Last weekend, we were invited to their all-day dining restaurant Cubbon Pavilion for a one-of-a-kind bloggers’ table to experience their newly launched menu. As explained by our host Gomathi, all the ITC Hotels in pan India were hosting a similar bloggers’ table in their Pavilion counterparts for this special event. And the focus of it was the Responsible Luxury Culinary Initiatives, an aim to put Nature First in all aspects and experiences in ITC Hotels. Since this is a subject I feel strongly about, I actually assimilated the collaterals and initiatives that ITC is following across their properties to get a better understanding of these initiatives, so a small brief about that first.
11 premier luxury ITC Hotels have been LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified. What does this mean? There are initiatives taken to handle aspects of water treatment, restricting water flows, usage of solar panels for hot water and successfully reducing overall water consumption altogether. Additionally, a portion of stationeries and consumables are either sourced locally or produced with recycled content. Another interesting step is an indication on menus about the over-fished or fast depleting marine life, helping the diners and patrons to Choose Wisely. Viable and low carbon footprint construction is another aspect that ITC as an organization has spearheaded, and as I write this – I know this initiative has a way bigger cause, that we all as individuals should contribute to.
Also with initiatives like e-Choupal, ITC already has a strong backbone network in place for the agriculture sector in India and has worked on reorganizing the supply chain. E-Choupal relooked at the entire value chain of this sector that had 70% of the country’s population contributing to, and executed at ways of sourcing better quality of agricultural and aquacultural products while also ensuring rural farmers get a good value. And the local produce from farmers and suppliers are also being used in the hotels of the region, aside from being exported. A crucial socio-economic vantage point.
Read about ITC Gardenia’s Responsible Luxury Initiatives here.
The Bloggers’ Table at ITC Gardenia
That afternoon my meal started with a Singaporean Laksa Curry. A bowl with flat noodles and meat, egg and a pot of the soup was placed neatly. I like my Asian dishes to be loaded with the curry, so I generously poured the broth over. The flavors and aroma of this dish was well done, the rich coconut and spicy flavor and beautiful gentle simmer of lemon grass was delicious. The Molten Brie came next – tossed slightly to give this heavy cheese dish a crunchy balance, this dish was excellent. It was accompanied by a sweet apple chutney, like moms make with mangoes – it was delightful to bite into!
The Chicken Katsu Burger was up next, quite a beauty with its dark brown bun topped with roasted sunflower seeds, a crunchy chicken filling and potato wedges and salad on the side. While I am not into burgers as much as my friends – I did appreciate the delicate balance of gourmet flavors in a fast food theme, and it was well executed, no doubt.
The Tiffin Bento – part of the Local Love at Cubbon Pavilion – came in white china tiffin boxes – and had various local snacks like Maddur Vada, Masala Idlis and more, good to munch on – around tea time. The Prawn Kuli Paniyaram was a Chettinad spiced dish with prawns enclosed in paniyarams. Fun! The mains were concluded finally by the Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi, with a sundried tomato sauce – lovely texture and flavor, the cheesy best I say.
And then, it was time for the dessert. Out came a Milk Chocolate Parfait with a sea salt base, and the chocolate itself was infused with Darjeeling Tea. This was served with a dark chocolate sauce and a Raspberry sorbet. This is definitely one of the best desserts I have had this year, the lovely blend of milk and dark chocolate with tea, and the sorbet taking the edge of the chocolate-y sweetness with its tinge of bitter tanginess – THIS IS HEAVEN. Just heaven.
The full menu is available all day at Cubbon Pavilion in ITC Gardenia, and we were served a select set of dishes for the tasting. For more information, click on the link below.
- ITC Green Centre: http://www.itchotels.in/environ/Environ.html
- ITC Responsible Luxury: http://www.itchotels.in/responsibleluxury/
- The ITC eChoupal Initiative: Harvard Business School case
Also read my post on an ITC event – You Ask We Answer – An Honest Event
And a review of the Italian restaurant at ITC Gardenia – Ottimo