Saturday afternoon and an invite to taste Mexican food with friends, what more can you ask for on a spring afternoon. Well it certainly did not end here, and Jaypee Siddhartha one of the oldest and well known hotels in New Delhi ensured that we had a great time along with some amazingly delightful dishes. In a nutshell it turned out be an awesome evening!!!
Eggspectation is hosting a Mexican food fiesta at their Jaypee Siddhartha property from April 10– 19, 2014. The hotel is located in Rajendra Place and those of you who have never been to this side of the town, it is right next to the Pusa Institute of the Ridge road. You can also access it by the Delhi Metro with the closest station being Rajendra Place. The property has been there for more than 3 decades but has been renovated recently and kept up with the contemporary and ever-changing times.
Eggspectation is located on the ground floor next to the lobby and as you walk towards the restaurant the seamless high glass walls along with a contemporary wine display right in the center sets the mood for a contemporary & innovative experience. The restaurant is well it along with a great deal natural light filtering through the large picture windows. The natural light gives an airy feel to the space and adds to the freshness of the ambiance. The furniture and the décor is smart and in line with the modern concept of the restaurant. Eggspectation has already made a name for itself in the food circuit despite being attached to a 5-star hotel chain, which reinforces the vast shift in policy of large hotels where food has become a major revenue earner in comparison to other revenue sources. However, in context to the Mexican food fiesta I would have liked some more props around the restaurant to give it the feel of the place.
Once we were settled at our table we were joined by Arsheen from Marketing and Prasahant from F&B (both foodies) to give us a basic concept of the restaurant and the thought behind the Mexican food fiesta. The staff meanwhile very politely took our drinks order and along with our choices they were kind enough to serve us some of their own suggestions of drinks. There was only one server at our table of 8 but he was more efficient than having two or more at a table. Just goes to prove how well the staff is trained well and not only are they efficient but quite knowledgeable about the food they were serving. Subtle but omnipresent is what makes a server pleasing and he was one of the reasons why the afternoon was a pleasant one. Mr. Inderpal Singh, GM Jaypee Sidhartha & a veteran in the hotel industry also took time out to join us at our table and make us comfortable.
Chef Ashish Joshi, a pleasant man who loves his food, was however the man of the hour. He gave us company throughout our meal, guiding us through each and every serving. It was a pleasure to chat with him about food, his journey to Eggspectation and how despite being a Vegetarian he overcame all odds to break into the food industry & create this marvelous array of dishes. He told us that this is the second time he was hosting the Mexican food fiesta as last year it had already been a successful festival. We truly appreciated him giving us time from his busy kitchen schedule especially on a weekend. A great team of professionals and to top it all, each one of them loves to eat.
Mexican food fiesta has a special menu apart from the regular menu at Eggspectation. Mexican is what we had come to have and good Mexican is what we had. Chef has taken the pains to do his research and prepare a wholesome menu which is closest to Mexican and not Tex-Mex. Mexican food with its beans, corn and chilli is very close to Indian food and appeals especially to the North-Indian palate. We started with the drinks and though we tasted 3 of them, my favorite was the Lime Cola a concoction of Coke and Fresh Lime with lots of ice. The watermelon juice and the pineapple punch were refreshing and highly recommended if fruits tickle your fancy. They certainly don’t mine, so I stuck to my aerated drink.
The Tortilla Soup was served next, which was more like mild spicy gravy filled with corn Tortillas. An ok soup I couldn’t connect it with it. The Enchilada Bella Salad was a great way to start a meal with something fresh & healthy. Clearly the chef was building up our appetite and our curiosity by taking us through everything course by course. The Chicken Corn & Pepper Tostadas served with Avocado Salsa & Sour cream was the first starter which set the ball rolling for the mélange that was waiting to be served. The Chicken contained the flavor of all the other ingredients and the nachos were crisped to perfection. The sour cream was one of the best I have tasted and I couldn’t help but dip a finger in it. A must order in the starters.
After the starters and ordering another glass of Lime & Cola, we moved onto the main-course. We were served quite a few dishes both from the non-vegetarian and vegetarian selection and you can imagine the excitement because we did not stop eating for 2 continuous hours.
We started with the Seafood Enchiladas with a filling of fish and prawns and covered with a healthy coating of cheese. The taste was extremely cheesy but surprisingly the texture and flavor of the prawns & fish was perfectly intact. It is a large serving which is sufficient for two persons.
The next came the Polo Veracruz which for me the star of the afternoon. Grilled Chicken served on a bed of rice topped with creamy sauce alongside sausages & peppers cooked in the creamy sauce. This is one dish which is a great combination of taste flavor and quantity. The great thing about all dishes served to us was that nothing was from an assembly line and each ingredient stood out in each of the dishes. If you are a chicken lover then you definitely have to order Polo Veracruz if you happen to visit.
The Oaxacan Grilled Shrimp came a close second to the chicken. Grilled shrimps served again on a bed of rice with fresh veggies on the side. Considering we were all full by the time these dishes were served, the taste was so exquisite we could not help but relish each one despite our filled stomachs. The Cajun spiced Chicken Quesadilla served with Guacamole, Salsa and Sour cream was a good enough accompaniment to the first three stars of the meal.
The Vegetarians however should not be disappointed because the menu consists of a huge selection and I did sample the Grilled cottage cheese Burritos, the Mexican Bean Burger and the Chili Sin Carne. The burger was too bland for my liking but I loved the Chili Sin Carne and would highly recommend to all my vegetarian friends.
The desserts were very innovative and we tried both the Apple Enchiladas & Anise Churros with Chocolate Sauce. My choice would be Churros with Chocolate Sauce, the Churros just melt in your mouth and the chocolate sauce is a great accompaniment.
One never wants an afternoon filled with great food and like minded people to end, but the experience and the taste in the mouth has been a long lasting one. Kudos to Jaypee Siddhartha for a great makeover and an amazing restaurant to top it all.
I would strongly recommend this food fiesta if you are a Mexican food lover or even a first timer, no place better than to start with the professionals serving you.