Sofitel is brought to you by accord chain of hotels. The same group behind some well-known hotels in the city like Novotel & IBIS. Pondicherry Café is located in the ground floor of this posh French themed hotel. Its contemporary French design complemented with Indian culture is an amalgamation of 2 cultures to bring the best experience for its customers visiting the hotel.
Intro To Them Cafe
Pondicherry Café is known for serving a myriad of cuisines under one roof in the form of buffets and brunches. If it is one thing you can count on in accord hotels and that’s having a feast fit for a king and that is exactly what you get in the buffets of Pondicherry café. I got the honour of visiting it for their Cantonese food fest which is a fest that is being overlooked by their international chef Allen Zhou. The fest tries to bring authentic Cantonese cuisine to the indian plate. Chinese food in india is made to match the indian palette and is not the same as authentic Cantonese cuisine that you would get back in China. Authentic Cantonese is a bit on the blander side and the objective of the festival is to get that authentic food to the plates of fellow grubbers
Looks Is Everything
The looks of this restaurant is absolutely elegant and chic. It is a quite spacious café with abundant seating, which could delightfully host small and large groups or even a meal for two. The ambience of this place is heavily inspired by French décor and that’s very evident. The tables, golden seating, carpeted floor, a cylindrical glass wine cellar, wall décor and the different buffet setups comprise of the core ambience here. The entrance was modified to match the theme of the fest with open umbrellas and a laughing Buddha.
The menu for the day was the elaborate buffet spread. It comprised of Indian, Continental & Cantonese fare. I had a taste of everything in the menu but I would be talking in detail about the Cantonese fare which I had as that was the reason behind my visit to the place. Lightly cooked with minimal oil, fresh vegetables and meat, Cantonese cuisine is very healthy and low on calories. A variety of indigenous ingredients and sweet and sour sauces blended well, accentuate the true essence of this cuisine.
We started off with the Chicken clear soup with exotic veggies. The soup was true to its Cantonese style. Was on the blander side with fresh veggies and meat with a clear subtle flavoured broth. You will need to add salt and pepper to this soup if you don’t like it bland
We then tried the Chicken dimsums. The dimsums were soft with thin sheets filled with minced chicken and some diced veggies. Went well with the sauce. We also tried the pan fried versions and they were great too. The only catch here is to get them when they are hot.
In mains we tried the Kung Pao Chicken, The Stir fried veggies in soy (Chow see choy), Steamed fish in light soy, Chicken with garlic and veggies with Choi Chow Fan (Veg Fried Rice) and Kaw Low main Choy (Veg Noodles).
The dish of the day for me was the kung pao chicken without any doubt. It was just perfect. Fresh exotic veggies mixed with chicken and laced with a sweet and spicy sauce just made the dish a one that you cant miss if you’re here. The chef will make it fresh off the wok even on request. Hes a real gem here when it comes to Cantonese cuisine.
Other than this there were a number of dishes that were there from the continental and indian menu as the spread was very huge but I didn’t end up trying them as I was too busy trying out Chef allan’s magical preps. Some noteworthy dishes out of them were the Paneer lababdar, Turkey ham and apple tart, grilled Kingfish and the tariwala murg.
Desserts were the best part of the meal here. They had a huge spread of desserts which ranged from indian to continental fares. The Bengali sweets stood out for me in the indian section and the cheesecakes in the conti section were something I loved having.
Overall I really loved my visit here and the Cantonese food fest was definitely something new for me. If you visit Pondicherry café do try to meet the chef here and request him for his house special wok dishes which he is an expert in conjuring out. Meal per person costs 3k but is definitely worth the spread and the flavour.