Arabian Culinary Night – VITS Luxury Hotel, Mumbai
TAFATHALO was the word that resonated while I was welcomed at the VITS Luxury Hotel for the Arabic Food Festival. The word “Tafathalo” means “Do me the honor” in the Arabic dialect. It is an invitation to come to the table. And yes, once again the culinary wizards of VITS Luxury Hotel had crafted for its patrons the Arabian delights over the month. Aptly translating the tradition of hosting a guests for a meal, which is an old honored tradition in the Arabic World and an expression of hospitality, VITS this time served an array of Arabian delicacies.
The Arabic cuisine is of a rich diversity of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian food. But with the arrival of western business associates in the Arab land, their tastes and preferences also led to spice-up the Arab cooking. And this time the delicious diversity was served in a platter at the VITS Luxury Hotel during the Arabic Food Festival.
While the menu comprised of Non-Veg & Veg recipes, it was chiefly based on starters. But yes, these scrumptiously flavorsome dishes were incredibly wholesome and pampered the taste buds with utmost care. Accompanied by Mr. Aloy Fernandes Manager (VITS, Luxury Hotel), I embarked on a gastronomic adventure that literally left me salivating for more.
The Arabian culinary night began with Falafel – Incredible Falafel Burger. This one was not just conventional but the one that was incredibly presented. The taste was such that it would give a fried chicken run for its fame. It was crafted like a miniature burger with deep fried blend of grounded chickpeas & spices in between the pieces of Peta Bread. This incredible invention was born in the kitchen of VITS. Trust my word, after savoring this palatable delicacy I learnt that it was a veg recipe! Complemented with Lebanese Dip, Hummus & bowl of Fattoush which comprised of lettuces, pepper, pickle as well as parsley, this recipe graduated to be so astonishing that it lured a pure non-vegetarian like me to ask for more.
After devouring the Falafel, the next Arabian recipe was Kibbeh. They are to die for! Kibbeh, kubbeh or kokeba all mean “the shape of a ball” in Arabic. These finely baked & deep fried crispy morsels of lamb meat were deliciously succulent. They tasted just too out of this planet! No Shami Kebab can even graduate as a substitute for this, a must try for every foodie.
Casting a spell with its lip-smacking taste was Shish Taouk. Boneless chicken cubes marinated in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and grilled on skewers with peppers, this innovation tasted fabulously appetizing. Every bite was truly wholesome with the grill flavor lingering in the mouth. Crispy on outside and tender within, the Shish Taouk was one of its kind.
The essential concept in the Arabic cuisine is hospitality and with great warmth , chivalry, VITS served me with yet another saporous dish knows as Lebanese Sumac Prawns. Sumac is a tangy, lemony, berry-red spice that goes well with grilled fish and prawns. The prawns were luxuriously marinated with Sumac, special spices and slowly grilled to render the reviewer speechless. Yes! this recipe was another tantalizing treat for my taste buds. It was complemented with soft Peta bread & tempting Garlic Dip.
The non-veg mezze offered each portion of all its non-veg recipes in a platter complemented with the accompaniments. While The Veg Mezze comprised of Falafel (Incredible Falafel Burger), Spinach Bell Pepper, Mushroom & Cheese Fatayer & Orfali Kebab.
Spinach Fatayer; a baked puff affluently infused with assorted bell pepper, spinach, mushroom & feta cheese was amazing. And the last but not the least Orfali Kebab was just an another fabulous crunchy veggie cousin replicating boneless fried chicken strips. This was yet another Arabic veggie delight which I savored and I believe that an ardent foodie must grab a bite of it.
Fattoush, Lebanese Dip & Hummus were the star accompaniments. Specifically crafted to augment the palatable taste of every appetizer that was brought over the table. Also, the entire cuisine was cooked in Olive oil which added to the flavor. The Hummus was olive-oil flavored, Lebanese dip was flavored with hung-curd & thyna paste, and the Fattoush Salad ingredients i.e. lettuce, pepper, olive & parsley were stir fried with Olive Oil.
The idea of Arabic Food Festival was brewed in the kitchen of VITS where Chef Hemant & Chef Arnald charted out the flavorsome journey of Arabian cuisine for the guests. The courteous & friendly duo were present with me throughout the evening. Their passion to serve new cuisines & recipes every time makes VITS Luxury Hotel a hub to savor fabulous delicacies every time.
The festival concludes by the end of this month. So, go ahead and relish the cuisine of Arabia specially crafted for the admirers of world cuisines. After all, VITS is the place to treat your taste buds with incredibly flavorsome signature delicacies that are dished out every time.