Tangerine is the new hangout for steak lovers

The creamy mushroom soup, rich in mascarpone cheese, with fresh green peas floating, has just won my heart. I am at Tangerine, a new restaurant in Race Course. The chef Vijay Shankar Rajarathinam, Prabhu, the franchisee for the outlet in Coimbatore, and I sit under the soft glow of lights.

The restaurant is an old renovated house with teak windows and doors, and is charming. The waiter serves me frozen strawberry daiquiri, a mock tail with crushed ice. The tangy drink is perfect for a hot day.

It is bruschetta to start with. Slices of soft garlic bread, with herb butter are served with tomatoes, basil leaves and garlic tossed in olive oil. An unusual honey and peanut dip accompanies another appetizer - mini tofu cutlets. If you are like me and have crab off your list of things to eat only because of the effort it takes to dig for meat , then try the crab cakes. They are boneless crab meat balls, bread crumbed and batter fried and served with a creamy mayonnaise dip.

Then, the star of the meal arrives. The smoking hot sizzler called ‘Steak Josephine Baker’ makes a dramatic entry. It is supposed to be named after Bonaparte’s lover Josephine! The steak, dipped in a thick brown sauce made from beef stock, appears and I happily sacrifice the Ayurvedic diet I am on. “We also have poured some red wine into this,” says Vijay. The meat melts in my mouth. The sizzler comes with a dose of veggies such as carrots, beans and cabbage and jacket potatoes topped with whipped cream.

The chicken lover in me is delighted to see Chicken Stroganoff being served. Cooked in white sauce, the chicken pieces are soft and go well with the mustard dip.

And why should non-vegetarians have all the fun? Vegetarian sizzlers such as Fricasse of Mushroom and Corn, Mixed Vegetables ‘New Orleans’ and Stuffed Cottage Cheese Steaks are equally tempting.

The menu also offers pastas and tandoori items. “We cater to a family crowd. So we have to think about the elders in the family, too. Some of them may not enjoy steaks and sizzlers. So they can opt for the regular Indian cuisine,” says the chef.

After the heavy lunch, I rashly promise to launch into a fruit and vegetable diet. That resolution is short lived and it is “Death by Chocolate”. This is followed by hot waffles, topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple sauce.

(The restaurant is located at Race Course. It is open from 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m., during the day and from. 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., during the night. A meal for two, including starters, soups and desserts, will cost around Rs.1,300. For more details, call 0422-4203777)