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Fare from Southern shores

`Coastal Kondattum', which is on till July 14 at Sagari, Chola Sheraton, features an impressive array of dishes from the four Southern States.

WATCHING THOSE Brazilians play football, you think that those guys are born with Samba rhythm in their blood and a football attached to their feet. It is all about instinct and spontaneity. They enjoy what they do and that joy reaches you even from the TV screen. Sometimes thinking and analysis can ruin the moment. It is the Brazilian tactic one needs to adopt at the Coastal Kondattum fest at the Sagari, Chola Sheraton, featuring the four Southern States.

The buffet, it is on only for dinner, can be fun if you go with the flow. Stop and think what a typical Tamil Brahmin preparation such as beans usili is doing at a coastal spread or for that matter Kottayam yerra curry and Alleppey crab curry and the bubble bursts. But why on earth should one bother with unnecessary details when how it goes down is all that matters. The selection offered is impressive. Ironically, the vegetarian section was more interesting than the non-veg on Monday. From the starter baby corn porichathu to the main course tomato pappu, and ulli murungkai theeyal to vendakai mulakattiyathu and kathrikkai fry, the vegetarian dishes had more verve and punch than the meat and fish. My personal favourite was a raw mango salad from the wide salad and crisps array. It was just raw mango, shallots, chillies, coriander leaves and coconut, yet the effect was nothing short of bliss.

The Kottayam yerra was the beauty on the other side. The unbeatable coconut oil, shallot and curry leaves union worked its magic yet again here. The Karaikudi lamb chops was another dish that caught one's eye. Sannas, the leavened rice flour bread of Karnataka didn't make the mark. It was too thick and dense. Pesarattu too could have been better.

For dessert it was a payasam medley. There were sago, paruppu and ada prathaman, besides the pineapple pongal and ven pongal and vathalappam. Of course, it was the king of payasams, the ada prathaman that dominated the show. The pineapple pongal too wasn't bad.

The executive chef, Vijay Malhotra and the Chef de Parte, Thirunavakkarasu have cooked up a sure fire hit. Of course, there is no such thing as a free meal and the buffet costs Rs.425 per head. The festival is on till July14.


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