Its a well-known fact that Chandigarh doesnt really do business over lunch. Shops and even offices down their shutters for an afternoon siesta. However,the setting up of a few corporate hubs like the IT Park,have now resulted in some changes,including increasing activity during those sluggish hours. For one,buffet options in city diners are getting some attention and members of ladies kitty parties arent the only ones making the most of the line-up thats now on offer.
JW Marriott has a plump spread at their Café,so does the Taj. Equally popular are buffets at Hot Millions High Point,ABs and Mainland China. Hotel Mountview,the CITCO-run five-star property in what seems like a well-planned move to be part of the new trend has now rolled out a lunch and dinner buffet at Rustles,their multi-cuisine restaurant.
In the past,Rustles has hosted some food festivals with good success but the team in the kitchen has always played it safe Mughlai Indian being their forte. There has never been an attempt to break the mould and surprise guests with either global cuisine or new arrivals. This habit goes both in their favour and against in the new lunch and buffet line-up too.
First,the positives. The lunch and dinner (we sampled the dinner) buffet offers a decent variety of fare and the prices Rs 400 for lunch and Rs 500 for dinner is good value for money,especially when you compare the prices elsewhere and the decent mix of dishes bringing in variety of meats,vegetables and cuisines. Our dinner buffet offered a vegetarian soup (Minestrone),salads,main course and desserts,essentially a potpourri of mostly Indian,some Chinese and Continental dishes. The menu for the night tossed up everything from saag gosht,rogan josh to chilly chicken,paneer chilli,paneer bhurji,aloo jeera,dal makhani,fish in pesto,fried rice,cream chicken et al an ideal choice for a larger group that cant reach a consensus on what to order.
Looking at the other tables as we dined a family of ten including the grandparents were quick to amble their way to the buffet,a group celebrating the fathers birthday with the daughters clicking photographs and digging into butterscotch ice-cream reaffirmed the fact that this buffet made sense to a family where multiple palates had to be pleased. Also familiar dishes with known tastes,yes,comfort food,seem to be a factor drawing in the diner,who is not looking to experiment on an evening out. That,for us,is the negative. Its good to excel with what ones good with but it can be predictable and boring. Moong dal halwa and gulab jamun (part of the dessert menu) are not something to get you excited about. It didnt work for us either. But then,if an elder had accompanied us,perhaps we would have ended up ordering it anyway.
The entertainment for the evening was melodic Bollywood numbers sung live by a group and quite like the food was easy and no-fuss. The service was efficient and the basket of breads was re-filled with urgency.
Meal for two: Rs 1,000
(excluding tax and alcohol)
Location: Hotel Mountview,