Pondicherry Café at Sofitel Mumbai is all dressed up these days and looks like mini France! It also offers its patrons with an exciting Bastille Day buffet (open for both lunch and dinner), which has French food at its best. The Bastille Day buffet has a wide range of scrumptious French delicacies cooked with great love and care. That means, you don’t have to visit France to taste that authentic Ratatouille, Coq au Vin or even a Bourguignon (the lamb version). One of my favourite chefs, Executive Chef Indrajit Saha at Pondicherry Café, is all set to welcome you with French food that is so good and enjoyable, right here in aamchi Mumbai! The Bastille Day buffet is making waves among foodies already, and if you want to taste the same, then hurry. This unique five-day buffet experience is there only till 14th of July. The lunch and dinner are priced at Rs. 2685/- and Rs. 2816/-, respectively (all inclusive). Do try their great selection of drinks. Alcohol is charged separately.
As you enter Sofitel, you will see a beautifully lit-up mini Eiffel Tower. When you reach Pondicherry Café, you will be amazed by how spectacular the restaurant looks. A mini Arc de Triomphe stands pretty at the entrance of the restaurant, whereas different French artworks are displayed in another corner (as if you’ve just reached Louvre Museum or Musee de Orsay). Welcome to mini Cannes by the bar, where you can watch movies if you like! I am so touched by the beauty of the Bastille Day theme in Pondicherry Café that I feel that it has set an example in itself, on how sophisticated a buffet can be. It has also set an example that a food experience in a restaurant is not only about the theme-related food, but it can portray much more. Sofitel Mumbai BKC celebrates the French National Day with a perfect amalgamation of French gastronomy, art and culture at the Pondicherry Café. The live music, particularly, is absolutely so entertaining that it will make your day even before you start the buffet experience.
I can speak loads and loads on how beautiful the ambience is. Did you see that pretty cycle at that corner? I loved that. And see those painted pots with French words…so cute!
Okay, let’s talk about the food. The Bastille Day menu is absolutely rocking and you must taste it if you like French food. We started with Poached Fish. It was a very light seafood dish with citrus flavours in the backdrop. The orange rinds add a subtle flavour to this light dish. A perfect way to start the food experience, the French way.
The Sweetcorn and Green Peas Fricassee was light, creamy and delicious. Take my word, the kids are gonna love this dish as much as you will! But it was not something that I would die for. I moved on to the next dish.
The Red Wine Braised Lamb was very unique. The way the Frenching of the ribs was done, was really neat. I loved this rustic dish and enjoyed it with cherry tomatoes and grilled potatoes. This dish is a complete dish in itself, but I bet, you must try their Barbeque Pork Ribs with a special white sauce rich in onions. The meat was fall-off-the-bone and luscious! According to me, it was one of the best dishes in the Bastille Day buffet.
French food is incomplete without seafood. So do try their Moules Ala Mariniere (Mussels ala Marinara), which satisfies the Indian palate very well. It is colourful and so rich in seafood flavour. AN and I mopped the sauce off with their handmade baguette and other artisanal breads. French food is so incomplete without breads, dear foodies. And the good thing is that they bake delicious breads here to go with the Bastille Day buffet menu.
The Tapenade D’olive Poisson Cuit au Four (Olive Tapenade Baked Fish) reminded of the busy streets of Cours Saleya in France, offering great seafood dishes to the tourists. Recently, during our France trip, we had tasted a similar baked fish there. Back in Mumbai, I can’t explain how much I loved to taste a similar flavour again!
Please note that all their vegetarian French dishes are made at Tuskers, which is a 100% vegetarian restaurant in Sofitel Mumbai. This ensures that the vegetarian dishes are cooked separately in a vegetarian kitchen and in separate utensils.
Both AN and I loved the Champignon et Pommes de Terre Tarte (Mushroom and Potato Tart). It reminded us of our recent trip to France. Although this was a vegetarian dish, it was simply mind-blowing. The base of the tart was crunchy and the mushrooms and potatoes were baked perfectly. The Mixed Vegetable Casserole was also very flavoursome and was even better with the breads. Not full yet? Try their Legumes Grilles au Vinaigre Balsamique (Balsamic Grilled Vegetables) and Fusili pasta with green beans and Worcestershire Sauce. Aah, heaven!
Of course, the serving staff will be happy to serve you a range of pastas and pizzas delivered straight from their live stations. We ordered a Pepperoni Pizza, which was done wonderfully. I could have eaten the whole pizza happily, had I not eaten the other dishes. But, I am glad that I tasted those!
The salad spread in Pondicherry Café is surely going to make you drool. A must-have in the non-vegetarian salads is the Proscuitto Wrapped Figs, Baby Field Greens and Blue Cheese. We strongly recommend our readers to try this awesomeness. We loved the sweet figs wrapped with the Proscuitto. The greens added the crunch, whereas the blue cheese added the perfect pungency to balance the sweetness of the figs. What a dish!
There were enough vegetarian salads to try. The Arugula, Beetroot and Orange Segment and the Celery, Cherry Tomato and Lettuce with Blue Cheese Dressing looked interesting. I tasted a little of the Farmhouse Salad, which tasted yum with fresh lettuce, chickpeas, asparagus, green beans, radish and cheddar cheese. If you love to experiment with different flavours, try their Plum, Spinach and Avocado Salad with Orange. It was simple, yet so flavourful! A must try is the Pis Chiches et Salade de Couer Palmier (Garbonzo Bean and Palm Heart Salad), which we found to be very addictive and great for all age groups, including the kids!
Do you love terrine? Pondicherry Café surprised us with wonderful terrine dishes in its menu. We loved the Chicken and Turkey Terrine. Although the terrines that we tried in France were a little different, this terrine was good too! Do try this.
French food is also incomplete without cheese and Charcuterie. The Bastille Day menu has beautifully smoked salmon, four kinds of cold cuts, different cheeses (Comte, Edam, Philadelphia, Roquefort and Brie). Accompany these with some crackers, a range of marmalades (cherry tomato, orange, pineapple and apple), onion jam and plum jam. The choice is your’s!
Moving on to desserts, we were in a different world! Although the macarons were already over by the time we started our dessert tasting, and we totally understand that, as we in Mumbai love macarons. Isn’t it? But never mind, we had so many other desserts to try. Those looked beautiful. Have a look at this sweet French foodgasm. I bet you will dream of these desserts tonight!
And hey, do check out the wine collection at Pondicherry Cafe. Among the whites, our pick was the cool bottle of La Vielle Ferme from Luberon, France. Aromatic and very light, you will love its floral, peachy and citrusy notes. It matches beautifully with the Bastille Day menu. Or, go for the Camas Merlot, if red is your thing. This tannic wine is the perfect match to the meaty dishes in the Bastille Day menu. (Please note that the wines are not a part of the menu.)
Bastille Day never existed in Mumbai, as such. But thanks to this mini France inside Sofitel Mumbai, we tasted French culture right here, complete with food, wine, music and vibe. Do try this awesome experience. This buffet menu is there only till tomorrow evening!
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