World Street Food Festival at PHC



There's no noise, no cacophony on this street, just soft piped music. The "hawkers" are dressed in their chef whites and handle food with gloved hands - oh yeah, they do that in most countries. Food carts are piled high with beansprouts and tofu and spring greens, some stalls have colourful peppers, garlic bulbs and tomatoes hanging down from skewers - we've definitely wandered into Park Hyatt Chennai's World Street Food fest at the Dining Room .

Siomay & batagor



A group of us were invited to review the first day's offerings and yay... my favourite dim sums were on offer. These are the Indonesian versions so we had Bandung-style siomay - wantan skins stuffed with meat and either steamed or fried and batagor - tofu stuffed with minced meat and then steamed. The food carts double up as live cooking stations so everything is cooked on the spot. Drizzles of peanut and chilli sauces decorated them, these were light on the tummy and absolutely heavenly!

Laksa stall

Laksa

Laksa is a popular street food in South East Asian countries and laksa Jakarta was definitely in my sights. Thin rice vermicelli noodles, prawns, fried tofu cubes, beansprouts, fried shallots and spring onions are placed in a bowl that is then topped with spicy coconut milk curry. This version did not have belachan (shrimp paste) but I didn't miss it as the thick coconut milk and perfect blend of spices in the curry paste gave the stock fragrance, aroma and tons of flavour. Definitely ticked all the boxes and most definitely worth going for seconds.

Live pav station

Pav station; ros omelette; pav with cutlet

Ros omelette

Mumbai's famous vada pav and ros omelette from Goa are yours for the ordering. I've never had a ros omelette - diced chillies and tomatoes are mixed with beaten egg and made into an omelette. A mildly spiced tomato gravy is poured over it and served with a pav (bun). Super! There were also mutton cutlets (actually they looked like oversized tikkis) stuffed into toasted buns but the one that took the cake - err - bun - was the vada pav. Oh man, those buns were supersoft, the garlic chutney-potato patty combination tongue-tickling. And those chillies -we played the chilli version of Russian roulette with them -some of them were hot, some were mild like capsicums.

You could consider the street food section as the appetiser because the Dining Room has salads and 9 main courses at the buffet station. There are usually an Indonesian special or two and definitely biryani. That day, there was nargisi kofta biryani; the koftas had been stuffed with cheese and they were delicious.

Ice kachang station; ice kachang with fruits; banana roti; banana-less roti 

To cool you down is the Banana Roti station that serves ice kachang and banana roti. A thin flour ball is rolled out, stuffed with sliced bananas, folded and cooked on a griddle. Peanut butter and caramel sauce are slathered over and a scoop of ice cream is added to bring it up to a zillion calories! I'm told it was worth every one of those calories. Or, like me, you could ask them to make you a half portion without the bananas.



If ice kachang rocks your boat, there's plenty of ingredients for you to choose from. However, I preferred the selection of desserts from the dessert counter.
 
Over the next few days, there will be other stalls dishing out momos from Tibet, Kolkata-style wraps, tacos and lots more. This festival will go on till May 31st, 7-11 pm and is  priced at 1600/++.
Do call 044 4991 9965/7177 1234 for reservations.


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