Winters are filled with food festivals, contests, trails etc. Even the closeted of the foodies enjoy the menus on display from street food to special restaurant in the cities. As a food blogger winter is your season where you go and get your pen rolling in all the palatable recipes in the city. The Axis Bank gourmet fest is one such festival which is across the country for all food lovers at selected restaurants where chefs structure a menu just for their customers.
In Delhi, my visit to the Qutab hotel where Zerzura, the multi cuisine restaurant with a mix of Moroccan and Mediterranean rests. A quaint place with an amazing ambience welcomes you. However, for me a restaurant is underwhelming when it does not have a single soul at 8 PM on a ladies night. Zerzura’s staff is friendly however, too many people trying to make the customer feel comfortable can become overwhelming for the customer’s experience. Additionally, when the staff fails to inform a lady customer about their ladies’ night you get eerie about your experience in the restaurant.
The big restaurant with its great ambience fails to impress with its food. When asked the sous chef and the manager are clueless, about the food and the way the menu has been prepared. My small chat with the friendly sous chef’ was about the importance of serving the food rather than the food itself. The restaurant reeks of mismanaged staff with no clarity. The food mirrors this attitude where it lacks imagination, is under seasoned or lacks any kind of taste. A restaurant which serves Moroccan and Mediterranean there was no sight of hummus, baba ghanoush, harissa spiced meats etc; when a plate of hummus was requested by me a dry lack lustre chick peas paste with no sight of olive oil or taste was presented.
The starters even though impressed on print lacked any effort, the Jujeh kebabs were just a run off the mill chicken tikka and the Zatar Chicken fingers were over cooked pieces of dried chicken morsels thrown on a place to make starters, the vegetables which accompanied them were not seasoned and felt they were there to just fill a plate of food. The ‘chicken bulgar and zaffran broth’ was under seasoned and had too many burnt garlic for my taste.
The main course of couscous and saffron tagine were a fight between a beautifully cooked cous cous with chicken whose taste had been murdered in the kitchen. The chicken majboos on the other hand was well made and had all the taste necessary but the cook had managed to break the beautiful grains of rice into scattered pieces making it look like left over rice from yesterday’s dinner!
The dessert at the end was the best thing on the menu with their in-house basil ice-cream. The staff was cordial but they still need to be trained as how to take criticism. Zerzura might have put in the effort to make a restaurant with great ambience it still needs to work on the food and the staff to make it into a restaurant worth visiting.