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Festival Review I Rivaayat-e-Rampur at threesixtyone at The Oberoi, Gurgaon

Last month, the Oberoi group of hotels started a movement of sorts called Rivaayat. Or quite literally, the revival of tradition. The forgotten food of the past, that's what they are aiming at reviving. This festival is a pan-Indian journey, through the year. Last month I'd been to the Rivaayat at The Oberoi New Delhi. And this time around it was The Oberoi Gurgaon turn.

The Rivaayar-e-Rampur which is on at the hotel till March 5, is the brainchild of Osama Jalali and his mother Nazish, who are bringing back the glorious food from Rampur, UP. I've sampled their delicious cuisine at Ssence when they did the Shahjahanabad ki Sair and it was mind blowing. You can read all about that here.

This time round, it was all about the amazing company and the beautiful setting. Sitting down for the first-ever Chef's Table at the deck at the Oberoi, it was definitely an afternoon to remember. 

The tasting menu was extensive.And we started our meal with the Dahi Phulki, which was way to flat for me.  Then came the  Shammi KebabSeekh Kebab Kacche keeme ki Tikiya Aloo palak ki Pakodiyan and  Kathal ki Shammi. Of the the kathal ki shammi was hands down the favourite. Beautifully spiced with a glorious melt-in-the-mouth texture made it the best starter on the table. 

For the mains, out came the Saag Kofte Urad ki Daal Gosht, Chicken Qorma, Aloo GoshtMasale ki Machli,  Hari Mirch Qeema,   Mutton kade masalon ka stew and Mutton stew. You can just about imagine the disbelief at the amount of food! My favourite for the afternoon was both the mutton kade masalon ka stew and the mutton stew. I loved how the sweet onions in both the stews made them so deliciously light on the palate. And somehow I could crave was some more the two. But the best was yet to come.

Urad Ki Safed dal dry Urad ki Kali dal with sukhi Methi, Karele ki chidiya, Laute palaute and the arvi masale ki was served under the vegetarian umbrella and I have to same the Karele ki chidiya was extraodinary. Filled with a masala that included fennel, this was a definite delight. 

The biryani, the khichadi and then the piece de resistance - the khichada was brought out. I love love loved the Khichada, for me this was the dish that saved the same. A beautifully fragrant combination of mutton and lentils served with a whole lot of accompaniments including fried onions. lemons and green chilli, it was as if I had died and gone to heaven. I licked my bowl clean, and then looked around to get another helping.

The meal ended with some Aloo Ka zarda and some Gulathi. Both delicious desserts and were a great end to a meal that had been dissected, discussed and devoured. 

I really enjoyed my afternoon. If I have two suggestions for Rivaayat  it's this - go easy on the salt, and make a smaller tasting menu - but all in all, what a commendable effort.  I can't wait to go try the next one. 


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