Singapore Food Festival with Chef Thanabalan at JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu

Hello Potpourriers!
Hope all’s well with you guys. Back with another post, I almost feel like I won’t be doing justice to it since I’ve temporarily turned vegetarian for a while. Nevertheless, I knew I had to be a part of this special evening and I’m glad I was.
JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu is currently hosting their very own Singapore Food Festival at Lotus Cafe. The fest is on till the end of this month – 31st August, 2015 (you guys don’t have much time to check it out so make sure you do, SOON).
Singapore Marriott’s Sous Chef Thanabalan Chandrasekaran has specially flown down to make this eclectic food journey truly authentic and of course, exceptionally delectable! With over 21 years of work experience in the food and beverage industry, Chef Thanabalan has been with Singapore Marriott since 2009 and has led his team successfully while catering for high profile banquets and events as well as having mastered the art of an a la carte experience.

Chef Thanabalan

Singapore is a country best known for its street food and a modern take on traditional cuisine. Chef Thanabalan showcased his amazing culinary skills as he prepares his signature dishes and some typical street food delicacies for all of us who were a part of this special Chef’s table.
In Chef’s words, “Singaporean food is a blend of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian flavours owning to the country’s multi-culture heritage. Knowing how passionate Indians are about food, I wanted to recreate this experience in Mumbai, giving my guests a taste of local fare with a modern touch.”
In conversation with Chef Thanabalan and Chef Himanshu 
There’s a strong focus on local treats and the rich cultural heritage as the buffet has a cold and hot buffet, live food stations that are brimming with colours, aromas and varied condiments and spices.
The signature dishes included – Rojak Petis Singapura, Gado-Gado Molek, Mutton Rendang, Singapura Chilli Crab and Lemak Sayur Lodeh. So as mentioned earlier, having switched over to vegetarianism, I couldn’t try most of the dishes only because it mainly comprised of meaty preparations that I could most certainly imagine to be absolutely delicious! 
PS. The aroma did the trick for me. Here’s hoping the taste wins your heart! 🙂
The various live stations
Here’s a pictorial journey I went on as soon as I reached Lotus Cafe. From a live satay counter that came across like an absolute meat haven for those who savoured it… to four unique kind of salads (out of which only 1 was vegetarian BUT still had boiled eggs as a part of it)… the options seemed endless.
The Live Satay Station
Salads that I wish I could try but couldn’t…
More salads that I would have like to check out, but couldn’t…
Rice made in chicken broth and slow cooked to perfect, Chicken Rice is a speciality is a lovely version of the typical sticky jasmine rice. As much as I was tempted to try it, my friends who did, couldn’t stop raving about it! I trust my taste buds would have enjoyed it too. 🙂 The curries that came along, complimented the rice well and made for a wholesome meal.
The other favourites on the menu include Singapore Seafood Laksa, Sambal Eggplant (which was surprisingly lovely despite not being a fan of eggplants), Soya Braised Duck and Stir Fried Pork Loin.
The Laksa and Stir-Fry Noodles Counter was one of the most active as there was so much happening. Chef Thanabalan would stir up a beautiful storm with an assortment of vegetables and meats and serve it with freshly stir-fried noodles that were seasoned with fresh soy sauce. I had the privilege of tasting the vegetarian versions of both.
Check out the pictures below and you’ll know how good it looked and tasted even better! Consisting of subtle flavours yet vibrant to look at, I enjoyed making a meal out of both. 🙂

Flat rice noodles or vermicelli dunked in a spicy coconut milk that’s been flavoured with sambal chilli and usually with dried shrimps (in my case, the Chef insisted that the one we tried was sans the shrimp flavour although we still got a slight hint of taste in it). Either way, I loved it. Bean curd and sprouts could be a part of other versions of this soupy delight of a meal that’s traditionally called Laksa – which is otherwise topped and enjoyed with either prawns, chicken or boiled eggs.
Tossed on a hot plate with some chilli paste, tomato sauce and dark soy sauce and then perfectly semi-fried, these Vegetable Stir-fried Noodles were simply flavourful and quite light on the stomach. An assortment of vegetables added to the much needed and savoured crunch factor. The non-vegetarian version is usually stir-fried with eggs, sliced chicken, minched mutton, or prawns depending on your meat preference.
The showstopper of the evening was this classic Singaporean Chilli Crab. Everyone who tasted it thoroughly enjoyed the burst of flavours despite it being a messy affair. Apparently it has a hot and sweet finish to its taste and is considered as Singapore’s national dish. It definitely comes across like it, right? Make sure you check it out whenever you decide to be a part of this beautiful food festival.
We ended our evening with some Tepannyaki Ice-cream – which is basically the infamous cold stone ice cream that’s become a popular trend in the city. A few mix and matches of multiple flavours and toppings we got ourselves treated to some good ol’ ice cream that never disappoints. 🙂
French Vanilla with Belgian Chocolate with chocolate chips 
PS. If this spread wasn’t enough, a complimentary Singapore Sling will be served to you as a part of this elaborate meal. Trust these guys at JW Marriott, Juhu to make it as special as it can be! 🙂
The festival is on till the 31st of August 2015… and if you’re a major fan of the meats, then this is something you definitely don’t want to miss!

Time: 7:00 – 11:00 pm (only dinner)

Pricing: Rs. 2400 per head (all inclusive)

For Reservations: 022 6693 3277

Until next time…

The Potpourri Girl
xx

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Twitter: @TaariniNB
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Email: thepotpourrigirl@gmail.com

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