The past week has been one that has redefined the meaning of gluttony. The new description, as will be entered in the dictionary in future will be, Gluttony: Kiran at a buffet table. Possibly holding a plate which has every square millimeter of surface space covered by variants of edible stuff called food, especially of the dead animal variety, and needing physical assistance from the serving staff in order to convey said plate back to the table she will be seated on.
Three lunches last week. The first, a lunch at Machchan, which is like a straight jump from my balcony away. The second, a veg thali lunch at Sabkuch ki Thali near Inorbit and the third, at On Toes. Which is a jump and half away from my balcony. Why such a limited radius of eating out joints, you might ask, and justifiably so. The rationale is simple, come hell or high water, or being physically evicted from the premises for eating them out of food, I need to morph back into a school gate mom by 2.30pm. Which leaves me very little time to actually savour and relish every morself. Which means I am a poor lunch companion because all I do is eat, eat, eat, eat, and eat with the ferocity of one who doesnt want time to run out and then sit rueing the fact that she couldnt hit the dessert counter with enough time to spare.
The week began with a birthday party I escorted the child to, at Papa Johns. I am not even going to mention the calories ingested in form of Pizzas, garlic wedges, cake and icecream. Suffice to say, if I total this week’s calorific indulgence, I should go immediately to dieter’s hell, and burn in my own cellulite till eternity.
Machchan for those who asked, or will ask, is a not to be recommended. I know, I know, I am the one who has written paeons to its magnificent buffets in times of yore, but this time round was when the penny dropped. I went for a lunch buffet, not a weekend dinner buffet when theyre all shiny and sparkly and at their best. The soup was cold. And no it was not the soup you’re supposed to have cold. Gazpacho. Vichysoisse. Nope. This was Chicken Shorba. It is needed piping hot. I would have forgiven them that. The starters they served us post the soup, which we all sent back to the kitchen to be warmed up for your kind information, had icicles growing on them. We suspected they had been leftovers from the previous night’s buffet and had been regurgitated from the confines of their industrial size freezer direct to our table without the grace of being passed through a heating pan in between. And this was one pm. The start of the buffet. We gently asked for the manager to be brought to us. We resisted with great self control from asking for heads to roll. We voiced our disapproval about the standards of service which had fallen way beyond any redeemable levels. He bowed and scraped a bit, with graciousness, and promised to rectify the temperature of the items being brought to the table, and the next round had, voila, cold starters with icicles growing on them served to us by an increasingly resentful waiter who just kept dumping them on our plates regardless of our frantic protests of not wanting any.
We gave up and proceeded to the buffet table. 1.15pm. The serving containers of most dishes were empty or had been emptied out and not refilled. We dwaddled near the items of interest to us, mopping the drool involuntarily slipping down our chins as we read the names of the dishes, most of which were not in evidence within the serving dishes, and exhorted the waiters to get them where they were supposed to be in order that the paying public could serve themselves. I grew some roots waiting for the edible stuff to emerge from the kitchen. The friends uprooted me and convinced me that time was running out, we might as well make the best of what was available. We had to make do with the few items which were available in the serving dishes, and even had to share some because there wasnt enough to go around. The saving grace, the Mango mousse. We handed over our money with great reluctance and the feeling that maybe, we should have been paid for eating there.
The next was the Veg Thali at Sabkuch ki Thali near Inorbit. The best part about eating at this Thali place is the genuine interest with which they feed you. And feed you and feed you. Unlike Rajdhani which is more popular but, am sorry to say, makes you feel like theyre doing you a great favour by allowing you to sit and eat, and make you feel you need to race through your meal and vacate the table pronto for the next batch of refugees to be doled out their rations.
I am of the school of thought that you need to leave a clean plate. Aka, a plate which does not have any food left over on it. Therefore, by the end of the meal, I was guarding my plate as diligently as them studious types do at examinations with arms blocking their answer sheets to thwart the valiant efforts of them unprepared types looking for a quick and easy way to copy themselves through to pass marks. And the aam ras. I think I drank down one months worth of calories within ten minutes. If I could go there purely for the gluttony of unlimited aamras I would.
The last buffet was at On Toes. Simple buffet. All piping hot. Well served. Nothing to write home about. Value for money. And a full stomach. Tonight is dinner at a dear friend’s home, and am starving myself in anticipation in order to do the food justice, to deem me worthy of being invited. Tomorrow is a Pizza Hut birthday party, where no doubt, I will ingest, amongst others, garlic wedges, pizza, cake and drink gallons of a carbonated beverage which will cause my teeth to rot and fall out, and make some dentist put in his marble flooring in his weekend cottage at Alibag. Sunday has Easter lunch at the mater’s, which will have my stomach expand like a helium balloon in order to accommodate the spread of my all time favourites that the mater, will no doubt, spend hours slaving over, and which I must demolish to see her happy and content.
To balance all this out, I have been skipping them full meals at home, substituting fruits like grapes, watermelon etc for meals, and brisk walking a solid hour every single day. Nonetheless, my sins will catch up with me. I need pants with elasticated waists. I grow old, I grow old, I will wear my trousers with my fat rolls.