Food spot Metroplus

Magic of meals

DELECTABLE NOSTALGIA Dishes offered at The Park

DELECTABLE NOSTALGIA Dishes offered at The Park  


Serving an array of picnic food in tiffin carriers, The Park revives wonderful memories of the years gone by, says RAHUL VERMA

If there is one activity that I really look forward to every year, it’s our annual picnic. We started, many years ago, with an impromptu meet at Nehru Park one winter’s day. Then, for several years, we would gather at a particular mound in the Lodhi Gardens. For the last many years, our picnics are being held at our friends’ beautiful farmhouse on the outskirts of Delhi.

For me — and for many others, too, I am sure — a picnic is all about food. The sight of a picnic hamper never fails to excite me. I can imagine cellophane wrapped sandwiches, oranges, a flask of coffee, plastic plates and cutlery and napkins all snugly packed in the (preferably wicker) basket.

If there’s a good idea going, you can always expect a luxury hotel to snap it up. The Park hotel has done just that. “The Park Picnic” seeks to revive the magic of meals served in tiffin carriers. And these tiffins, filled with childhood memories, are served in rooms.

Of course, a picnic by definition is always in the open air. But if you don’t have the time to eat out in leisure, do so in your room, is The Park’s logic. So they send you up on customised trolleys colourful tiffin carriers in the style of the old steel multi-tiered ones that somehow always bring to my mind images of folded parathas and baingan bharta.

The picnic meals come in different categories — there is a tea and snacks one with vada pao, pakoras, cakes and sandwiches, a “Tropical Picnic” with kathi rolls and biryani, and Asian, European and kids’ picnics.

I tried out small bites from all the Picnics, and had a very nice meal, indeed.

From the Asian Picnic, I had some vegetable laksa with crispy noodles (which was excellent) and chicken and shitake sui mai. I liked the shrimp risotto, and tried out a bit of the tiramisu from the European Picnic.

But I think my favourite out of all the picnics would be the Tropical Picnic. I really enjoyed the Lucknavi gosht biryani, which was strongly flavoured, and most delicious. I had that with some cucumber and mint raita, and baingan and mircha ka salan. I also liked the sabzi dum biryani. The paneer khurchan kathi roll —crumbled cottage cheese in a roll — was better than the chicken tikka kathi roll, I thought. For dessert, I had and enjoyed pan ki rasmali, infused with the intense and familiar flavours of betel leaves.

The Kids’ Picnic sounds rather nice, too consisting of all that kids like, from mini pizzas and sliders to fish fingers, French fries, smileys, ice cream and red velvet cupcakes with butter cream icing. But I didn’t venture there having eaten far more than I usually do at lunch time.

The food comes in tiffin carriers on picnic trolleys, with steel plates, bowls and cutlery. There is even a piece of cloth on which you can place your food to give your meal a picnic-like feel.

The Picnics can be had at Park hotels in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Bangalore. The prices vary from Rs.775 (for the children’s picnic, vegetarian) to Rs.1695 (Tropical and Asian picnics, non-vegetarian).

The concept is nice. And for the busy executive — or even the family on a holiday — it can weave magic. For everybody may or may not love a drought, but they sure love a picnic.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:22:22 PM |

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