Bloggers Table | The Leela, Gurgaon … excellence in everything they do!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

The Leela, GurgaonThe Bloggers Table was privileged indeed to be hosted at the award winning Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon for a memorable Italian meal at Zanotta a few nights ago. It’s one thing having a philosophy of “Atithi devo Bhava – Our Guest is God”, and it’s another thing delivering it in every sense of the word. The Leela did just that! Hospitality and culture so seamless that in many ways it felt surreal!The Leela, GurgaonThe Leela culture is noticeable in every employee. You can see the deep rooted Indian tradition, the entire team that works seamlessly to deliver the promise. Enter  the lobby and look around, magically a genie appears; helpful, polite yet completely unobtrusive. It’s a beautiful hotel but more importantly run by outstanding folk!The Leela, Gurgaon  That was pretty much the ‘experience’  through the evening enjoyed in excellent company – GM Leela Roger Wright, Head – PR & Marketing Communications Vinay NarangF & B Manager  Shisheer Manohar and Exceutive Chef  Emmanuel Guemonl from France.

The Leela, Gurgaon
Photo courtesy Rekha @

It was a pleasure to share the table with Roger Wright. His stories that ranged from Fiji, Down Under {a New Zealander}, his family, his commitment to staff training and motivation … and of course his tempting invite for a dosa Sunday brunch the next day {We sadly declined as ‘the table was off to Rose Cafe the next afternoon. That turned out to be another story altogether}The Leela, Gurgaon

The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon was presented the Best 5-Star Deluxe Hotel (India) award, March  2011 & 2012. Zanotta was Times Food Award’s pick for Best Italian in the Region in both 2010 and 2011. If they hadn’t picked it for its outstanding Italian cooking it would have won awards for architecture and ambiance. The open display kitchen and private dining rooms are surrounded by the  see-through wine cellar of breathtaking proportions. 

The Leela, Gurgaon

Zanotta did not disappoint. From the welcome drinks served in the retro lounge that adjoins the restaurant on the 6th floor, to the company, the evening was delightful.The Leela, GurgaonWhat a memorable meal. We found ourselves reaching out for the bread basket time and again. I opted for the  vegetarian selection and absolutely LOVED it! The soft mozzarella and arugula salad with tomato, orange and basil pesto had everything right. The Minestrone alla Zanotta with pumpkin and rice was amazing too. I am not ‘soup person’, but was transformed rapidly into one! The Leela, GurgaonThe next course was common for both  vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Home made ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms floating in a silky smooth tomato sauce. A sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and you could sense how nicely the flavours married! Perfect again. The Leela, GurgaonThen came the show stopper, something Roger introduced to Leela from Down Undera sorbet but not just any sorbet! It was dramatic sorbet served in a snow globe of sorts, sitting on a bed of ice. You could hear a loud collective gasp when the very delicious sorbet appeared. A work of art!The Leela, GurgaonCrespelle with spinach & ricotta {♥♥♥} followed. These were  ‘Florentine style’ pancakes stuffed with ricotta and spinach, served with tomato and parmesan. Amazing, cheesy and to die for! The portion sizes were just right and fresh produce brought out the best flavours in each dish!The Leela, GurgaonExcellent wines were paired with each course. They included Chardonay from New Zealand and another from France, Allegrini from Italy, and a Cabernet Shiraz from Australia. Time for dessert and once again a winner! Bitter chocolate semifreddo with candied orange peel. Really nice!! {I had to finally abandon the camera because the light was really low!}The Leela, GurgaonThe NCR has some beautiful luxury properties, and The Leela is one of the finest examples. The group takes pride in it’s people, the ‘bedrock of the organisation‘. Warmth, positivity, camaraderie; the ease of relationships up and down the hierarchy is so visible and so comfortable.

Couldn’t have asked for anything better! Thank you Roger Wright and your wonderful team!









The other bloggers at The Leela that night were

Sid @ Chef at Large
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Himnashu @ White Ramekins
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Parul @ Shirazine
Sangeeta Khanna @ Banaras Khana
Ruchira @ Cookaroo
Antara @ Antypasti

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


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