While sitting amidst the lush greenery in Spice Garden, Marathahalli, the chef brings us authentic north Indian food with its typically rich and intense flavours.

From the tandoor

The Sunday buffet in the garden began with kebabs and starters, which came in many variations such as kesari, pahadi , golden chicken, Kashmiri kebab, stuffed mushroom, tandoori gobi and crispy veggie.

The kebabs had that distinct smoked flavour as if they had just popped out from the tandoor (clay oven).

Once through with the spicy kebabs, the vegetarian manchow soup was soothing to the tongue. For the main course, we had our pick of Chinese and Indian dishes with specialties such as the vegetarian Spice Garden noodles and accompaniments like gobi manchurian and chicken bunna masala.

Among the more popular items in the vegetarian section were mutter paneer and kulchas. The main course was a bigger spread — fried rice, delicious chicken biryani and vegetable biryani. It all ended on a sweet note with gajar ka halwa, fruit salad and ice-cream.

Saffron and chillies

The meal done, you gather that saffron, chillies and garam masala seem to be the chef's favourite ingredients.

“We have tried to bring together the flavours of past eras. We were influenced by the chulas of Punjab, the royal kitchens of emperor Akbar and the haandis of Lucknow,” says the owner Suresh Malhotra. “Sweets and kebabs are huge favourites here,” says M. Vishwa, the accounts manager and the man in charge.

If you happen to be choosy, you can also opt for the a la carte menu .

Their lunch buffet is served only on weekdays and the special dinner buffet is available from Thursday to Sunday.

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Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011