Enjoy wholesome, satiating food at 24 Carat, Gold Souk

Things are hotting up at the Gold Souk, in Vytilla. Generally the action there stopped at KFC, and very few ventured elsewhere in the mall but now it's a changed scene.

Back to the heat, or rather the ‘hotting' up. For almost a month plus 24 Carat, a multispecialty restaurant has been working away at the Souk. Getting to the third floor, where the restaurant is located is a story in itself. Since the parking within the Souk compound is full we are guided to the third ‘level'. ‘He's got to be joking!', anyway nobody argues with a guard at a mall, on a busy Saturday afternoon.

So this is what spiralling means. The third level is the mall's third floor. No criss-crossing mall floors to get to the escalator or waiting for ages for the lift. And then there is 24 Carats. Since it is located in the Gold Souk the name is apt. The interiors are dark toned (shades of black and grey) which by no way means is ill-lit or dark.

This eatery, although all mod and all, harks back to restaurants of the 80s and 90s when speciality meant only medical practitioners'. The kind of place where you got every kind of cuisine, and you liked it all. The menu boasts of elaborate Indian (both the Ns – North and naadan), Chinese and Continental fare. Therefore we decide to go Continental, for a change.

We did Arabian Queen (starter), Minestrone soup, Roast chicken salad, Chicken a la Kiev and Dark chocolate mousse in this order. There was grilled steak and lamb and lots more…we were full. Arabian Queen (Rs. 80) was a good place to, well, start. It is fried chicken wings in a gravy of tomato, onions and ketchup, ‘done up' with tiny bread triangles. Minestrone (Rs. 70) also known affectionately as the ‘big' soup (because it is full of veggies and pasta), was a winner and a dampener of sorts because we couldn't stop at polite sampling (technically one-fourth to half a bowl).

We were half full by the time the Roast Chicken Salad (Rs. 60) arrived. Roast chicken pieces sitting cosy and pretty too, with chunks of cucumber, tomatoes and onions…need one say more?

Then came the main course in form of Chicken a la Kiev (Rs. 230). For the uninitiated the dish is mashed or beaten boneless chicken (oblong or cylindrical-shaped) with a filling, generally, of either butter or cheese or both as in this case and flavoured with herbs and then deep-fried. As you cut the piece the warm gooey filling oozes out. Just about noticed the bed of mashed potatoes, fries, carrot sticks and green peas (carrots and peas were blanched and lightly sautéed in butter with a dash of pepper and salt). It looked as good as it tasted or vice versa. That thing about food being good enough to look at and to eat as well, Chef Satheesh had paid special attention to the presentation.

Contrary to the usual sampling sessions, Cibin Lawrence, who owns the eatery plies us with the food but patiently. We are full by the time we are half way through Chicken a la Kiev. But who can resist something called chocolate mousse? The chocolate mousse (Rs. 110) was high on chocolate and the gooey-ness factor always scores. As far as the mousse goes it was not as light as one expects but then mousse can be slightly thick goes one argument. A good place for a good straightforward grub.

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