Monday, 3 November 2014

Tangra Food Festival @ JW Kitchen, JW Marriott, Bangalore

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The past two weeks have been nostalgic with memories of the Chinatown in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Purely from the perspective of experiencing food and culture, I wish such towns / communities did exist in Bangalore too. On this note, a cuisine that is probably the most popular cuisine in India after Indian cuisine itself is the Chinese Cuisine; well actually 'Indian-Chinese Cuisine'. Like many of you, I love Chinese food; be it in its most authentic form or the famous Indian-Chinese form which to me is, "comfort food at its best". 

While we love this cuisine, what we may not know or tend to ignore is that this very familiar Indian style Chinese cuisine is actually an adaption and a result of the Kolkata Chinese Cuisine which was introduced to India in the year 1780. It all began with the immigration of Chinese residents from the Hakka region to settle down in Calcutta now to be known as Tangra Community / Kolkata Chinatown. A result of changing laws and its impact to their Tannery business led to the setting up of restaurants serving food that prevailed in the Hakka region back then. 

Sighting business needs and preference to the local Indian palate, this community began tweaking and improvising on their food to appeal the Indian Palate in order to attract more business. In no time, 'Kolkata Chinese' gained popularity and spread across the country like a wild fire; the result of which we get to see and experience today. Speaking of Kolkata Chinese, the best way to experience it is to visit the Kolkata Chinatown itself which houses over 40 Tangra restaurants with some like 'Golden Joy Restaurant' being the most popular. 

The next best way to experience it is even simpler for us foodies in Bangalore - drive down straight to JW Marriott Bengaluru where Chef Jolly aka @JollyGoodChef and team present to us 'Tangra Food Festival' at JW Kitchen till the 9th of November. Going by their motto of serving not just healthy but honest and authentic dining experience, Chef Jolly and JW Marriott have flown down Chef Edwin of Golden Joy restaurant himself to take charge of Tangra Food Festival.
Chef Edwin (L) of Golden Joy Restaurant, Kolkata; Chef Jolly (R) - Needs no introduction
Enough reasons to visit, I obediently drove down along with my wife to JW Marriott on Saturday to experience the food first hand. Over the course of the evening, I not only got to savor some delicious Kolkata Chinese food but also got to watch Chef Edwin cook-up some signature dishes like threaded paneer - a vegetarian variation to the otherwise non-vegetarian delicacy, Hakka style chili chicken, golden fried prawns and Tangra stir fried golden prawns
Threaded Paneer
Each of these preparations demonstrated were really simple and would take under 20 minutes of preparation and cooking time put together. In it's simplicity lays the deliciousness of each of these dishes. The threaded paneer and golden fried prawns were served with Chef Edwin's special chutney / sauce which had a nice sweet touch along with primary flavors of mint and coriander. The paneer, prawns or the chutney were exquisite and each could have been eaten independently.
Golden Fried Prawns
The chili chicken was moist, succulent and exuded wonderful flavors to denote the love with which it had been prepared. What takes each of these preparations a notch higher is that none of these dishes involved the use of MSG/Ajinomoto as an ingredient. 
Chili Chicken
The stir fried golden prawns were out of the world. The flavors of the green chili, soy sauce, coriander, ginger-garlic were clearly felt on the palate yet beautifully married with the prawns whose original flavor was something that just could not have missed the palate. I couldn't get my hands off them all evening.
Stir Fried Golden Prawns
In addition to the above, the Tangra section of the buffet spread also offered the lovely golden fried fish and delicious Pork Sui Mai dim-sums for starters. In the mains, we non-vegetarians relished egg fried rice and egg hakka noodles which were enjoyed thoroughly with pork in hot garlic sauce and fish in oyster sauce. For the vegetarians, there were veg dim sums and 'golden fried baby corn  in starters; veg fried rice and veg Hakka noodles along with chili paneer and assorted vegetables with tofu, mushrooms and babycorn in the mains.

To give food company were a whole range of 'Tangra special cocktails and mocktails which were concocted in-house by Akshar and team. The cocktails like Shandong Mary, Beijing Bellini, Wild Liquid - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic were a big hit on our table.
Shandong Mary
Wild Liquid
Food festivals are a real treat to attend as they are always around cuisines that are not locally available at large and bring in a lot of authenticity and diversity to the table. At this food festival being hosted at JW Marriott Bangalore, each dish on the buffet stood out really well. It was one such evening when I ate like a Gourmand and did not take a glance of the diverse buffet spread that offers cuisines from across the globe. When such is the experience; one thing's for sure, "a 'Tangra Food Festival' in Bangalore can't get any better." 

This diverse buffet spread of Tangra food, other global cuisines and lavish spread of desserts at JW Kitchen comes at a price of 1599 ++ and promises an evening of superlative dining. 

Quick Tips:
While the buffet at JW Kitchen is on offer always, the Special 'Tangra Food Festival' part of the buffet is available only till the 9th of November. 

Don't think twice, just drive down is what I'd recommend.

Bon Appetit! 

Address: 24/1, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore - 560001
Phone Number: +91 80671 89999

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