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Thai Fest & More @ Feast, Sheraton, Bangalore

Natasha loved the huge quantities and the quality of the food at Thai festival at Feast.

[singlepic id=1727 w=80 h=92 float=left]Any visit to the Sheraton, Bangalore, is a pleasure. It’s always buzzing with activity and people, but the ambiance is such that you feel cocooned and relaxed. The last time I was there I had a glimpse of their Infinity pool; unlike ones I’d seen in the past, this one has inky colors and a quiet gurgle, which made me want to head to the nearest lounge chair and relax. This visit I was there to check out Feast, Sheraton’s all-day-dining restaurant, with both an a-la-carte and buffet option. My previous visits to the Sheraton have been lunch; this time was dinner and I was amazed at just how many people were present on a week-night!

Feast is a giant, two level space, with spread out tables, and muted lighting in the evenings. A staple concept at all the Sheraton hotels worldwide, and I was informed that the decor/theme/feel at all Feasts is similar too. Plenty of greenery, natural light and nature themes (in the color scheme, artwork, lighting, paneling, etc.) are the norm. Along with really great food, it goes without saying! The menu is always multi-cuisine, and a food festival featuring a specific country’s offerings is something the folks at the Sheraton, Bangalore attempt to do once in a month or two. This time, the spotlight was on Thailand, and the chef imported from Chiang Rai for the Thai Food Festival had laid out a delectable spread. The fest is nearly ending; it’s on until Thursday, July 26th, but there’s sure to be another one soon, so keep your eyes and schedule open for it!

Feast’s buffet is divided into five sections: Asian/Oriental; Indian; Continental; Salads; and Desserts. So festival or not, there are tons (300-350 items¬†for the Sunday brunch!) of options in each and every section. Feast’s Sunday brunch is made extra special for kiddos, since a part of the lounge just outside the Feast area is set up with games (of the electronic, computer driven, and old fashioned kinds) and its really fun and heart-warming to see kids sprawled all over, having a good time on their own, while the grown-ups are enjoying their food n drink a stone’s throw away. That there’s a special kid-friendly/kid-specific menu just sweetens the deal.

Those who know me or have read my posts will know I am not likely to spend much time at the Indian section or vegetarian options of a buffet. I had a friend along for the ride this time, whose profuse praise and second helping of the daal makhani suggest that the Indian cuisine at Feast is good; she said she was happy with the vegetarian starters (I enjoyed the fish and chicken I was served). Her one complaint was of a paneer dish that she felt was too strongly coconut-y… a personal preference. Being a Thai food fanatic, I sampled almost everything from that section: Pad Thai made to order at the chef’s station (with chicken), vegetable green curry, Mu Phad Haew (Stir Fried Pork with Water Chestnut), Khao Phat Pu (Fried Rice with Crab Meat), Phad Warg Tung Ler Hed (Stir Fried Bok Choy and Mushroom), and a Spicy Seafood Salad. The absolute standout from these was the Bok Choy and Mushroom. I love both these vegetables and they were cooked right, still crunchy and the flavors were beautiful; delicate yet rich. The seafood salad, which was predominantly calamari, was also lovely.

I should probably have stopped with this, but with some urging I did head over to the Continental section before diving into desserts. And am I glad I did! The Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes were extraordinary-creamy, garlicky, melt in your mouth. There was also Shepherd’s Pie, Sicilian Seafood Stew, Chicken Roulade, and wait for the highlight of this section: Ghemeh Bedaenjan (chicken), a Persian dish that took my breath away. Strong flavors with succulent meat and vegetables, served with couscous, it was new and different. So thanks to the good Samaritan who convinced me to indulge in the “conti” spread!

After that, I really did head over to dessert, and as always, there was a mind boggling range. Whether you’re into chocolate, fruit flavors or Indian sweets, there is sure to be something to tempt you. Needing no urging in this department, I tried a sampling of cakes/mousses/custards: Chocolate Mud Cake (already proclaimed divine by my friend); Mango Mousse and Pistachio Dacquoise with Rasberry Jelly; Vanilla and Strawberry Mousse; Mango Bavarois –¬†all worth the calories! My friend also loved the Caramel Custard, which I have sampled before and found to be close to my Mum’s. I have to give a shout out to the creative ice cream corner, named Ice Cream Teppanyaki, a play on the Japanese hot grill, this being a cold counter where you get to choose your flavors and the toppings you want added (choc. chips, dried fruit, etc) and then watch the chef attack them and turn out a cool playdoh-like mixture! How it tastes will depend entirely on how whacky or wild you get with the flavors!

Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all, as always, and I will head back the next opportunity I get, to eat more of their fabulous food, soak up the atmosphere, and check out the latest new offering or fest at Sheraton Bangalore. For, in the words of Executive Chef Bela Rieck, There’s always something cooking at the Sheraton.

By Natasha Ali

Natasha's first foray into food writing has been with Chef at Large. Who knew all those years spent eating food, reading about it and looking for the next restaurant to try or watching cooking shows would have left such an indelible impression?! She's back in India after having spent over a decade in the US where she studied as well as taught in academia and now works as a content writer seeing as she can write about pretty much anything. Movie mad, obsessed with the English language, and never one to turn down a glass of good wine, cup of tea, or a good book, she's open to trying any dish once, she enjoys a variety of cuisines with favorites being Ethiopian, Thai, and Lebanese.

Natasha covers Bangalore for Chef at Large and can be reached at natasha.ali@www.chefatlarge.in