Review: Flavors of South in your mouth at “South of Vindhyas” Orchid Hotel, Mumbai

"Wake up sleepy head. We leave for Coorg, in less than an hour." These words were enough to get my husband’s attention on a sleepy Sunday morning. He woke up with a start, blinked and stared at me. Hard. Any moment now, he expected me break into laughter and say  Ha! I Got ya.” I stared back. I meant business.  Now that I had his attention (ask any girl how difficult that his on Sundays, Star Sports shows Football reruns)  I smiled at his confusion and declared that we just had to drive to The Orchid Hotel, located at Vile Parle where South of Vindhyas is hosting a 10 day Coorg Food Festival.

Sunday meant less traffic and we reached in no time. After an indulgent rose water hand wash we looked around and noticed soothing live musical notes and authentic ambience. 

South of Vindhyas, at a glance!
Go past me and have a good time!

Ah! What a royal treatment.

A pickle trolley promptly arrived with an assortment of pickles and I noticed a live appam (a thin South Indian pancake) station- a first of its kind. 

The pickle trolley.
Live Appam Station.

Banana leaf plates, crunchy papad with assorted chutney podi (powder) and Orchid colored table runners promised an excellent culinary experience ahead. A quick chat with the Executive Chef, Navid revealed that the restaurant takes pride in the laborious process of making its own masalas for that authentic taste- the foodie in me stood up and danced in delight. 

We chose buttermilk (a must try) over juice to go with our Seafood buffet. First came “Belai Kanne” a clear soup made with chicken and mutton bones and flavored with pepper. Hot and spicy, the soup tingled our taste buds and opened up our appetite. A smiling server started plating starters like- Prawn Barthad (stir fried in chili and vinegar), Kodagu Cutlet (made of minced mutton and shallow fried), Meen Cutlet (Spiced fish and potato cutlet). We loved them all but do beware of the spice factor.

The spread- so delectable, no?

The main course had creamy prawn ghassi (delicate coconut flavors), crab curry (served Deshelled), Meen Curry (Fish curry spiced with raw mango and green chilies), bamboo shoot curry (a must try Coorgi specialty) and squid fish fry (a dry preparation). Relish these curries with choice of steaming hot Appams or a Chirotti (a flatbread made with flour, milk and ghee).  The spices in the main course were subtler and flavors understated. We finished with curd rice that soothed our teased taste buds and the dessert- payasam, made the trip to the Coorg Food Festival worthwhile.

Wicked Spoon Confessions-

On till September 28th, the well-priced sit down buffet pleases the senses with authentic Coorgi delicacies prepared by Masterchef Bala. Once can choose a Vegetarian (Rs. 1199 + Taxes), Non-Vegetarian (Rs. 1399 + Taxes) or Seafood buffet  (Rs. 1599 + Taxes).  Do try the steaming hot Appams and various freshly made pickles. Prior reservation is suggested; one does not want to give up a chance to visit Coorg, right? The service is noteworthy.  Wicked spoon has coaxed Chef Bala to share three amazing recipes from the festival. Reda them here Secret recipes from Chef Bala's kitchen Do make them and enjoy flavors of Coorg, right in your homes and tell me if you loved them. After all, There is no sincerer than the love of food.

South of Vindhyas 
The Orchid Hotel,
70C, Nehru Road, 
Vile Parle East, 

Call- 022 26164040


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