Level 12 Double Tree by Hilton - destination for my second Zomato Meetup. I readily agreed and was excited to meet fellow bloggers.
Location and Parking:: It is quite far away from my place; but easy to find. It is located in a prime area of Chinchwad and have ample parking space-Valet Parking is also available.
Ambience:: Hilton - the name suffice to show its status. Let the photographs speak about the place!
On the entrance you can see beautiful lights, alcohol bottles in the stack, 3 spices restaurant, spice jars, seating areas and a colorful long chair; which no body can miss!
Double Tree is huge with 115 guest rooms. Hotel has multiple restaurants and bars. One can enjoy all-day dining at 3 Spices. Level 12 is a restaurant which gets its name because of its location on the top floor-12th floor. It specialises in Indian cuisine and have a rooftop bar for drinks under the open sky. City view from here is amazing!
Level 12 restaurant had soothing ambience with mellow music playing in the background. First thing that one notice is the fire behind the flowing water. It was giving a warm and cool feeling altogether. There were few tables and chairs with candles in the center. Lighting was very very low, though romantic for couples but difficult for photographers! :)
Food:: Zomato meet-ups are always organized with pre-decided menu. Here is a glimpse of the food we had-
Drinks:: Soft Drinks and Beer
- Fish Tikka
- Seekh Kebab
- Malai drums of heaven
- Thecha Aloo (2.5/5)
- Paneer Tikka(2.5/5)
- Tandoori Tawa Gobi
- Palak Patta Chaat(3/5)
- Bina Pani ke GolGappe(3.5/5)
- Butter Chicken
- Lamb Shanks Curry
- Paneer Lababdar(3/5)
- 12 ki Daal(4/5)
- Jeera Pulao(3/5)
- Subz Dum Biryani(2.5/5)
- Roti Naan/Laccha Parantha/Amritsari Kulcha(4/5)
- Mixed Veg Raita
- Mint Chutney/ Garlic Chutney/ Mango Chutney/ Papad
- Halwa Tiffin(2/5)
- Jalandhar ki Special Malai Kulfi(3.5/5)
- Sugar free Date fig and Mascarpone Ice Cream(2/5)
Being a vegetarian and non-alcoholic, reviewing only veg dishes. Evening started with a chit-chat over drinks.Menu was a perfect balance of veg and non-veg options. Starters were about to serve and I was really looking forward for the Thecha Aloo. I had high expectations, but it turned out to be more like a potato roll with very mild thecha (green chilli paste). A bit disappointing for me...could have been more spicy! Taste could not justify the name.
Second Veg starter was Paneer Tikka. It was prepared nicely with average marination! Many a times, I found they have not managed to keep up the name of 'Hilton'. This dish could be given a miss!
Chef Japvir was very humble and 'desi' from heart. He made sure that we were enjoying our meals. He went out of the menu and served two more starters for vegetarians. First one was Palak Patta Chaat and Bina Pani ke Gol Gappe.
Palak Patta Chaat was served in a five sectioned wooden box in a very beautiful manner. Fried Palak Patta (Spinach) in 3 corners, Red chutney, Yoghurt in another, Sev in the middle. It was sort of DIY chaat, wherein, palak patta was to be topped with chutneys and sev to eat. However, traditional chaat taste was missing and dish was looking incomplete! I would suggest to add chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and coriander for the final output. As per my opinion, that would have tasted better. Also, the chickpea flour used to coat palak patta should be bit thick and with more spices like ajwain and heeng.
Servings were always unusal. Alike our next starter, Bina Pani ke Gol Gappe, which was sort of SPDP (Sev Potato Dahi Puri) served in Appam patra. It looked really tempting. However, it didn't inspire me to give a second bite!
I was really hoping to fill my appetite with the main course now. Paneer Lababdar and 12 ki Dal was on its way with Amritsari Kulche.
12 ki Dal again was attracting towards its name. Chef cleared that it got its name because its made on 12th floor! Quite amazing! 12 ki Dal is none other than the Dal Makhani. Cooked to perfection with right blend of spices was making this dish to eat again. It was drizzled with cream and had piquant flavour.
Amritsari Kulcha was served in a bread basket. Portions were quarters of a full sized parantha. It had dollop of white butter giving a traditional touch. First bite and it was yumm! Soft, yet crunchy. Perfect for my palate! Kulcha and 12 ki Dal was the life saver combo for me...:)
Service person came with a cooker in hand, found it raw but was their style to present the biryani so that when cooker open the aroma could be felt all over. Nice idea though! But with pressure cooker on your table, would you ever have that feel of eating at HILTON?
Jeera Rice were served and went well with Dal.
The name "Tiffin ka Halwa" made me curious and I was in my thoughts, how it would look like? Which halwa it would be? Again, all heaps of expectations came to ground when saw a very immature presentation of a dessert! Though, they must be having some 'traditional concept' in mind; but unfortunately it did not work for me. Taste was bland and we were unable to find the richness of Dal ka Halwa. All the elements right from ghee, sugar, dry fruits, roasting of dal were imbalanced. Richness of Dal ka Halwa was missing!
Jalandhar ki Kulfi was presented to us in a big glass but not big enough for the kulfi! It was falling out of the glass making stains all over. Difficult to eat but the portions which I could eat were nice. Bit of dry-fruits with malai was making me nostalgic to my childhood.
Sugar free Date fig and Mascarpone Ice Cream-Sounds royal but keeping the tradition, it was served in Kulhad (handless teracotta cup). It was all mundane.
I had very high expectations with the food here. But it all went for a toss!
Service:: Slow. Staff needs more training and attentiveness. Despite of many reminders they were unable to provide what we needed. Because of low lighting, they were themselves unable to identify the dish they were serving. I suggest the management to take a step ahead and atleast work on the lighting area.
We had lot of conversation with Executive Chef Japvir Singh Vohra and he was kind enough to take the criticism in a very polite manner. 0.5 marks extra for him! :)
Overall, it was fun evening to meet Zomato team and like minded food blogger friends. I wish I could give extra points for it!**This review is a narrative of my experience of a complimentary food on an invite from the Zomato