Chef Ashish Bhasin, Shimareet Bhasin and Karan Karayi join us for this one-of-a-kind meal. Special thanks to Varun for helping me cover the non-vegetarian offerings at this fascinating food fiesta.
|Catalan Food Festival – The entire buffet spread|
|Chef Jordi Gimeno|
So what exactly comprises Catalonian food?
For the uninitiated, Catalan cuisine is the cuisine from the Principality of Catalonia. So when I learnt that Chef Jordi Gimeno from Barcelona has specially come down to India to lead this festival, I was extremely excited to get a taste of his beautifully presented Catalonian delicacies. With 15 years of experience in Michelin kitchens across the globe, Chef Jordi Gimenois here to make sure that we appreciate the intricacies of regional Catalonian cuisine. The “Matador-cum-Masterchef” is here to cook up a Catalonian storm till the 20th of October.
|White Wine Sangria|
The evening began with some fresh fruits infused Sangria and a starter which included a beautifully plated Gazpacho Andalous aka Ham Carpaccio which was basically slim pork slices of the hind leg over pieces of toasted bread. Oh if only they always served bruschettas like this! 🙂
Up next, some beautifully tossed prawns in cayenne and spicy oil (Gambas al Ajillo) arrived at our table. Being a seafood lover, this totally got my attention despite not tasting it. On the other hand, Varun isn’t a big fan of seafood, but thoroughly enjoyed the mildly spiced side to this simplistic preparation.
|Gambas al Ajillo|
So the vegetarians reading this post… You must be wondering if there was anything to please your somewhat limited palate, right? Well, all I can say it I was thoroughly impressed when I went to the buffet counter to check out the entire spread. From visually delightful salads to tasteful main course options, I couldn’t thank Chef Jordi enough for being so extensively generous with his vegetarian fair.
|Spinach Balls with Almonds and Pine Nuts|
My favourite appetizer of the evening was the Spinach Balls with Almonds & Pine Nuts. Not having the slightest clue what it would taste like, it was love at first bite. A hint of crunch outside but wholesome within, these bite size balls go perfectly well with a glass of wine or in our case, sangria.
Up next, it was time to take over the main course offerings. No Spanish meal is complete without some homely and authentic paella. The Paella Marinera with Seafood looked like a dream. I ate with my eyes and Varun savoured the real deal. From clams to prawns, Chef Jordi left no option out, making it a seafood lover’s delight! The Vegetarian Paella was equally nice with a healthy throw-in of tossed vegetables, allioli and saffron.
|Fideuà with Fish and Seafood|
It was then time to taste the most unique dish we’ve ever come across… Fideuà with Fish and Seafood. Now what caught my eye was the blackish-blue colour to this vermicelli based dish. It not only had the flavours of the sea with clams, fish and prawns, but was infused with squid ink and therefore the unique tone. Yes! As fascinating as it sounds, it looked and tasted even better. Oh how I wish I wasn’t a vegetarian when it came to this… *sigh*
For the vegetarians, they have Patata Bravas in a light tomato based gravy. The flavours were subtle with a hint of tangy after-taste. I would imagine it to go really well with an assortment of breads.
Next, I checked out the Spinach and Cheese Bake that was baked to perfection. If there ever had to be comfort food in the world of Spanish cuisine, this would make the cut for me. I don’t depend on spices to make my food taste good so the mild taste was enjoyed; although I believe the typical Indian palate would find it bland but that’s subjective.
|Spinach and Cheese Bake|
Another favourite of the evening, I loved the burst of flavours in the Mushroom and Peas tossed in a Creamy Garlic and Pepper Sauce. Eat it as it is or with some freshly baked warm bread and you’ve got yourself a meal to remember!
|Mushroom and Peas in Garlic Pepper Sauce|
A confluence of different kinds of meats makes up the non-vegetarian options at this authentically rich festival. Experience the ‘Sea and Mountain‘ that consists of an exotic combination of cuttlefish and lamb or ‘Land and Sea’ which was beautiful slices of calamari stuffed with minced chicken doused in a creamy tomato based gravy. As mentioned, a mishmash of meats is what you can expect here and it’s definitely a haven for people who have no inhibitions when it comes to trying out everything!
|Other Buffet Offerings|
The main course variety within the buffet had various other dishes like Meatballs with Cuttlefish (Albóndigas Mari Muntanya), Fish and Seafood Casserole with Picada (Zarzuela). Roast Lamb Manchego Style,Prawn Stuffed Roasted Chicken and more, which were thoroughly innovative. Considering we’ve never got an authentic taste of Spanish food, there was no better way to fall in love with it, thanks to Chef Jordi and his traditional culinary secrets!
|An array of desserts|
Last but not the least, there’s always room for some dessert. I got a taste of Cremacatalana, which is basically the Spanish version of the much loved crème brulee. If you’re a fan of tarts, then go ahead and savour a bite of Tarta de Santiago. Your Spanish feast is most definitely incomplete with some classic Churros with Hot Chocolate. Oh how we all fell in love with this subtly spiced cinnamon infused dark, hot chocolate! Although not Spanish, I loved the mud pie and almond cake that make up the extensive desserts section of the buffet. There’s something for everyone and that’s what makes the experience totally worth it!
The Catalan Food Festival is on till 20th October, 2015 only at Trident BKC’s all day dining restaurant – O22.
For reservations call +91 22 6672 7610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: C-56, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051