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Updated: July 15, 2013 20:50 IST

Through the grill

Osama Jalali
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Chicken paella at Sevilla.
Special Arrangement
Chicken paella at Sevilla.

Flavourful food at The Claridges’ Sevilla restaurant, grilled in its recently acquired Josper oven

Grilled food is very close to my heart. The way to my heart is definitely through my stomach and grilled food can any day beat others to make an impression there. Be it summers, monsoons or winters, grilled food is always welcome.

So when I got an invite from The Claridges’ restaurant Sevilla, which has recently imported the world renowned Josper oven (they are apparently the first in India to have it), my eyes lit up. Having interest in grills, I often browse the Internet looking for newer products. I have read about Josper and always wished to eat food grilled in it.

Chef Rajiv Sinha first gave me a demonstration of the oven. A huge stainless steel oven placed in the centre of the kitchen, a delight to watch. “It runs on charcoal and is closed. This doesn’t allow the smoke to go out, all the flavours and juices of the meat are absorbed within,” said the chef.

Well, after absorbing all the theory part, it was time for some results to be seen and tasted. I started with a refreshing watermelon and mint gazpacho with marinated watermelon and goat cheese cannelloni, risotto rice crackers. I loved the cannelloni as it just melted in my mouth. Breads such as Canarian Gofio with sundried tomatoes and a basil dip and garlic foccacini were fresh. But it was the tapas variety which stole the show. Each and every dish had a Josper effect. Grilled asparagus with Romesco sauce was tasty. Romesco, a Spanish import, was done in Josper and had that smoky flavour which I was looking for.

On finding out my weakness for non-vegetarian food, Chef Rajiv served me grilled chicken wings with aioli. The chicken was firm and had absorbed the smoke and flavours well. Grilled lamb chops with honey was also good.

Canadian scallops and grilled sea bass came too — both worth a try. The restaurant’s signature dish, Seville chicken paella, was a delight. Char-grilled spring chicken with mushrooms was again a dish to remember. I would say that the expensive Rs. 20 lakh oven made its presence felt and had an influence on the cuisine which elevated the taste and flavours.

I ended my meal with a soft-centred chocolate soufflé, loved it!

Meal for Two - Rs 5000

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