I was invited to check out Oktoberfest at 365 A.S, the contemporary lounge bar in Hyatt Regency, Chennai.
The moment I heard ‘Oktoberfest’, I was literally transported back in time by about 10 years and started to recollect my times in Germany. Some things are etched in memory forever, like the first onsite assignment, the first experience outside India and so on. To me, Germany was the first such opportunity. I went on to stay there for about a year and a half and during my stay, a trip to Munich during Oktoberfest is still very clear in memory. It was such an awesome experience to witness so many people drink under one tent. ‘Huge’ is an understatement! The waitresses in their traditional Bavarian costume, carrying up to 6 One-Litre Beer mugs in each hand was a sight to witness! It was nothing short of a carnival. When I heard there was something on a similar theme in Chennai, I was more than eager to check it out.
I reached the restaurant around 19:30 Hrs and met the manager Mr. Deepak who was kind enough to show me around, explain the whole theme, the various arrangements made, and helped me settle down. Firstly, this place is on the rooftop and nice tents are erected to replicate a feel of the actual event in Munich. I was introduced to Chef Manvinder Singh, who has in fact lived in Germany for quite some time. He patiently explained in detail all the items on the buffet spread. I also had a brief chat with Chef Roberto Zorzoli from Italy. Started to click some pictures of the various dishes on the spread and meanwhile I also indicated that my preference for the meal would be vegetarian and chicken 🙂
Right away I could spot variety of breads, the very famous pretzel, which is the traditional baked bread product seasoned with salt, a salad counter with German potato salad, roasted beetroot and orange salad, green beans and almondine, and the most eye-catchy display amidst them all was the honey roast pork leg from the carving station. Traditional dishes like German style beer batter fish, crusted potato and sun-dried tomato, colorful medley of seasonal vegetables, and Chicken schnitzel with sauerkraut was on display. After clicking pictures of these dishes, I settled down on the brightest table which I realized was a big mistake during the course of the meal. 🙂 It was so bright and hot that I was literally sweating all throughout the meal. Anyway, the people in the next immediate tables were having a lovely time and were probably wondering why the hell was I sweating so much!
There was a live Barbeque grill where all the varieties of sausages like Bratwurst, Currywurst, and Bockwurst and lamb ribs were continuously grilled and made available. Chicken sausage was there too 🙂
I started with a beer called ‘Scheider Weisse’. Somehow I haven’t heard of this beer until today. I must have tasted quite a few brands in Germany like Licher, Bitburger, Warsteiner, Krombacher, etc in and around Frankfurt, Kölsch from Cologne, Paulaner, Hofbräu(HB) from Munich, which is most common in Oktoberfest. Anyway, the beer tasted good and that’s all mattered ! 😉
I was served a couple of chicken sausages along with the mustard sauce, and it tasted wonderful. The pretzel was good with beer. Chicken schnitzel was a bit hard to my liking, probably because of too much time on heat on the buffet counter. Sauerkraut, which is basically fermented cabbage tasted good with the schnitzel. Then came Chicken Skewers. This was absolutely soft and succulent grilled chicken and the slightly-sweet peanut sauce along with it was amazing. A half portion of a thin-crust chicken pizza followed. This was also good with just right amount of cheese and toppings.
In addition to the bottled beer, they had four counters for draft beer. However I did not try that and opted for another Schneider Weisse.
I was quite full by this time and requested for a very small portion of desserts. I got a little of everything and that made it difficult to finish. There was Apfelstrudel, which is basically pastry covering with apple filling. Not too sweet, with the right flavour, it was just perfect for me. The Chocolate Salami was too tempting that for a minute, I forgot to click a picture and took a bite 🙂 However it was a little too sweet to my liking, and the same with Chocolate Mousse.
With this I finished my dinner, and had a very memorable dining experience recollecting my wonderful days in Germany. Thanks to Mr. Vivek, who waited on my table and make it even better!
This event is from September 20th to October 5th, 2014. Unlimited packages start from Rs. 1444+ taxes. You can find the actual advertisement for this event here.
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