Savour Mediterranean, South Chinese and naadan flavours at Trilogi, the seafood speciality restaurant at Crowne Plaza

The amuse-bouche serves its purpose as a palate-teaser. A beautiful pink bite-sized piece of seared yellow fin tuna with a border of coarsely ground pepper served with Wasabi mayonnaise and a coin-sized diskette of bright and cheerful fruit salsa set the tone for the meal at Crowne Plaza’s seafood specialty restaurant Trilogi.

Amuse bouche is not an appetizer, the portion is smaller and it serves as an introduction to what the chef is about to showcase. With that tiny surprise of an amuse bouche Chef Kalesh kept raising the bar, and our expectations, with every course. The tuna is imported, says Executive Sous Chef Rajeev Menon. Most of the seafood is sourced locally except for some specialised varieties to suit the dishes, he adds.

Trilogi specialises in Mediterranean, South-Chinese and naadan seafood cuisine. Mercifully ‘fusion’ cuisine has been given a go-by and the thrust is on the ‘authentic’ seafood experience with authentic recipes. “We did not want to complicate things with fusion, we’d rather keep it straightforward,” says Chef Rajeev. The restaurant, which is open only for dinner, has a glass wall and French windows. For those who want to entertain in private there is a space for 10. The restaurant is tastefully done, with a predominance of ebony.

When Chef Rajeev says ‘experiencing the food’, one presumed it was jargon and then the Venetian Prawn Soup arrived. Vipin, the bearer, places the soup plate on the table with a couple of prawns inside. Before one could think ‘invisible soup’, he pours in the velvety orange soup. The creamy soup turns out to be as good as its presentation. It is the Mediterranean side of the menu.

Giving it company are crab thengapal soup and wonton soup. The bowl in which the crab soup is served is covered with a flat bread, more like a roti, which you have to gently ‘break open’ to get to the soup. The piping hot crab and coconut milk soup with bits of fried crab meat has the typical naadan flavours. The wonton soup is served with a fried wonton along side the soup dish. Inside it hides the steamed wonton with vegetables soaking in the stock. The soft wonton in the soup complements the crispness of the fried wonton. “It is about balancing textures,” says Chef Rajeev.

The starters follow – smoked salmon cream cheese roulade, spicy fish and crab balls with chilli sauce and chemmeen ularthiyathu. It is a perfect balance of flavours with the three starters. The blandness of the salmon is offset by the tanginess of the raw apple salad. The play of textures is an aspect of the food there. The crisp bread crumb covering fish and crab balls goes perfectly with the smoothness of the accompanying chilli sauce.

Chemmeen ularthiyathu has big juicy prawns wearing a gorgeous rich brown coating of shallots, coconut and spices masala.

Just as we settle after all the excitement of the rich sumptuous food and the stylish presentation, Vipin arrives with steamed fish in paper bag and with a small scissor. And then cuts open the bag. There it lay in all its glory, white snapper in ginger and lemon grass flavoured stock with asparagus, zucchini and other veggies. This is served with white rice. It is oil-free cooking and the fish cooks in its juices along with the vegetables. Light and mild, eating the fish leaves one with a sense of having eaten healthy and flavourful. Herb crusted black pomfret seafood casserole with a seafood based sauce is next, it is a picture of contrast – green of the crust and orange of the sauce is as pretty on the eye as it is easy on the taste buds. And then comes the piece de resistance Idiappam konju biriyani. A chunky layer of prawn masala ensconced comfortably between two layers of idipappam…has that nostalgia-inducing distinct flavour of Kerala. For the vegetarians there is a variety of pastas and risotto to choose from.

Each dish at Trilogi, that we sampled, is a work of art, not only culinary but also aesthetics. And an experience to be savoured.

Trilogi is open from 7 p.m. For reservations contact 2865000

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