20:08:00 Sudipti Singh 0 Comments

Senses, Marriott Suites looked resplendent on the Saturday night that we arrived on an exclusive, invitation only, dinner. The theme was "Taste of Kerala" and it was obvious since we set foot into the restaurant as we were greeted by a sight of beautiful rangolis, a table loaded with sacks of spices and beautiful ladies dressed in white and gold sarees.

It was a rainy evening and the seating chosen for us was al fresco but cosy and beautiful, with candle-lit tables, live band and live counters. As the musical duo serenaded the patrons with Beatles songs we walked around to have a look at all the beautiful counters that Chef Tolien Varghese had so thoughtfully set up. Chef Varghese has specially flown down from Kochi to bring a taste of Kerala to us Puneites.

We were welcomed with a refreshing drink of strawberry and cranberry called a BERRY BLAST. Blast of berries, it certainly was. The drinks started off from mocktails and gradually graduated to white wine.

The Live Counter were beautifully decorated with traditional pots and pans and of course, banana leaves. There were separate counters of appams and sambhar, Kerala parotta and chicken curry and a separate counter for all sorts of fishes, marinated and displayed in bowls, ready to be fried on tawas.

We started off with CHICKEN 65 which was freshly fried in the counter and served with spicy chutneys. It had spiciness and heat that you'd associate with south Indian fare.

KERALA PARATHA was piping hot and so soft, flaky and perfect accompaniment to the spicy chicken curry.
There were also freshly made APPAMs with CHICKEN STEW. The chicken stew had tender chicken chunks swimming in coconut milk gravy. I found it a bit sweet when paired with the appam but it was light and filling.

The best part from the live counters was probably choosing your pick of fish from all the Basas, King fish, Pomfret etc and getting it tawa fried to be served with a range of amazing chutneys like MANGO, PINEAPPLE PACCHADI, BEETROOT PACCHADI, PEANUT CHUTNEY amongst so many others.

There was also a wide selection of their usual continental fare along with the special Kerela menu which was a win-win for us. We also loved the 'Make-Your-Own-Salad' table with so many elements like your own choice of greens, with a good selection of proteins like salami, ham, chicken chunks to ingredients like roasted potatoes, boiled corns in cream,grilled zucchini and fried aubergine followed by a brilliant assortment of dressings.

The main buffet started off with a tempting display of variety of chips and fries, freshly fried of course, ranging from the basic potatoes to banana, jackfruit and bitter-gourd.
We where soon loading our plates with a amazing selections of meats and fish preparations both Indian and Continental. One of the highlights was the MUTTON COCONUT FRY. I'm not really a fan of mutton because I'm always bit too sensitive about the 'mutton' smell, but here the dish had been prepared with absolute delicacy and it effused such aroma that I had to try some. It had a perfect blend of spices with the coconut mellowing it down to not let it be too overwhelming. Win!

The NEYCHORU was a fragrant rice dish with a good helping of ghee and dry fruits that made it rich and oh so delicious! It went quite well with the curries too!

There were also some CAJUN GRILLED CHICKEN IN BARBEQUE SAUCE slices sitting in some delicious gravy that I tried. The sauce was perfection and the chicken was tender and marinated to heaven and back.

There were also some noodles that I tried and was just as great. The truth is we had hogged on to so much already we were really starting to feel like we'd have to skip another course. But unfortunately, the next course was desserts and Marriot Suites had pulled out all stops to get the dessert table up it seemed.

There was piping hot CHOCOLATE PUDDING which was so decadent with its chocolatey, gooey mush and the dripping chocolate sauce on it. It was one of the favorite desserts on the table that night.

There was also a BLACK FOREST CREAM which had the incredibly soft black-forest fudge with lots of cream and a beautiful, chocolate top that made it look like a work of art. And it tasted like one too.

Another favorite was the TIRAMISU. The hit of the coffee, the smoothness of the cream...everything blended so well. We wish we could have eaten more of that.

The COCONUT MOUSSE was certainly presiding over all desserts. Tall and stately, with its mound of coconutty, creamy chocolate exteriors and topped with a cherry, it went down rather smooth and tasted incredible.

The MANGO GATEAUX and the STRAWBERRY PASTRY were duly tasted and approved, though I was bit more partial to the Mango and coconut gateaux.

We rounded it off with the good ol' PAYASAM which was aromatic, rich and creamy, sweetened aptly with jaggery. We loved how ethnic and down to earth it tasted. A good way to end a Kerela themed meal.

It was a great experience. Plus the ambience of the place is relaxed and soothing, and if you are visiting on fridays, saturdays or sundays, chances are you'll catch the live band performing. Also we had pretty great company with Anuja and Shantanu playing generous hosts for the evening.

If you are in Pune before 25th of this month, do give Senses, Marriott Suites a try. The Kerela food festival is the place to be.

P.S: Let us know what you thought of the food! Do you have another dish that you liked that we missed out on? Write to us! Till then, happy kukkading!

Sen5es - Marriott Suites Pune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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