Kathmandu, May 6, 2016: On the Â outdoor restaurant of Soaltee Crown Plaza, Kathmandu you suddenly start hearing Indian songs from old Indian movies and the â€œKhatiyaâ€ and small roadside stalls you come across in the Shikh villages of India.
The decoration of the place in typical Punjabi style with posters from old classical Hindi and Punjabi gives you the feeling that you have entered Punjab itself. But, donâ€™t get confused, itâ€™s Soaltee Crowne Plaza and you have entered â€˜Singh Da Dhabaâ€™.
â€œThis place is decorated in this style to give Dhaba theme from Punjab itself,â€ says Anupama Acharya Maharjan, Assistant Manager of Marketing and Public Relations at the Crowne Plaza. â€œThis is the third iteration of the Dhaba Food Festival we are having at the hotel.â€
Dhaba of Punjab is making a big impression at the Crowne Plaza. Intercontinental Food Festival with the Dhaba theme is happening since the last two weeks. People are gathering to join the food fest, prepared by the chefs trained by the chefs of Punjab make everything from papar to tandoor. The Gosht was a family favorite says Akira who has been a fan of brand Crowne Plaza for as long as she can remember. She said the desserts are delicious, â€œI have a sweet tooth so I love the koolfi and the rasamalai.â€
Yubaraj Pokhrel, Executive Chef at the hotel says that they have conducted the festival at this time to make the guests feel the environment more like Punjab itself. â€œItâ€™s not too hot nor too cold. This is how Punjab is,â€ said he. â€œSo we conducted the festival around this time.â€
He further said that the loyal customers themselves request the hotel to organize such festivals. â€œWe are conducting these festivals to meet the advice and expectations of our loyal and regular customers. The special thing about this festival is that we have added lots of items just for this duration. For this we have chefs with experiences on Dhaba and the recipe that are part of it and a dedicated team to coordinate the festival,â€ he added.
When asked why the dhaba theme, Pokhrel described the food culture across India is so diverse but perhaps the best are the dhabas. They are usually for truck drivers and these are out for a cross country trips, for people willing to have meal at late nights, the food culture of these dhabas are very country like and traditional. They are the small hotels where you can sleep on a khatiya outside. Plus, we have used clay utensils to make flavor content authentic.
The festival, as the organizers say is especially targeted for the corporate customers. â€œBut, anyone can come and enjoy the festival. We have tried to maintain the price of the full buffet course very low. For corporate clients, we have a provision of 1 free course on every 10 individuals from the organization,â€ said Balram Pathak, Food and Beverage chief at the hotel. â€œWeâ€™re doing this to address the growing corporate culture in Kathmandu. And, at the same time staffs from an organization get to interact and socialize more with each other which ultimately helps the company grow itself since the employees will feel more attached towards the organization and will get more friendlier to each other. It ultimately helps the company growth and leads to further prosperity of the organization,â€ he said.
â€œBeing pioneer and leading hotel in the country, we are closely watched by people in the industry. So, we are organizing these types of food festivals to maintain the impression that every activities of Soaltee are exemplary,â€ Pathak Opined.
The 3-week long festival that started on April 25th will run till May 14th.
By:Â Sarker Shams Bin Sharif
The writer is a Honours Graduate in English from Rajshahi University and is currently working as an editorial intern at Glocalkhabar.com