In every city that I’ve travelled to in India, there’s always been some popular street food to greet me. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that street food is truly localised. But is it luxurious too? We spoke to some luxury hotels that are favourite haunts of street food lovers to find out and were surprised to learn that street food is much-loved in its ultra-luxe form too. But do they taste as good as some of the most popular roadside joints in tiny lanes and bylanes that street food lovers swear by? Turns out, it’s better!
Be it puchkas from Kolkata, litti chokha from Bihar or daulat ki chaat from the bylanes of Delhi, street food has always won hearts with its humbleness and great taste. As a country known for its diverse cultures, our street food is diverse too, with each dish standing out for its local or regional taste, flavour, ingredients and method of preparation. It’s not surprising then that when visitors from the world around set foot in India, getting a taste of this culinary labyrinth of tastes and flavours usually features on their to-do list. While the more adventurous head straight for the roadside stalls, others settle for high-end restaurants and luxury hotels which also serve lip-smacking street food, with a sprinkling of luxury on the side. Don’t believe us? Let us tell you more.
Food pop-ups, festivals, themed-parties, wedding buffets and corporate meetings with foreign delegates have all seen Indian street food take centre stage and turn fans out of many a guest. From jalebi and fafda to sev puri and chole kulche, high-end luxury hotels do it better with fresh produce, hygienic preparations and appealing presentations that differentiate their offerings from roadside stalls.
Chef Anuraag Narsingani of JW Marriott Hotel Pune says, “While the love for chaat is a given, at JW Marriott Hotel Pune, our diverse guests love to relish the variety of street food that we have curated from different parts of the country. Business travellers and vacationing families like to indulge in the array of street food at our luxury dining venues. We’ve also begun to reconstruct and customise these dishes according to various requirements to provide an experience to food lovers who have travelled extensively and want to indulge in local and global delicacies.”
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January - February 2020