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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003

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Pasta & potatoes

The pasta and roesti festival offers the foodie a chance to create their meal

Wide array of sauces, vegetables and pastas. — Photos: Satish H

WE HAVE progressed beyond biryani, little samosas and chai (yeah, also bun maska and mirchis). Now we can hold knowledgeable discourses on falafel and satay. If you are ready to widen your gourmet vocabulary, head straight for The Waterside Café at Taj Banjara for the on-going pasta and roesti festival.

Executive Chef Sanjay Vij who came to the city a couple of months ago from Delhi's Taj Palace believes in value for money. "We are offering infinite varieties of pasta and roesti as part of the buffet. So if the guest would just like to go Conti, that is fine. The Indian and Chinese menu is the same so if you would like a global experience, that is available as well."

"Nowadays, with all the travelling, people do know about pastas. But even here, we want to show that there is more to pasta than macaroni and spaghetti," he said.

With roesti, Vij comments the people of Hyderabad can indulge in some Swiss cuisine. There is more to Switzerland than the Alps, numbered accounts and Yash Chopra as the roesti reveals. "A staple dish in the area of Switzerland bordering Germany, roesti consists of potatoes that are boiled, grated, fried, baked or grilled into a golden hash and a topping."

"For the festival, we have a selection of toppings, which the guest can choose and the roesti is served on a sizzler." And for those who would like to see how the final product looks, the six dummy roestis give one a fair idea.

The pastas come in a bewildering range and the connoisseur can get super creative with the pasta, the sauce and the meat, seafood or vegetables. If you would like a little help then there is a blackboard with the chef's recommendations including scrumptious numbers like Lasagne Alla Bolognese (layers of fresh, home made pasta sheets, inter-layered with Bolognese sauce, flavoured with rosemary, generously topped with grated cheese and baked), the classic Fettuccini Alla Carbonara (home made fettuccini in bacon, egg and cheese sauce) or all-time favourite Spaghetti Con Pomodoro E Basilico (Spaghetti tossed in fresh tomato and basil sauce).

The joy of discovering new tastes is like discovering a new country or a new culture - so Mamma Mia, it is time to go Swiss!

* * *

Festive facts At: The Waterside Cafe, Taj Banjara Time: 7.30 pm to 11 pm Till: September 21 For: Rs 275


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