Hilton Shillim Estate Spa & Retreat, property of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, located in Shillim Village, Pawana Nagar, Taluka Maval is an amazing spa and wellness resort nestled in the beautiful Sahyadri Ranges.
I was invited for the Cook Along with Thai Master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe by Fruit Bowl Digital and there wasn’t even a hint of doubt before I said yes. It was a 2 hour drive from Pune and the road leading to Hilton was beautiful. Amazing rainy and foggy weather alongside lush green ranges was a view to be cherished.
We reached the Shillim Cooking School and started off with the live demos by Master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe alongside her daughter Chef Sandra from Blue Elephant Cooking School. Thai Cuisine mainly uses ingredients like galangal, kaffir lime, basil, lemongrass, palm sugar, shallots and pandanus leaves.
We began with the live demo of the Mok Hua Pli – Banana Blossom with Herbs. To make a Mok Hua Pli you pound the lemongrass, galangal, chillies, shallots and garlic in a mortar until it becomes a paste. In a mixing bowl, you mix the paste with some egg, sugar, mushroom and soya sauce. After placing this mixture and tying it up in a boiled pandan leaf, you steam it for about 15 minutes. The final product is wonderful. It has a beautiful aroma of the lemongrass and galangal and they just hit the right spot. It tasted really good.
We also saw the preparation of Plaa Phaow Samoon Prai – Grilled Fish with Herbs in Banana Leaf and Phad Thai Jae – Stir Fried Vermicelli. The fish was marinated in thai ingredients and then grilled on the pan. It was cooked beautifully and the spices from the marination were infused pretty well. The Phad Thai Noodles were decent with veggies, tofu and egg.
We also got the oppurtunity to cook all of the above dishes at the Shillim Cooking School and we did have some fun. We were given aprons, cooking hats, recipes, cooking stations and for a moment it did feel like I was in the Master Chef kitchen.
We then headed to The Green Table for lunch. The Green Table has the farm to table concept which is making use of fresh produce to make the best of dishes. We had the Fish Tempura and Thai Green Curry along with rice. Although we missed the dessert, we had a pretty good lunch experience.
We then checked into our villas. I was provided a one night stay at one of their King Forest View Villa. My villa was situated approximately 2.5kms from the reception and we had chauffeur driven Tata Nanos to commute to all the in-house places.
I was awestruck with the villa which had a king size bed, 42 inch flat LED TV, mini bar, tea/coffee maker, open showers and bath tub among the many amenities provided. An awesome view of the Western Ghats with plenty of waterfalls from the deck is something one cannot miss.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t avail any of the spa services offered but their spa is spread over 70 acres and a few of their healing services offered were acupressure, reiki, pranic healing, ayurveda, chakra cleansing, naturopathy, hydrotherapy, watsu and pilates.
After some rest, we headed for dinner at The Green Table later that evening.
We had a live salad counter dishing out some Som Tam salad. It is basically a green papaya salad and it tasted pretty good. The mushroom soup along with a cucumber was good too.
The mushroom soup along with a cucumber was good too.
We also had some lamb stew, thai red curry and lentil stew for dinner. The dessert was just amazing. It was an absolutely heavenly platter of baked yogurt, tart, mousse and candied fruits. We would have had that dessert all night long if we had skipped the main course.
The next morning we headed for breakfast at Terrazzo. A multi cuisine all-day dining restaurant had a lavish spread of indian and continental cuisine.
Plenty of pastries, breads, milkshakes, juices, salads along side the usual south indian menu of dosa, medu wada and the american pancakes, french toast, baked potatoes and grilled tomatoes, we thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast.
Apart from in villa dining, Hilton Shillim boasts of 7 in house restaurants.
The Mountain Bar & Bistro offers an amazing view of the Sahyadri Range and dishes out pastas and stone baked pizzas. It also has an Infinity pool alongside. Terrazo is an all day dining restaurant showcasing the Indian and International cuisine. The Green Table is based on the farm to table concept very rarely seen and is based on health and nutrition. The Reserve has an extensive selection of wines from around the world.
The Tea House has a selection of tea blends from around the country served in a restful setting.
Alas it was time to say goodbye to Hilton Shillim! We were given lemongrass saplings and some chocolate cookies and muffins. What a way to end one of the finest weekend experiences! A big shout out to Sumitro and Akanksha from FruitBowl Digital for inviting us and Master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe and Chef Sandra for enlightening us and Sanhita & Sreejith for hosting us.
Disclaimer : This invite was for a cooking class. This review is a narrative of my experience at the event. The views expressed in this review are solely mine and others are more than welcome to agree or disagree with the same. This review is in no way influenced either personally or commercially nor has it been lifted, copied or plagiarized from any source. However I have done my due diligence on the event via publicly available information on the internet.
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