A special day deserves a top notch place. Being my birthday i decided to go to Trident Rightly so, this place is officially not open as yet.
From the outside, there is no bling about Trident. The moment you take your first turn into the drive way, it starts to sink in like its a 5 star. The drive way is beautifully done. Properly bisected paths beautifully lit, lead to the foyer.
Right from the first step, you will be stepping on Italian marble mopped spotless every now and then. The huge oriental lilies flower arrangement cant be misses. You'd have to be blind to not see that. Its more like in your face arrangement but very beautiful flowers i must say.
All i can say is the theme of the decor looks more like "decadence"
Amara the coffee shop at Trident is located on the road facing side, so would Kanak and Tuscany ( i presume ). Kanak is their Indian specialty and Tuscany is their Italian specialty. I wonder why every 5 star has to have only Indian and Italian ?? Marriott has Shakahari and Alto Vino and i am tired of these cuisines.
Never the less we were seated in Amara on the road facing side. Seating is adequately spaced and it doesn't feel like the neighbor is encroaching on your space.
The buffet spread is HUGE to say the least. From what i remember, there were a lot of to-do salad items, some pre-made salads and about 4-5 varieties of bread rolls. There were 2 types of soups, 3 starters - veg and 2 starters non-veg along with a live counter for grilled chicken and pizza.
The main course was also a long list. We had lamb moussaka, haleem , tenderloin Korean style, beef lasagna, butter chicken, and 2 other dishes i forget. The standard hyderabadi - veg/kofta/chicken biryani were also present along with mirchi ka salan, then you had a mandatory paneer preparation, french beans in burnt butter garlic sauce, mix vegetable quiche and a few other dishes
It has been such a long time since i heard mirchi ka salan. Almost 3 years - no where in pune did i get to hear. I almost forgot about it until the steward told me that it was there and i was like how did that happen !
This was what i saw before i started eating, oh - the dessert bar
well - tiramisu, cut fruits, pastries of 5 types, malpua, baklava, caramel custard, - the list is long - pretty long - cant remember all of them
Service wise - oh, we had 6 people waiting on 3 of us. It was too polite. Someone to hold your plate, someone to pull your chair , someone to make you sit, someone to constantly keep refilling your starter dish. I was not used to such service so much so that it was sort of an overdose, but i liked being pampered once in a while - hell everybody does.
What i noticed as the difference was that each food section ( veg main couse, non-veg main course, dessert, starter, salad bar ) had a chef monitoring it very closely and taking non-intrusive feed back from patrons about it. I like such an effort to maintain food quality but then you end up having 8-10 ppl around the food and thats not exactly a dood idea.
From what i ate - lamb moussaka, butter chicken, chicken biryani, grilled chicken, fish in black bean sauce...the food was decent. Every time i dine at a 5 star coffee shop my belief in the fact that eating at their specialty restaurants is always a better experience and value for money is strengthened.
This is not because the food isnt good, its because once you have eaten at 5 star buffets regularly, you sort of start to understand the pattern of food served and that is very limited given the fact that you have to dish out an entire spread from all cuisines. Same was the case here.
After having eaten at Spice Kitchen/Cafe Momo at Marriott and Bidri a couple of times, the food spectrum is almost the same safe a few differences here and there.
Surprisingly there was no beverage served along with food, no complimentary of anything at all at the start of the meal, that was a blemish in an other wise great evening.
The dessert bar deserves a special mention. The tiramisu was top notch - the best i have eaten so far. .The variety was awesome and so was the preparation.I was regularly served custard instead of mascarpone cheese but this was not the case. The tiramisu was great so was the caramel custard. It did not have that burnt after taste that most custards carry.
I have seen spice kitchen grow during my time at pune. They had a similar setup when they started their buffets at 555 all inclusive and as time progressed, the dessert bar was more of a joke when i compare it to what it was when it started. It remains to be seen what happens at Amara. If they start toning down their spreads and jacking up prices, i am sure patrons will start toning down their visits because it will no longer be a value for money deal for anyone.
All in all the evening set me back by 2500. What they lacked in food was made up by hospitality and service.
ps: pictures here were downloaded from tridents facebook page just for visual identification of how the place looks from inside. No intention of pilferage or ownership of any pictures