‘The Square’ at Novotel always surprises me with its amazing out of the box food ideas, dishes and delicacies, this time it is all set to tickle the (somewhat not-so-celebrated) “desi taste buds” of all its patrons. The ‘NH2 on Plate’ Food Festival at The Square has brought back all the Highway dhaba style delicacies available across a huge stretch of National Highway 2 (NH2) starting from Delhi to Faridabad to Kanpur to Aurangabad to Jharkhand to Kolkata! So, it promises to present a huge spectrum of cuisines of all these places and the ultimate tadka of roadside dhabas and the local sweet shops! I attend loads of Food Festivals to be honest, but I have rarely come across such an innovatively planned food-themed journey, which they call ‘NH2 on Plate’! I must admit I was more than happy to be invited to this festival and cover this ultimate gastronomical extravaganza which can’t really be missed!
Like we know, Novotel with its headquarters in France (and with more than 400 hotels and resorts worldwide) has started its operations in Kolkata couple of years back and has already made its mark in the city of joy! With its grandiose interiors and larger than life structure it surely presents a best-in-class ambiance where you can relax, converse, loosen up and stay… to create memories! The suave interiors and spaced out super-comfortable seating arrangements will surely mesmerize your senses and let you enjoy your food with your loved ones.
So here we again come back to the food, the NH2 food festival which we were discussing about! The thing which impressed me was the innovative presentation of the handis and dhaba style containers placed at the Dinner Buffet counter, the large food containers were placed on the either side of the temporarily constructed huge model of a highway with toy car models on it. The pitch black smooth highway looks amazing and quite fitting for this occasion. It has also got typical yellow and white milestones made out of thermocol bearing names of various cities and towns which are there along this stretch of NH2. Though I would have loved if this concept was further improved a bit, thus placing the related dishes of a particular region beside the milestone of that place. But anyway the sight was splendid, and that raw appeal of those lips smacking dishes in the handis was irresistible enough to get started!
Coming straight to the food, there were fares from all regions like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The fare was huge and you can not probably savor all the items in good quantity. Here are the items which were present there in the buffet spread – Lassi, various Indian breads, Fried Egg with Potato Salad, Paneer aur kala Chana Bhurji, Gobhi Adraki, Bhindi Masala, Aloo Bhujia, lasooni Palaak, Dal Butter Fry, Subz Tehri, Kolkata Style Mutton Biriyani, Butter Chicken, Durbari Jhinga, Anda Dal Tadka, Fish Tikka Masala, Keema Gurda Kaleji, Chicken Bharta, papad along with a quirky well-lit section called ‘daru ki dukaan’ having loads of beer bottles and colorful breezers!
And there were numerous awesome desserts like Black Forest gateaux, Citrus Chocolate Crema, Fresh Fruit Pastries, Bread Butter Pudding, 2 in 1 Sandesh, Rasogolla, ladoos, Plum Frangipane Flan, Cream Cheese Almond Crumble, Orange Mousse, ice creams and many more. In short this is a humongous irresistible dinner buffet spread which if you miss, will really be a crime 🙂
There were more to these amazing spread which I couldn’t try in the end because I was too full to even move 🙂 Anyway, out of these I must mention the must haves – don’t miss the veg dishes, they were awesome; like the Gobhi Adraki, Bhindi Masala and Aloo Bhujia. It will definitely remind you of a dhaba! The proportion of all the spices was just so perfect and the vegetables were cooked to perfection, they were not too boiled and had that mild crunch to it which is required so that it can be relished! Also I loved the Anda Dal Tadka, Keema Gurda Kaleji, Chicken Bharta, and Kolkata style Mutton Biriyani. The Biriyani had super soft mutton pieces which were melting in the mouth and was a joy to savor, the potato was bit too fried though, but overall the flavor was perfect. The chicken bharta was awesome, to be precise. And I had loads of it 🙂 It had the perfect balance of taste and the generous mix of boiled egg whites to it. Anda tal tadka was also generously filled in with fried egg which was again a joy to devour with some Indian breads.
Also there were those traditional litti-chokhas available and there was a well-decorated Maggi counter with shelves filled in with our childhood favorites like orange candies, Parle-G biscuits, Mango Bite candies, Milk Bikis biscuits, and packets of Maggi! And last but not the least, there was a treat for the eyes with the display of Harley Davidson bikes which was very apt here for this NH2 Festival, since these huge machines really do rule these highways and of course they look so majestic on these open unending roads 🙂
Overall, this is one hell of a food festival that the city hardly gets to see. The unique experience of tasting so many Indian cuisines and dishes at one go is soul satisfying and is truly a lovely experience in itself. I would sincerely urge my readers to drop in and try the fare, but please remember the festival is on till Monday 22-August. So yes, there is no time for a second thought, just get your friends and family to visit Novotel for this amazing NH2 on Plate food festival; dishes from all these places are eagerly waiting for your tummy, please don’t disappoint them! 🙂
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