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Sri Lankan Food Festival. Double Tree Hitlon. Review

I feel terrible I have to begin the week with a review, but there was so much going on last week and this weekend, I haven't had a chance to take a breather (or photographs) but bear with me this week and I'll be good the next. I promise.

I am always skeptical about food festivals. But if I'm invited to something South Indian, I am always super kicked because that means two things - steaming hot appams/ dosas and nice moru to drink.

So when I was told that "hoppers"were involved in the Sri Lankan food festival at Double Tree Hotel, I was more than thrilled. Both kinds of hoppers- string and plain are my favourite. That is both the idiappam and the plain appam. A touch of meat gravy or a hearty stew, you've already made a place in my heart.

Egg Appam/Hopper © Nimpipi

The menu was quite vast and since there was a buffet - a mixed variety with not just Sri Lankan food, there was a lot to pick from. We started with this lovely Tender Coconut refresher which had mint and lemon in it. And then went on to peck at the salad.

Except for the carrot and coconut salad, everything else was more or less not from Sri Lanka, but they were really good. There was a Bitter gourd (karela) with pickled onion salad which really stood out for me. The flavours really came together and I loved the bite from the crisp karela.

The other salad that I loved for the Aubergine and pineapple salad which was dressed with just some S&P and perhaps from cumin. Another set of new flavours and a total flavour explosion for me.

I had plonked a salad or two more on my plate. But none of them really made an impression. So I headed to the soup - a lovely Pumpkin, curry leaves and cashew soup. The flavours were mellow and it hit the spot beautifully.

I turned to one of my most favourite things - the Kothu Paratha. Which is mixture of eggs, flavoured meat (with curry leaves and mustard seeds and red chillies) and a malabar paratha that has been chopped up, refried and tempered. Almost like a parathe ka bhel.

I opted to eat the vegetarian version of the same. It was served to me on my table  - piping hot and amazing.

Kothu Paratha © Nimpipi
 Then finally I made it to the main course. So many things to eat, it was quite mind-boggling.The Acharu Crab was what grabbed my attention. I picked out a claw and placed it on my plate. And the mutton battilco. And the Brinjal Moju. I loved all three. Except I couldn't get the meat out of the crab and when I asked for a crab cracker, I was told they didn't have one.

Parul told me to hold the claw in the middle of my palm and hit it with the back of the spoon to break it open. I did exactly that, and out it popped on to Sushmita who was sitting next to me. Didn't go as well as we'd hoped.

I loved the Moju and even though it wasn't photographed well, I thought it tasted lovely. But what I really liked was this leek stirfry which didn't look that hot, but tasted very good. I also liked the green beans poriyal and the okra fry. I ate all this with a plain ól appam, which was light and delicious. There was also some dried fish to eat as an accompaniment.

Dried fish

I didn't try all the non-Sri Lankan food only because I was quite full by then and wanted to nibble at the dessert. I plonked a piece of the Walnut Custard or the Kalu Dodol, but it was just terribly sweet and I had to put it aside. I could have tried the coconut ladoo or the chocolate barfi, but instead I decided eat a piece of the chocolate cake. That was a good move. Unfortunately we finished it before I could photograph it.

Coconut Ladoo
The festival was nice and I enjoyed quite a few things that I ate, but my problem, like I have with most South Indian food festivals is that they are not able to maintain the quality. There were just a few discrepancies in the menu, and I feel that could have really been corrected.

And also the gaudy decor outside Cafe on 3 - the restaurant at Double Tree where the promotion is being held, needs to be taken off. Like pronto. Balloons and cement don't maketh a beach.

Anyhoo. I enjoyed the evening, like all our Blogger's Table, it's noisy and fun. Check out what Charis, Sangeeta, Susmita and Parul also have to say about it.

The festival is on till September 23.

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  1. yes the crab thingy has been mentioned on my post too...that was bad!!....they should have had crab cutters!!!

  2. Aah...the decor that was so bad in taste. Good you mentioned that, hope they would take it down :-)