When Argentina meets Mumbai through the efforts of Taj Hotel, it is sure to be a success
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: October 17, 2014
Bringing a little bit of Argentina to Mumbai, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai presented an exotic array of Argentinian treasures with the Argentine Food Festival recently. An opportunity to indulge your senses, this food festival offered a specially crafted range of authentic Argentinian delicacies at Shamiana.
In Argentina, it is said that the perfect dish is much like an Argentine Tango where each ingredient flows in perfect rhythm. Sounds enticing, doesn't it? As I took my seat at the table, the menu was placed into my hands as the passionate couple froze in a tango moment on the cover. For a cuisine that isn't so popularly known in India, the festival seemed to have a favourable reception what with the lovely chatter of food enthusiasts.
Having heard that Argentinian food is full of passionate flavours that take you on a journey, my companion and I looked forward to an experience that would take our breath away. Chef Daniel Godoy from the well-known Alvear Art Hotel in Buenos Aires brought his skills and infused them into favourites such as Lamb Sweetbreads, Red beet Gnocchis, Empanadas and the Calchaqui Valley Humita, which guarantee just one thing - you being swept off your feet! With almost 15 years of culinary experience, Chef Daniel Godoy is a gastronomic mastermind. As an Argentinian resident, Chef Godoy’s culinary style is deeply rooted in the traditions which have been passed on from generation to generations. Excited to be dining under his guidance, I could feel the aromas teasing the senses , literally waiting to be experienced. “Explore a cuisine which is rich with culture and is famous for its unique capability of bringing people together. With flavours both savoury and sweet, my special creations are aimed at giving guests a one way ticket to my home town in Argentina,” mentions Chef Daniel Godoy.
Welcome to India!
Bringing a little bit of Argentina to India, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has always been known for its extraordinary dining experiences. With the Argentine Food Festival, the brand once again brought to Mumbai yet another exquisite palate of exceptional flavours and introduced a cuisine which is celebrated the world over for its unique character!
We started with a glass of Alamos Chardonnay, which the team highly recommend. A stunning display of ripe peach, pear and apples married well with toasty oak notes, it is favourable for men and women alike. The menu is concise and thus quite easy to decide what you would like to eat. Being a vegetarian, I opted for the Quinoa risotto which had forest mushrooms, morels, parmesan sauce and parsil sponge (which actually had most of my attention). The quinoa blended well with a light parmesan sauce and did not feel too heavy even after completing the dish. The parsil sponge was a burst of flavour on the tongue and paired perfectly well with the dish and even the mushrooms which were perfectly cooked.
Next up was the Calchaqui Valley Humita which is a classical Argentinean dish made with fresh corn, pumpkin, onion, red bell peppers, cachi paprika and fresh goat cheese crumbles. With a strong base of golden corn, it is no surprise that this dish is perfectly yellow and is quite reminiscient of corn with lime and red chilli on a perfect monsoon day. Quite tempted to try their red beet gnocchi and pumpkin tortellini, I stayed away due to the egg content in the pasta.
My companion opted for the Diver Bay Scallops with sheep cheese/potato aligot, asparagus and toasted almonds. The tenderness of the scallops were perfectly balanced with the crunch of the almonds that added dimension to this dish. The juiciness of the asparagus made all the difference to the dish leading to my companion finishing every granule on his platter. For the entree, he had the fillet mignon, which was done to medium rare perfection (brown on the outside and pinkish on the inside) with golden brown baby potatoes scented with butter and rosemary, potato and garlic foam, baby vegetables, chimichurri and criolla sauces. Much to his amazement, it was perfectly cooked, juicy and didn’t need much work to glide down the throat and rest in peace!
A sweet end
Chef Godoy recommended the Alvear luxury hotel mille feuille which is literally heaven on earth. Crisp layers of caramelized puff pastry combined with vanilla chantilly cream and dulce de leche dance in your mouth and literally uplift all your senses while a passionate tango occurs between your tongue and this dish. Other options were a flan and a pumpkin confit, but I absolutely doubt if you would have any place left. Don’t miss the dulce de leche ice cream which is their trademark flavour.
A new experience that left us wanting more, nobody would be happier than us to see Chef Godoy back at Taj!