Rajasthan Food Festival @ Olives Restaurant, Royapettah

There came advertisements in Newspapers about the Rajasthan Food Festival in Olives, Chennai. Seeing that our dad took us out for lunch buffet on 28th Feb. The old Ajantha hotel is converted into a 4 Star hotel named Deccan Plaza and Olives, is a multicusine vegetarian restaurant in it.

Deccan Plaza, looks simply stunning, though you dont get underground parking if you are going there only to eat in its restaurants, for those who come there to stay either in their 100 rooms or in their 4 suites, the underground car parking is provided. Once you enter the hotel, you look straight into the reception desk. The left side of the reception hall is the Olives restaurant and in the right side is the Osteria. A board just near the entrance marked the way to Olives.

When we were about to enter, it was opened by the incharge and he welcomed us warmly. On enquiry of number of persons he directed us to a 6 seater table though we preffered a sofa side. But as the food festival is going on they expected more people, and that day when we went being Saturday is sure to have more guests. And yes, even before we left, there were lots of people coming and going. The staff were very kind, courteous and helpful. When we asked for a high chair for my 3 year old son, they immediatly arranged for it.

Let me describe the decor and ambience. They have decorated the walls, with photos from Rajasthan, just for this food festival. The floor is a raised wooden one, but that starts after a few steps from the entrance. And as the lighting is quite dim, to enhance the decor, one have to be careful. Except that the entire decor is quite eye catching.

Let me come to the food, the starter, chilli bajji and mixed vegetable dry kofta is served along with the welcome drink and soup. One can have either Thandai or Jaljeera for welcome drink. Then comes soup of the day, that day we were served, sweet corn soup. As the lunch spread is buffet, we went to fill our plates and we were so amazed to see the spread. Let me start from sweets. Hot Jelabi, Semiya Payasam, Moong dal halwa, Sweet Goppas in Jeera. You can sprinkle fried cashewnuts which is kept separately.

Then comes the Kothamalli Rasam, white rice, a vareity of sabjis, (for many I just dont even know the right name), to name Lauki ki sabji, Baingan Baaji, I remember only these two. But there were almost 6 different varities of sabjis which can either be used with the rice or with the 4 different varities of chappatis that is served in the table. Then comes the different varities of salad, corn salad, channa salad, pineapple salad (my most favourite), Moong dal salad, fresh vegetable salad.

The curd rice also comes with lots of side dishes. Gujarathi type pickles along with stuffed dried chilly. Last but not the least one can have two different types of ice creams with fruit salads. The buffet comes for Rs. 350 per head and both my kids were not billed.

Just before we paid the bill, me, my mother and my kids were given Thamboola bag(a small gift) that contains a Mehandi cone, A nail polish bottle, A bindi packet, a box full of Moong Dal Halwa.

A nice lunch experience. Planning to visit Olives again.