A few days after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted, we decided to step out for lunch outside. Mindful of the safety guidelines in the post-Covid world, choosing a restaurant that followed the precautions was on top of my mind. I checked out several hotels and fine dining places before settling for one. Good food and safety issues in mind, I zeroed in on the Hideaway, a hotel near Pari Chowk in Greater Noida.Also Read - Viral Video: Mommy Tiger Cuddles With Cubs For Nap Time, Clip is Just Too Cute to Miss. Watch

The place offered sufficient parking space. Guards wearing masks and staff trained to follow the coronavirus guidelines welcomed us. The Hideaway has round-the-clock in-room dining and has three outlets where you can enjoy the food. Barring few regular hits, you don’t have many options when it comes to good food in Greater Noida. Most of the families residing in the area travel to Noida Sector-18 eateries and restaurants. Looking for a fine place to eat in Greater Noida can be a task at times. So finding one in the heart of Greater Noida was a delight. Also Read - 10 Simple Lifestyle Changes That Promote Healthy And Graceful Ageing

We opted for a three-course lunch. Prepared by chefs, who have earned some reputation over the years, the food had a distinct taste. Eating out after quite some time, I went straight for the hot-chicken soup, skipping the juice on offer. I was in no mood to try something different. But you may, as there are so many options when it comes to soup. Having my favourite chicken soup, especially after quite some time, was almost heaven. It came after six-month self-imposed restriction from frozen things during the lockdown. Also Read - 5 Reasons Why Drugs Case Against Aryan Khan Fell

On Lunch Menu

Having developed a big taste for over the years fish, I opted for grilled fish. Cooking fish is an art. It requires just the right kind of temperature. Often restaurants are guilty of overheating, thereby taking out the juice. To make it succulent, you need to cook it at an ideal temperature and flip it just when required. Pulling it out of the grill early is risky, as you fear tearing it apart. There has to be a balance of oil, heat and timing while grilling a fish. Someone once told me – grilled stuff tastes best when cooked over coal. I am not sure what was it grilled over, but the taste was something that lingered.

I recollect my mother pouring all her care and love while cooking fish. In Bihar, where I come from, fish is usually fried in oil. In Bengal, the fish fry has a different preparation. When it comes to grilled fish, the cooking process is a bit different. One needs to take utmost care to ensure that it does not lose its succulent nature. That’s where covering it with lid is vital. The grilled fish prepared by the chefs was just to my liking. If you are not a fish-fan, you can also go for the grilled chicken. I tasted the one prepared in red wine.

For vegetarians, the place offers several options. I liked the Dahi-Ke-Kabab, served as a starter.

Gulab Ka kheer at The Hideaway Hotel in Greater Noida

Gulab Kee Kheer (Centre) offered at the Hideaway leaves you wanting for more. The hotel offers a perfect place for dining out with family.

But the highlight of the sumptuous lunch was Gulab-Ke-Kheer. Kheer is one sweet dish cooked in every household in India. There are many faces of Kheer (sweetened rice prepared in milk) in India. From Rajasthan to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal, it differs. However, Kheer’s main ingredients – rice and milk – are the same everywhere. It is the garnishing or use of sugar-based syrup that differs. In Bengal, the Gud ka Kheer – is made of Govind Bhog rice and sugarcane jaggery. People use Basmati ka tukda (rice)or katarni rice for making Kheer in Bihar. The kheer you find in Kashmir is tossed with Kesar (saffron). In historical occurrences, Kheer used to be the sweetener that helped in detoxification. Then there are other similar sweet dishes to kheer, phirni. Kheer has different varieties. It has similarities with phirni. The Persians introduced phirni in India. In an article published in the Indian Express in 2014, writer Madhumita Dash says it was the Persians who introduced rose water and dry fruits in the dish. Since then, dry fruits have been used. We can write at length about different forms of kheer made across India. Let us keep that topic aside for now.

The Gulab-Ka-Kheer served in Hideaway was simply delicious, to say the least. The sweet fragrance of the rice, milk and rose water I don’t remember having better Kheer than that for quite some time now.

Verdict

The Hideaway is a hidden gem in the heart of Greater Noida that offers a delightful fine-dining experience if you are looking for something different. The hotel also provides accommodation and is near Pari Chowk, making it convenient for the residents of the region. A wonderful place to explore.

(Author, Himanshu Shekhar is Editor India.Com and a wannabe restaurant critic who enjoys writing on food and travel. )

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