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I seem to have a French Connection. Right from selecting Paris to be my honeymoon destination 14 years ago to preferring Chanel No. 10 over any other perfume in the world – if it’s French, it has to be mine.

So when Novotel invited me to be a part of their French Cuisine Festival I was not the one to pass it up. Thus despite a hectic week and a busy Saturday I decided to drive down to the other end of the city to taste the French delicacies. The drive was arduous but as the lovely PR lady Isha Sehgal said: “the food would be worth it.” True to her words the food was mind-blowing and one of the finest I have had in ages.

So what did we start with? Ask me and my choice would always be wine and bread. The French, in my opinion, make some of the finest breads possible and an array of it was on our platters. Paired with some fine French wine they made for a brilliant start. However, the starters followed and being a fish person my obvious choice was Cocktail de Crevettes A la Tomate et Loeuf which constituted sweet water shrimp, cherry tomato and soft boiled eggs. Slow-cooked food, subtle in taste is what defines French cuisine – the evening was still young and we had just begun. My partner opted for twice-cooked Chicken Liver Pâté with Port Pearls and Garden Greens – a fine accompaniment with the Chardonnay.

Photo: Captain Surojit D. Biswas

The classic simple French Onion Soup is what followed next – and then we jumped straight to the main course. It was quite late and so we decided to stick to our known meats or chickens. The choice for both of us was Sage Roast Corn Fed Chicken with Butter Poached Leeks, Grilled William Pears and Pommes Dauphinoise. Again chardonnay was the wine of choice. Let me tell you here that the chef had done a meticulous planning of the menu and each dish was paired either with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

As the famous French saying goes: “Dinner is not what you do in the evening before something else – dinner is the evening.” Our whole evening that day was dedicated to dinner and how could it not have a sweet end? For a change we decided to try all that was being offered on the dessert menu namely Chocolate Spearmint Mousse, Pear Tarte Tatin and finally the heavenly Baked Alaska. As they say desserts worth dying for – well dying or not, the desserts (and off course the rest too) were certainly worth the drive.

The French Festival is on from 14th July to 23rd July and it is not to be missed!