Steamed, grilled, fried and baked, sample fare from across the Orient at the food fest at Wok This Way

I give the hakka Thai noodles a shot. It has a strong lemon grass flavour, and it is so spicy that my eyes water! But the sweet Kung Pao chicken complements it perfectly. Fans of oriental cuisine have plenty to debate over at the Pan Asian Food Festival at Wok This Way. Thai food, Malaysian, Chinese…

The sauces and gravies hit the spot and so does the sea food. ‘Standing Pomfret’ is a crisp offering that is corn flour battered and deep fried. It is then served with a sauce. Chef Bobby Pradhan, who has designed the menu for the fest, explains the dish: “Many find the hard bones of the pomfret irritating. So I have completely deboned the fish,” he says.

Hot chicken momos, steaming gently, kick-start the fare. The half-moon shaped dimsums are quite wonderful by themselves, but you have a range of spicy sauces that are served with it. Dip into the chilly lemon sauce, chilly soya sauce and chilly dip Thai red sauce.

The aforementioned Kung Pao Chicken is marinated in oyster and tomato sauce and sprinkled with sliced ginger, dry red chillies and crunchy roasted peanuts, a combination of sweet and spicy it puts out the fire in your mouth started off by other spicy fare. Peanuts are the hero in quite a few dishes. Thai glass noodles are served with roasted peanuts, cucumber, lemon grass and chillies.

Thai chicken and egg fried rice comes with a heavenly aroma of basil leaves. The chicken with bell pepper sauce marries well with the rice. The succulent chicken pieces are dipped in gravy and served with capsicum.

Desserts are a plenty. Mud soufflés, icecream, creamy pastries. But be adventurous and try the highlight of the festival menu, the almond jelly. Topped with mango pulp, the fluffy dessert made of milk and egg, has a subtle almond flavor and is an ideal finish to this sumptuous meal.

The festival is on at Wok This Way, Nava India, Peelamedu till January 26, from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner. For details and reservations, call: 0422- 2560700/701