An invite to Vasco’s is of course, glee! A bloggers’ table was organised for the ongoing Korean Food Festival. It’s being held for the next 15 days, till the 26th of August for dinners only which is between 6.30PM and 11.30PM all week. Chef Jun Yeol Kim has flown in from the Millennium Seoul Hilton especially for this festival. He was super involved in the whole event and made sure we felt a part of this cultural fest. Here are a few things the executive chef at Vasco’s, Chef Achal Aggarwal and Chef Jun Yeol Kim said about the event.
Located in Hilton, this restaurant quite lives up to the splendour in terms of ambience, size and food. Lively lights from the huge chandeliers which have candle shaped lamps, plush chairs, and well-spaced tables make the place look classy. It can seat quite a large number of patrons being really spacious and well arranged. This restaurant is perfect any kind of occasion, be it a formal meeting or an informal celebratory dinner. Flags of South Korea all around the place amplify the whole fest vibes. There was a special ‘Nanta’ by the staff and chefs there; a show with kitchen equipment where they hit it all in a rhythm. Native to Korea, it was an added theatre that showed their joy towards food.
The buffet has a WIDE range of cuisines as always. The Korean fest is a special part of their regular ‘Global Cuisine’ so as to suit all of their patrons. The Korean buffet consisted of a variety of their authentic dishes and a live counter for Galbi and Sundae. Other than this they have the usual Teppanyaki live counter, pasta station, cheese board, sushi, Indian Buffet and a Continental buffet, ending with a good dessert spread.
‘Milkis’ was the welcome drink; a concoction of milk, Sprite and mint, it was pretty strong with a huge hit of mint, unique and refreshing. Salads are an integral part of the Korean cuisine and this was quite in abundance here with Shrimp, Fish, Beef, Papaya, ‘Dotorimuk’ which is a vegetarian Jelly made with acorn starch with a Soy sauce dressing (despite being mushy and bland, the idea seemed ingenious!), Korean Bellflower (Platycodon) and such other exotic flavours! These were majorly pickled or had a soy base in taste with sesame seeds included in almost all dishes.
All salads heroed the main meat/vegetable and the flavours well complimented this. Loved their Jat Saeu Muchim (shrimp with pinenut salad) and Yukhoe (Beef Tartar) the best. There were a couple of porridges as well; ‘Miyeok Guk’, a seaweed porridge with sticky rice and ‘Hobakjuk’, a pumpkin porridge with chicken, of which the latter flawlessly stole the show being hearty and wholesome with tender moist chicken. The Korean soup of the day was ‘Dobukuk’, a punchy bean curd soup.
For mains, we had quite a few options from the Korean table, including their Barbeque which I felt was the best of the night. We had Chicken, Lamb and Beef in these and each of it had a unique flavour and level of meatiness on it. While the ‘Dak Yangnyeom Gooi’ (Grilled Chicken Leg) was slightly sweet and smokey with slightly burnt edges, the Lamb Grill totally stole the show, being super tender, well burnt (almost all over) and perfectly fitting the description.
The ‘Galbi’ with beef was another smokin’ hot deliciously grilled meat, slightly on the spicier side. Other than this there was the ‘Mero Gooi’ (Fish in teriyaki sauce) which was tender and flavourful. Tried two of the vegetarian sides from the buffet; ‘Beosut Bokkeum’ (Sauteed mushrooms) which was spicy and rich with umami packed base gravy and the ‘Kamja’, a sauteed sweet potato with spices which was quite unique to the rest of their spread. The ‘Japchae’ (glass noodles) was yum! Ultra soft and melt-in-the-mouth noodles perfectly sauteed with soy and veggies. The ‘Yach Bogeum Bab’ was quite alright too, sticky fried rice with veggies. We were then served a glass of their Soy Spice Chai Latte which was spiced with cinnamon and was soothing after the meal. I felt it was quite watery though.
The dessert spread, as always, was enticing. The Korean desserts on display were the ‘Hotteok’, a warm filled pancake covered with sesame and ‘Yakgwa’, a soft biscuit made with honey and sesame oil, Both these weren’t too sweet and had a savory hint in them which I totally loved. Other than these specialty desserts, from the other desserts, the Blueberry Mousse and Opera Cake were super delicious! We also tried many of their pastas and Sushi, all of which were very well prepared.
The service was impeccably courteous and warm. Every dish was wholly described before being served. This scrumptious spread is priced at 1900/- plus taxes. “Exotic cuisine is best garnished with culture” rightfully said, vouched by the experience. For the next 15 days, Vasco’s is hosting this fest for us to experience the best of Korea in their space.