desi Street Food – Banta Gola Festival At The Ancient Barbecue
Now you must be wondering when did I start going to food festivals and writing food critique ? Well, note again dear reader, note the rustic, rugged, 4 letter word that forms the headline of this post just above this paragraph. Yes, you got it that rustic, rugged word is ” desi ” which got my attention when I received an invitation to check out the desi Street Food Festival . The moment I read my favorite 4 letter word, I was interested in checking it out. Then started the follow up by the PR rep of the restaurant Neha Bahl, who emailed me a few times about the same each time giving a teaser about the festival.
But the final push came from Wife Jee, who had plans of her own for the afternoon with her girlfriends and
kicked sent me out of the home. So here I was at The Ancient Barbecue, with no idea what to expect. The Gurgaon Branch of The Ancient Barbecue is in Goodearth Center , South City II, Gurgaon.
The restaurant is spacious with a live Kitchen where you can see the high octane action in the kitchen. I am a big fan of see through the kitchen as it gives a sense of confidence on the hygiene and freshness of the food in a restaurant. But as I was at the Ancient Barbecue more for the Banta Gola Festival I focused my energies at the desi Street Food that Chef Ashish Massey created for us.
With the increase in urbanization and spread of Pizza and burger joints a lot of our traditional street food of India, are now confined to old part of cities like Chandni Chowk. So the best part of this Banta Gola Festival was that one can get the mouth-watering street foods of both Mumbai and Delhi under one roof in a comfortably air-conditioned atmosphere.
Those of you who are not familiar with Banta Gola then I suggest you go to the old part of your city in India and check out the uniquely shaped Soda bottle ( or you can check the image below ) that are sealed with the help of a small plastic ball. The fun part is when you want to drink the soda, you press the ball at the top of the bottle and it goes down and you can drink the soda.
The Gola in the festival means the ice gola we had as kids. These golas are kind of ice lolly made in front of you by crushing ice and pressing it and then pouring different colored syrups on the same. The juicy sweetness of the syrup, combined with salts and the freezing sensation created by the ice gives you a totally different feeling that only those born in the 70s and 80 will know. For we were the kids who regularly had food at the fairs and melas in our towns and never got sick even after eating all the street food.
The menu itself has some all-time favorites of both Delhi and Mumbai street food. Representing Mumbai was the favorite street food of Mumbaikars as well as South Bombay crowd the internationally world-famous “ Vada Pav”. The healthy twist here was that the chef has created healthy Oat Meal Pav, that is equally yummy but much healthier than your everyday pav.
I really liked the Oat Meal pao and tried it with green chutney and the chilly powder while sipping one of the colorful sodas with it.
The Ram Laddu we had are best relished with grated radishes and mint chutney lavishly sprinkled over the laddus. These laddus are made of lentils and the batter is deep-fried yet somehow I have never felt heavy after eating the same.
The ambiance of the restaurant tries to bring a bit of old world charm with lots of lights and to add a whiff of nostalgia the old gramophone at one end of the dining hall adds to the mood.
It was a well spent afternoon trying some good street food without toiling in the streets and the cool Sodas created in flavors like Narangi, Kala Khatta, and Pan added to the overall experience. I liked the street food so much that I did not tried anything from the main course, but remember I went there only for the street food.
My personal favorite among the items was the Oatmeal Pav with Vada, and among the cold drinks, I liked the Kala Khatta the most.
If you like the desi Street food and want to enjoy it in a good atmosphere then you can visit the Banta Gola Festival at the Ancient Barbecue in Gurgaon or Noida.
Dates: The Banta Gola Festival is on till the end of April .
Cost: The Buffet starts at Rs 499 /- per person + Taxes and there is no extra charge for street food that is part of Banta Gola festival and it complimentary as part of the buffet.
Zomato Link: The Ancient Barbecue
Parking: Ample ground, as well as basement parking, is available in the complex I visited
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