When you get invited to be a part of SelectED Culinary Trail hosted by the team behind the likes of Select City Walk, you know that you are in for a treat. Spread over the weekend at Heritage Village Resorts and Spa, Manesar, this was supposed to be a weekend of pampering, luxury and indulgence.
The group and the team
SelectED Events & Dining is the latest venture of the Select Group which has the likes of Select Citywalk Mall under its feather. With the mission to offer trendsetting food concepts with a customized approach to ensure that your event and catering expectations are exceeded and memorable for you and your guests – SelectED is one of India’s finest niche outdoor luxury catering companies.
Headed by CEO Ishaan Sarkar – a Chef by profession and foodie by passion, he brings his experience of the last 2 decades from the food industry. His exceptional capability made him the obvious choice as the Events Director at the Common Wealth games. He has this unique talent of providing meticulous attention to detail.
Director Culinare – Chef Gaurav Mathur is the brain behind all the innovations and menu design. With over a decade of culinary experience – he has mastered the art of cooking various regional and international cuisines.
The passion shows in his work – he told us the stories of how he would get up at 3 in the morning to learn recipes from traditional people while he was working in Kolkata.
Over a cup of tea, we learned the nuances of the business – a dish on the plate looks beautiful, but we generally ignore the research and efforts that go into creating/innovating it.
SelectED services are available for all events –
Intimate family dinners,
They specialize in tailor-made customized packages, to suit the occasion and the clientele. Their tagline, ‘Create magic through food’ echoes their ideology and their commitment to make every event extraordinary with innovative food and stylized presentation.
The Experience – SelectED Culinary Trail
The venue for the SelectED Culinary trail over 1N/2D was Heritage Village Resort and Spa, Manesar – vast acres of lush greenery – a Rajasthani haveli style palatial resort located on NH8.
As beautifully the resort has been done up, a special care has been taken for the palate as well– a host of restaurants – the international multi cuisine Jharokha, rustic Barahandi, Surya Mahal – specializing in Indian & Mughlai food, Bhangra Beat for the Mediterranean, oriental and Middle Eastern cuisine – give you all the options you are looking for.
On arrival, we received a warm traditional welcome and were escorted to our room. It was time for the first surprise – a beautiful cupcake bouquet personalized with photos was awaiting us.
We were too amazed by the personalization when our eyes rested on the complimentary bottle of red wine.
The saying that –“little things matter” was taken up a notch higher, but we were promptly told by the manager, this is just the starting!
The rooms were very comfortable, with gorgeous frangipanis adoring the suites from each side. We were too eager to come back from lunch and have some rest after the drive.
The lunch was hosted at Surya Mahal – the Indian & Mughlai restaurant of the facility.
The dishes were light but flavorful – I ate almost everything, but I never felt bloated. The Bengali Fish Curry was awesome, and the Jamaican chicken was an interesting dish with the chicken perfectly cooked and the slight sweetness balancing perfectly with the spices.
It was just over an hour when we were already heading to the high tea session.
Although we hadn’t digested the food we had for lunch, the first look at the arrangement and the dishes made us hungry again!
We were quite impressed with the variety of items that were on the menu. It ranged from the street food from Mumbai – a host of bakery outputs – a twisted version of Delhi’s chaat – a variety of cookies & crunchies & some organic delicacies!
Bhel Puri Interactive – the street food with a twist – crisp puffed rice with the perfect mix of the traditional ingredients, Kala Khatta Gola – Interactive was a brilliant adaptation of the street side favorite sans the hygiene concerns. Laccha Tokri Chaat, Dahi Bhalla & Gol Gappa a’la SelectED came in from the Delhi corner.
Though the first two were brilliant adaptations – the Gol Gappa a’la SelectED deserves a special mention – perfect sooji Gol Gappas – with Tabouleh – and guess what for the paani – Spiced Fanta and Salsa! I need to confess – I was skeptical about trying this out, but ended up having almost 10 of it – absolute marvel!
The bakery section hosted a lot to spoil us for choices – Mediterranean Vegetable Pizza, Smoked Lamb & Mint Empanadas, Tea Infused Cup Cakes & Spiced Carrot Madeleines – to name a few.
Though we couldn’t taste everything after that tryst with Gol Gappas, but what couldn’t hit out palate, hit our visionary sense!
Each item was a treat to the eyes and the ones we taste were a gift to the palate. Just look at those cute Tea Infused Cup Cakes – aren’t those cute!
Cocktail event was perfectly arranged – rounds of finger food on display and constantly served. The bartender made sure that all the drinks were made to perfection as per the likes of the people and the finger-licking-finger-food just added the icing to the cake.
Squid Peri Peri, Melon-Ham Pops, Trio Nachos was some of the stars of the event.
The ‘perfect’ Dinner
Having already being bowled over again and again by the meticulous planning by the team, we were on a high (not by the alcoholJ) as soon as we entered the dining arena.
Adorned in white with golden lights – it was nothing short of a spectacle. Personalized name tent cards & personalized menus – shows the levels to which the team went to make the event a memorable, unique experience.
Ample time was given in between each course to let the conversation flow. The menu was carefully crafted keeping in mind both the vegetarians & non vegetarians. Everything was perfect – from the arrangement of cutlery on the table – to the lighting and temperature of the room.
Sarson Mousse with Makki Biscotti – as it was served; we could not stop ourselves praising the skills of Chef Gaurav and his team for beautifully crafting the highly popular dish in such an innovative way. This was accompanied by a short glass of Chaach as we call it.
The second course was asked for – with interesting options like Grilled Lobster, String Hopper with Saffron Gravy vs. Tandoori Atlantic Salmon with Basil Pesto & Quesadillas with Kadahi Sabzi Ratatouille vs. Stuffed baby aubergenes with tamarind salsa, it was a difficult choice to make.
Each dish was a marvel in looks and taste and just goes to say the level of exploration and planning that go behind each one.
Sugarcane Granita was served as a palate cleanser and it was something unique, which we had never had before and was remarkable.
The third course was essentially the main course and we again had a choice – interesting combinations like Murgh Nehari teamed with Pulled Chicken Khichadi & New Zealand Lamb Chops with Aam Papad & Kokum Jus. Again the dishes were tantalizing to look at and tasteful to the last bite.
The dessert platter consisted of a Gulab Jamun tart, Ghevar deconstructed with Mascaporne on the site and Rose Petal Kulfa in a chocolate bowl. The platter reflected an art of awe; apt to end a delectable grand meal.
The concept of Sunday brunch came in because Sunday’s are meant relaxed, delayed mornings. So the surprise that awaited us was a ball of an affair. It was an alfresco brunch, delicious food arranged aesthetically in the greenest of surroundings.
As Chef Gaurav suggested, they had planned an extensive menu which included items from both breakfast and lunch. Starting from Breakfast rolls, Bao bun wraps to khichadi, haleem and biryani; you felt just spoilt for choice. Ample care was taken for usage of healthy organic produces.
The raviolis from the pasta station were absolutely yummy and a special mention to the haleem that was extremely delicious. There were even Ghar ka khana and Japanese food on display. You just name it, and you had it on your table.
The stations for Cold cuts, seasonal fruits, and desserts were a bevy of attraction. Rasmalai and Strawberry compote, Pomegranate Lime mousse, Fresh fruit sorbet and Mango Basil Entremets were unique innovative desserts which we do not get to try out much. The fresh fruit sorbet was refreshing and the mango basil extremet was a favorite amongst all.
A fun-filled, pampered, relaxed weekend came to an end and it was time to bid adieu to the wonderful team whose hospitality would be remembered for days to come. Our parting gift, was a beautifully crafted Belgian Chocolate Cake with Kundan artwork on it. A befitting regal adieu to the majestic weekend we had!
To get your events ‘SelectED’ just get in touch –
m +91 95607 86491 | t +91 11 46162644
Select Office Tower, 7th Floor,
Select CITYWALK, Saket, New Delhi – 110017