Friday, April 18, 2014

CZECH PROMOTION@ WESTVIEW, ITC MAURYA

Nestled in ITC Maurya’s most upscale location on the rooftop overlooking the verdant greens, ‘West View’ is understatedly elegant and beautifully spaced. With clean lines and welcoming seating, the d├ęcor is balanced between luxuriously chic and comfortable.


When I heard about the Czech promotion at the West View and that too a culinary feast by celebrity Chef Marek Svoboda, (also the captain of the Czech National culinary team)I simply had to go with my daughter Akanksha in tow (she’s pursuing Hotel Management at the Christ University, Bangalore and is a complete foodie…all in the family I guess). Having had travelled to the Czech Republic a couple of times before, I quite enjoy those flavours and what better if one gets to relive those food memories, right here in the homeland. Sample this, svickova -beef fillet served in a creamy juniper berry sauce, a hot goulash with bread or vepro knedlo zelo- pork, cabbage and dumplings washed down with a beer. This cuisine has been largely overlooked by the rest of the world and from my personal experience I feel some of these Exotic Czech dishes could just rule the world.

We are welcomed by beautiful young girls dressed up in traditional attire (read on a happy note) and settle in comfortably.
We begin with the Goulash. Chef Marek and we sit down to tussle with the question of authenticity. Then, we get distracted by that Goulash. It certainly helps him make his point though. ‘If the taste is good, if the quality is good…then people will enjoy my cooking.’ On his quest for the perfect meal Chef Marek tends to concentrate on everyday food because ‘people are proud of their local food; it’s the purest expression of a culture’, and Akanksha and me nod our heads in unison. ‘I cannot talk of Czech cuisine and not talk about the beer, don’t forget to try some along with your food’, says Chef Marek and leaves us to enjoy our meal.
As for me I feel  Czech beer  goes very well with  pickled ermine, which is a specific type of cheese, soft on the inside and covered in a thin white film….a foodie’s delight!
As we eat our salad and soup, I bump into Ritu Agarwal Rohatgi, she is a friend, the editor of India Today Travel Plus and we have had some fun times on our travels together and her foodie cousin Rajat, so we shift outside and join them for the rest of the meal. Trust me food becomes even more enjoyable if the company is good and even importantly if the conversation is about food, travel and wine.
Coming back to the food, traditionally, the main meal in the Czech Republic is based around beef or pork which is served with a choice of starchy side dishes such as dumplings, French fries, or other types of potatoes.
The main course out here is a selection of a number of meats, seafood and vegetables on display and we could choose whatever we fancied and the chef promised to grill it to our liking. Sure enough the grills (mine was a plate full of the meats, a few vegetables on the side and the Czech dumplings) came to me exactly the way I like it. By the way Czech Dumplings are not your ‘momo’ type ones, they are the most common side dish which is normally made from wheat or potato flour, boiled as a roll and then sliced and served hot.
Most Czech desserts revolve around three things i.e. sugar, fruit and starch, so I went in for the Apple strudel, the filling was nice and yummy, but I would have surely liked the crust a bit more crisp.  All in all it was an evening well spent and if you are looking for some traditional hearty fare this is the place to go.

FAST FACTS
West View @ ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
The promotion is on from the 16th of April until the 26th of April only for dinner
Pricing: INR 2950 per person inclusive of one drink.
Reservations: 011 2611 2233

ME IN CZECH