There is such a thing as a Veg Biryani
As a child growing up, we had a healthy appetite for veggies. As a matter of fact, my mom grew them and made sure that one day a week we were totally veg. But when it comes to biryanis, not sure about vegetable biryanis. Until last night. To me, a biryani that has no meat is not really a biryani, more a pilau or whatever you call it. Then Chirag sent me this invitation for a Vegetarian Biryani festival at Cream Centre. I am always open to food bribery. So I went. And they kept their promise of multiple-Indianised options. The twitter conversation was scintillating. But the food matched the hyperbole.
We had to start with their well-known Chole Bhature. I had never seen a bhatura that size before. It was huge, light and delicious as was the chole - though I snuck a bite from Jasmine's pre-order since we were the first ones there. It was nice to see her after a very long time as it was to see Mishti, Chirag and Gaganjeet.
There was a whole feast to follow. Nilesh from the restaurant took very good care of us. We had a stream of starters that were a mix of traditional Indian (sev puri), Ragda Patties, Paneer kebabs, etc to some Indian adaptations like the corn cheese pakoras, pizza slices, and then came the biryanis. We had four to taste - I can only remember the names of the three I tried: Teekha paneer biryani (Paneer in a red slightly hot, tomato-ey spicing), Hariyali paneer biryani (as the name suggest the spice was coriander based and hence the green colour) and Hyderabadi subz biryani which as the name suggests had a mix of vegetables and not a paneer in sight. We finished with two desserts - a chocolate brownie sizzler and a rabdi sizzler which was my personal favourite because it came with Gulab Jamun.
My favourite biryani has to be toss up between the first two and I will go back to this place. The portion sizes were generous and the food was delicious. The staff were friendly and knowledgable. Would've been nice for someone to have explained each dish a bit but overall the ambience and place was quite pleasant. not sure about the taste in music though. But hey - can't have everything.