A sizzler festival is something to look forward to during the monsoons. Though the day was dry, we were tempted enough to check out this unique food festival at the Vegnation, Gemini.
The list of sizzlers on the menu card was simple but we sought the restaurant manager Sundhar`s help in choosing our dinner. And, he couldn`t go wrong!
No sooner had Sundhar briefed us about the choice of sizzler as the festival of the month than we heard the familiar sizzle of food being stir-fried at high temperature and the aroma of deep fried foods wafted across the restaurant. The mis em place was generally kept in readiness and the vegetables were stir fried as and when an order was placed so that the sizzlers did not get unduly delayed in arriving, he explained.
The sizzler was served on red-hot cast iron plates placed on wooden trays. The barbequed vegetable sizzler comprised a kebab of chunky carrots, mushroom, capsicum, paneer and surprisingly sweet pumpkin placed on a bed of saffron-infused vegetable biryani. A soft potato tikki with a crisp exterior and a generous helping of steamed vegetables were also part of this sizzler. The entire ensemble was placed on a bed of crunchy lettuce.
The restaurant`s signature dish was the cheese-topped peas pulao with crisply fried lady`s finger which was a visual treat. The okra was slit so fine and fried to such a crisp perfection that we couldn`t but resist ordering another plate of it.
With both sizzlers polished off quickly, we headed for the buffet section. Live counters of pasta and dosa greeted us. Among the starters, the chilli vegetable was perfectly cooked with the right amount of spice and sauces.
The pasta with white sauce was served with a dollop of cheese and a lavish sprinkling of chilli flakes. The cilantro spaghetti was delightfully green and smacked of the rich flavour of fresh cilantro.
We thought we were almost done when Sundhar insisted we taste the Mysore masala dosa, another of their signature dishes. A dosa cone stuffed with well-mashed potato filling and laden with the aroma of ghee arrived with chutneys and sambar to go with it. This last item was undeniably melt-in-the-mouth but we were stuffed to the hilt by then and reluctantly denied another helping.
Luscious gulab jamuns in sugar syrup, brownie with ice cream and in-house pastries completed the buffet.
Overall, the great-tasting food, the warmth of the staff and the comfortable ambience make Vegnation, Gemini is a great dining experience.