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`Fusion' food East of Delhi...

It's new, it's fashionable, it's fusion. It is all here at Sky Wok, the all-new, all-impressive restaurant at Noida's Sab Mall. Drive down for a new experience; parking is no problem, suggests SUMITRA SENAPATY... .

NOTHING SERVED at Sky Wok restaurant at Sab Mall in Noida near East Delhi can be accused of being boring. Every single dish is original, inventive, and above all else, delicious. And the presentation is unique -- Jagdeep, the chef makes sure that your eyes have a feast too, before your mouth does! Here, you get the picture that cooking has never been so cool. No longer content to lock himself behind the stove, this new age chef is stepping forward to win over devotees with a pinch of marketing snap, crackle and pop. Fusion cuisine is the attraction at this September opened roof top restaurant in Sector 27.

Run by the Taj Group, this lively restaurant has an open kitchen and bar where guests can watch chefs whip up dishes of pan-Asian origin from Lebanon to Thailand. Signature dishes include Thai Falafels and the Tandoori Pink Salmon, complemented with mocktails and rounded off with the unputdownable Knock Out Cake- a generous dose of dark rum and frozen layer of rum `n' raisin ice cream turns this into a never before dessert. Reservations are advised for Sky Wok, specially for the week-ends.

First it was pretty food, then big food and then tall food -- now it is fusion food. Okay, but what does this mean? With a never-ending battle to attract patrons and increase sales, restaurateurs, chefs and food and beverages managers are constantly looking for new trends to attract the masses. Chefs have always adapted foods for special occasions and to utilise new ingredients. To stay on top, they cater and appeal to people of all temperaments and ages with their differing desires for variety, taste and texture. Is it a regional cuisine or is it a collection of seasonings, spices, flavours and textures entwined with meats, seafood, salads, pastas and soups from far off and exotic locales such as Korea, Italy, China, Vietnam and Bali? Fusion food is all this and so much more. ]

At Sky Wok we see Indian-Mexican starters such as Chicken Tikka Quesadilla and the Paneer goes Peking. Peking Duck goes vegetarian in this creation. A medley of cottage cheese, plum sauce, spring onions and cucumber, wrapped in pancakes -- or we see Thai-style fish marinated with lemon grass, Siamese khaa ginger, kaffir lime, white wine and fried to perfection. We even see the foot long Nazza - that is naan plus pizza. A nouvelle creation, the naan is coated with Asian Pizza sauces and delicious melting mozzarella cheese, and there is a choice of 11 toppings. The sauces, which lend a versatile aroma to the Nazza, are of three types -- Achari, Thai and Asian Tomato Sauce. Sky Wokers salivate while browsing through the extensive menu, featuring delectable dishes such as Thai Sticks and Kicks, a delightful Yin and Yang of spicy tossed chicken fillet and delicately crumbed minced chicken fingers. Or Cajun Potatoes, tender pieces of potatoes marinated in aromatic herbs and spices and grilled in the tandoor.

The chef elaborates that the Sky Wok menu is so designed that five-star preparations associated with exorbitant prices are available here to a larger cross section at reasonable rates. A brownie point for Sky Wok is comfortable and adequate parking, which is so important for a popular eating outlet. The bar license is awaited. The tastes and textures may come from familiar places, but fusing them together creates a new cuisine. So, what do you call this cuisine? There is strong historic precedent to refer to past dishes and techniques by using them to describe new creations. By doing so, diners can imagine what they will be eating. But no matter what the fusion entrie is called, it's almost certain to be a hit. Meal may or may not be fabulous but it's new, it's fashionable, it's fusion and it's here to stay.

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