Mahec by Satish Arora – Kebab Festival Review
Mahec by Satish Arora for the real Indian experience…
Indian cuisine is a treasure trove of a diverse cultural medley that speaks volumes about its people and influences from the outside world. With its distinctive approach to cooking methods, use of fresh ingredients, and consumption of exotic spices it stands out as one of the most desired cuisines in the world.
Mahec by Satish Arora is an enchanting Indian eatery located inside the iconic Le Meridien Hotel Airport Road. Nestled within a lovely open veranda surrounded by long trees and plants welcoming a variety of birds, Mahec by Satish Arora is reminiscent of a romantic Indian summer, always warm and forever welcoming. Inside, the restaurant has more modern vibes and traditional accents, with modern art on the walls, huge blue chairs, and classic gold plates.
On a trip to discover Mahec by Satish Arora restaurant, and it’s coveted ongoing Kebab Festival (from 12th July to 27th July) we headed to the Le Meridien Hotel Airport Road Dubai. Kebab is a cooked meat dish that comes in a variety of proteins. In Indian cuisine, Kebab holds a special place as the preferred dish to be served to the kings and the ruling elite. Today it is associated with festivities and celebrations and a part of almost all the main course during special feasts. Upon arrival at Mahec by Satish Arora, we were treated with the essential Indian hospitality, warm welcoming faces, and delightfully hospitable attitude. Once seated our pre-starter or the mandatory palate cleanser was ‘Mango Panna Pani Puri’, as summer’s the season for mangoes in the subcontinent, the freshly sourced starter was a prelude to the mains we were expecting. Subtly sour and delightfully sweet the Mango Panna Pani Puri was a creative take on the usual pani puri sans the jerksome tangy taste. The concoction was pleasantly delicious and can be turned into a drink in its own way.
After a quick start, we had a chance for a tete a tete with the Chef Satish Arora himself. A veteran of the culinary world, Chef Satish Arora was in town to look after the menu of the Kebab Festival with a team of talented and workaholic head Chef Asif Khan. Having worked for 50 years at the iconic Taj Hotel in India, Chef Satish Arora has proudly served world leaders and celebrities like Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth to name a few. Recalling his culinary journey half a century back, Chef Satish Aurora divulged a tale of the yesteryear impassioned with his love for food and the art of cooking great food.
As our conversation went along the starters made their way to our table, this time an avant-garde mix of flavors into an Indian base was on the plate. The Chatpata Hungama included three interesting nibbles that oozed with Chef Satish’s creativity and experience. The Khasta Pizza had a savory fritter base topped with paneer and masala cheese, was a mind-blowing creation. Kadak Seekh was a rich tasting kebab fried in tempura batter with cream cheese filling had a mellow and juicy taste. The Tawa Khurchan can be summed up as desi foie gras, as a delicate mix of lamb liver and kidney, it is a delicacy for those who enjoy eating offals.
While we savored the starters, our conversation with Chef Satish Arora took a more interesting turn. We asked him what he thinks about molecular gastronomy and the purpose of starters and appetizers. To our surprise Chef Satish isn’t a fan of molecular gastronomy, for he believes that at the end of the day it is the taste that matters not the eye-catching fete of cooking techniques. According to Chef Satish starters triggers the imagination, and excites the senses for more. It works as a preface to what’s next.
And on the same note, we felt we were really getting excited about the main course. Our main course came just in time from the delectable menu of the Kebab Festival KHAS BHOJAN – Non-veg kebabs including Nariyal Chettinad Kebab, Boti Kebab, Curry Patta Jhinga. It wouldn’t be justified to talk about the kebab in a collective manner, for every single item was bursting with a psychedelic mix of spices and flavors. The Nariyal Chettinad Kebab was startlingly delicious and combined the 19 variety of Chettinad spices. The curry patta Jhinga (Prawn with curry leaves) was fragrant and spiced perfectly and Boti Kebabs was simply tasty and had a dominant smoky flavor. From the vegetarian variety, we tried Tali Arbi crispy fried Colocasia Taro roots, being a carnivore I must say that it tasted really nice and filling.