Summer means mango mania. The Oberoi's mango festival dedicates their menu to this fixation
It used to be sprawled on the kitchen floor, the summery yellow juice, in unflattering patches on our face, dripping till our elbows. I felt stupid sitting back straight, chin up, legs crossed to eat mangoes.
It is an age where even fruit is not straightforward. It came in shot glasses of mango juice, flute glasses of aam panna, and trays of mini desserts. And when you haven't had your first mango of the season yet, staring at pretty, fluffy pastries and pert, tiny tarts really do nothing. You want to go back to that kitchen floor and allow the ochre juice to drip.
I started by washing my mouth with a shot of mango juice with pudina leaves, a flavour I had not known in over a year. I wanted more. The aam panna – raw mangoes boiled and tempered with spices was refreshing as Chef Anurag Barthwal promised it would be.
But may I be smote down with great force for disregarding the tray of desserts. I began with the mango and vanilla crème brulee. The torched surface of the thimble sized dish was a crisp, brown and the dessert that lay beneath was a smooth assault of flavours.
The caramel and mango passion fruit jelly, a creation that was born in the brain of Chef Barthwal was unlike regular jelly, because Chef Barthwal explains it is not meant to be like regular jelly.
The jelly has been cooked and hence is a tad bit tougher, but the focus does not for an instant shift from the fruit of the hour.
Char grilled mango tart, was a flaky base with even sized cubes of grilled mangoes. With just enough char to give it a slightly burnt flavour, the tart brings out the fruit in all its magnificently coloured glory.
Then came the moment when I split the soft cloud of light yellow cream cheese. It became one with my palate and I had the “I'll have what she's having face” (remember “When Harry Met Sally”).
The tang of the fruit, the viscous cream, I closed my eyes, and I could hear a symphony in my head that cut out all the inane middle-aged society talk. The mango cheese cake vodka sorbet was the right hand of Theobroma.
The mango festival, “Ode To The King”, at The Oberoi, M.G Road, will be on through the month of May and it might just spill over into June. Call 25585858.
Keywords: mango festival