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Fulfilling food fest

The unlimited buffet laid out at Dakshina Mandapam (Taj Tristar, Secunderabad) as part of the ongoing South Indian food festival provides a wholesome experience.

SIMPLE FARE: Reinventing traditional tastes.

THE BEST way to pay compliments to a chef is not to have any leftovers on your plate. At Dakshina Mandapam (Taj Tristar, Secunderabad), executive chef V. Ramu puts on a contented smile, as he supervises the ongoing 10-day long `Dakshin Sangam' (South Indian food festival).

Taste a tablespoon of Bisi Bele Bath and you will soon believe that it is not the best in town; perhaps it is the best in the planet! "The finest Udupi cooks, soaked with generations of culinary expertise, have been specially flown in for the festival," asserts Food & Beverage manager, Ramesh K. Potty.

The bunch of experts must sure know their job, to be able to make a simple Mysore bonda or an otherwise uninteresting Rasam, delightful and desirable for usually unavoidable, repeated helpings. "In simplicity, lies the answer," reasons Potty.

LIP SMACKING: Indulge in South Indian delicacies.

Indeed, an inconsequential touch of ghee in food can, at times, better the taste. And going by grandma's secret that always stressed on carefully calculated measure of those right condiments and time spent over fire, the belief is just reinforced.

The vegetarian buffet showcases a classic menu, which changes by the day. While on August 21-22, it was Idiappam, Kappa and Avial from God's own country, Andhra and Hyderabadi cuisine characterised the following three days. Kannada fare would be served today to be followed-up subsequently, by Tamil Nadu cuisine on August 29 and 30. The last day of the festival would be a melange of the best food items from the four corners of the South.

The menu for the festival is an extended list of over 20 items, comprising what one eats regularly at home along with a few occasional items, reserved as a rule, for special days. Priced at Rs. 150 per person, (less for children) the unlimited buffet is a welcome change from the routine stuff, needless to mention that the evening will turn out to be a memorable gastronomic experience until a better one.

"We have particularly designed the festival for dinner only (7 p.m.-11 p.m.) as people would not enjoy work, after such a contented stomachful," smiles the F&B manager. A clean sun-dried bed sheet and soft pillows is a pleasurable privilege after that. Well, not before a satisfactory burp!!


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