These hotels are crafting menus that are not only high on health quotient, but also have food capable of improving the mood.
In 2020, after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, several five-star hotel chains commenced home delivery of food as a lot of people preferred to stay indoors.
A year later, as the Covid situation worsens, such hotels are going the extra mile to cater for the gastronomical needs of their customers.
With health, nutrition, and immunity occupying the mind spaces, these hotels are crafting menus that are not only high on health quotient, but also have food capable of improving the mood.
The move, they hope, would help them get more customers as prices are also competitive.
By the end of this month, Marriott International, through its online food delivery brand Marriott on Wheels, will be introducing ‘Mood Diets’ to tickle the palate of food lovers while simultaneously meeting the unconscious cravings that emerge from fluctuating temperaments.
“Food items like dark chocolate, fermented recipes, coffee, banana, berries, nuts, and seeds, to name a few, are mood alleviators and we unconsciously consume them at a regular frequency without realising their importance.
"We decided to structure it and put it in a menu,” said Himanshu Taneja, culinary director (South Asia) at Marriott International.
The idea is to focus on the inherent relationship between “good food and good mood” and its impact on the eating habits as one continues to work and live in isolation, said Taneja.
Marriott will roll out the new menu at all its key properties in all metros.
To be priced on a par with its online menu, the items ordered from the menu will cost anywhere between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000.
Known for its signature recipes, ITC Hotels, too, is looking to jump on the health bandwagon through a “Feel Good” menu, which is based on the concept of local procurement of seasonal ingredients that enhance immunity.
“We have always believed in offering recipes that are healthy and tasty, and right now we are sharpening focus on it by adding Indian super food to the ingredients of our recipes,” said Manisha Bhasin, corporate chef, ITC Hotels.
A meal for two will cost anywhere between Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400, she said. This will be more affordable than “Gourmet Couch” (ITC’s online home delivery menu brand).
ITC will introduce the menu on May 25, and all its hotels will be participating in it.
Two weeks ago, Indian Hotel Co, which owns the Taj and Ginger brand of hotels, came up with a special menu under INNERgise through its gourmet food delivery platform, Qmin.
It focuses on immunity enhancement and addresses the needs of those who are in different stages of recovery post the illness.
These menus are created in consultation with experts from Arya Vaidya Sala – Kottakkal and uses immunity-boosting herbs, spices and other ingredients, said Jehangir Press, commercial director – Qmin, IHCL.
It is currently available across Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Cochin, and will soon be available in other cities.
Priced at Rs 1,500 (plus taxes), while the three-course meal serves two people, a three-day subscription plan is priced at Rs 4,000 plus taxes.
The Oberoi Group’s master chefs, too, have specially curated an immunity-building menu comprising wellness dishes and drinks, available at each of its hotels and as a part of its home delivery offering, said a spokesperson at the hotel.
The key focus has been in selecting the right ingredients (moringa, dates, giloy, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, shrimp, salmon, snapper, to name a few) and cooking techniques such as sous vide, grilling and a liberal use of the tandoor.
New varieties of superfoods, quinoa, as well as couscous also feature on this menu.
A selection of these dishes and their recipes are also available on the company's websites, the spokesperson said.
Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters