When I think of Arab Cuisines, I imagine the generosity of the flavors, fragrances and the spreads. So when the restaurant attempts the food festival of this region, I expect the colorful showcase and the lavish varieties of dishes on the menu. The Eatery, the all day dining restaurant in Four points by Sheraton Pune, is hosting Arabian Nights, the middle eastern food festival from June 6th-15th. My foodie gang, Pune Foodiez and I were invited for the festival.
I have been to other restaurants in Four Points by Sheraton before but I’ve never checked out the Eatery until now. I’m quite impressed with how spacious it was. The décor is simple and minimal.
But when it comes to the food, I really do think the restaurant should do a lot more to make this a festival. The menu is a mix between Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. I would love it if the restaurant decides to go bold and do it all Middle Eastern menu.
The array of Mezze includes Hummus, Moutabel, Tabouleh, Labneh, Tahina dressing and tomato and pepper relish. Hummus was grainy, and even the texture of labneh was not right. We were quite disappointed that there’re no ready pita bread and lavash to go with them.
We also tried some salad; lamb with beans, chicken salad and fish with potato.
Some of the starters were quite good. I love the beef cutlet. It was so well-season, cooked to perfection and wrapped in smoky flavor. Chicken Kebab and lamb Kebab were delicious too.
The marinated meat was skewered between colorful bell peppers and grilled; the lamb kebab was especially succulent.
There are also a few choices of vegetarian starters, but I was never a fan of vegetarian dish anyway.
Chicken Shawarma was too dried and lack of flavors. A bit more sauce and pickles in it would have helped lighten up the dish.
For main course, we tried Dolmas, Bourekas, Arabic Spicy Potato with Garlic and Lemon, Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Lamb Salona. The too intense flavor of Dolmas was difficult to handle. The Bourekas was a bit under cooked. And to be honest, the spread of the Middle Eastern main course was too limited, and we would love to have more varieties of dishes to try. I did try some of the Indian main course, and they were quite decent.
The beautiful spread of dessert didn’t work out so well. Again, the desserts were the mix between Indian, continental and middle eastern. At the end of the meal the chef prepared hot and fresh baklava rolls for us. I do prefer the traditional version with layers of crispy pastry and nuts drenched in syrup or honey. Saying that, for these baklava rolls I liked how the pastry cooked so well until perfectly crispy, but the filling needed more flavor, and the baklava should have more syrup seeping through it.
Now I should be clear that the Eatery does serve good food on their regular menu. But judging entirely on the Arabian Food Festival, it needs a lot of improvement in terms of varieties and flavors. I still think that if the restaurant wants to do food festival, they should give it 100% and be conspicuous about the entire menu.
Arabian Nights Food Festival
Venue: The Eatery,
Four Points by Sheraton, Nagar Road
Price: 850 + Taxes
Date: 6th – 15th June, 2014
Timings: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.