Theres no denying that a sizzler festival is a big draw during the monsoon. In the case of The Bella Vista,which thought of combining the drizzle with the sizzle,the aim is to pull in diners not just from Panchkula,but from the neighbourhood as well. So,it is with great expectations that we arrived on a muggy afternoon at Serenade,the hotels multi-cuisine restaurant. The fine-diner has to its credit one of the most spectacular views of the Shivalik range and that is a conversation starter in itself. Evenings,though,are a better time to venture on to the terrace adjoining the restaurant for a meal under the open skies.
The sizzler menu here is actually a booklet and that sure got our hopes up as we sipped on a mocktail thats served complimentary with every meal. Unlike just a few random additions,this menu charts across three cuisines Indian,Continental and Chinese. While thought has gone into selecting dishes across three courses,including desserts,the idea sometimes restricts itself to presentation only. For instance,the non-vegetarian platter we sampled was essentially different types of chicken starters tandoori chicken and murg malai tikka served on a bed of lettuce.
As far as positives go,we like how the chef here incorporates Kashmiri cuisine in the menu. Its happened at a previous food festival and in the sizzler line-up,we would recommend the curried sizzlers Kashmiri gosht,seekh and champ. These are served like complete meals with portions of vegetables and rice or breads. For us,the tawa chicken with its thick curry,almost like a marination,was worth a bite. The stuffed soya champ will definitely please the vegetarian palates.
The seafood here is represented by a sizzler that packs in sole,basa and shrimp in gravy,served with aloo kali mirch and laccha parantha. At Rs 750 and a generous portion,its as good as a meal for two. The desserts make full use of the sizzler concept with the likes of cinnamon apple crepes,and for us,the pears that seemed to have spent just a few minutes on the hot plate served with ice-cream is just what comfort food means. The festival is till September 8.
Meal for two: Rs 1,400 (including taxes)
Location: Serenade,Hotel The Bella Vista,Sector 5,Panchkula