Pics by S. James
ALL THOSE who thought that the months ahead would be dry as far as fun and fanfare goes with the festival season coming to an end with Pongal, do not lose heart. Gastronomical fares are going to fill you up in the coming months as the hospitality industry shifts its focus on culinary festivals.
The rooftop of Hotel Supreme on West Perumal Maistry Street is the destination this month having taken a lead with its "Dosa Festival" . It is their annual fare running into the ninth year. An overwhelming public response has forced the hotel management to happily return with this "weekend fare year after year".
The Dosa fest, which starts by four in the evening stretches till midnight, is open every Friday to Monday. According to S. Ravichandran, the F&B Manager, the hotel was the first one to introduce the concept of annual food festivals in the temple city and now the dosa festival has caught the public fancy.
"We started with just 25 varieties on the menu. Today the number has swelled to 96", he informs with pride.
Not to disappoint the food connoisseurs, the hotel each year adds to its list new varieties. If "Simran", the national flag or the three-in-one dosa tingled the palates of food lovers last year, it is "Dhanush" and "Sachin" this year.Topping this year's list, "Dhanush" turned out to be an "all age-group, all-time favourite" made with the stem of plantain. May be it does not sound anything great except for the name to attract customers. Similarly, the other hit, Sachin, is made of tapioca. However, it is the "Supreme Special", measuring three feet, having a good sale and the kids seem to be just lapping up the "marmalade and jam dosa". There are a good number of takers for the spicy variety too - the mango thokku dosa.
Mr.Ravichandran shares that women are enjoying the festival more as they get an opportunity to know the recipe of the new varieties. The open kitchen at the venue makes the eating out more enjoyable as one gets to see how the dosas are made. People from rural areas and children are the other big draws to the fare.
Humbly thankful to the people for making the festival a success, the manager says, it is by their word of mouth alone that more and more people get to know about the special aspects of the festival and make it a point to visit us.
Surprisingly, foreigners also make a beeline for the festival and seem to be enjoying the sweeter varieties, says Mr.Ravichandran.
The delicious accompaniment to the dosas are the usual sambar, "idly podi" and coconut chutney served regularly. In addition, two different chutneys are served every day.
The hotel has tried not to make the meal of dosas pocket-pinching by pricing all varieties at an uniform rate of Rs.23. Only the Supreme Special costs Rs.55."On Fridays we do nearly 250 bills and over the weekends we cross 350 mark," Mr. Ravichandran reveals.
What is amazing is the time taken to serve the order despite heavy rush.
An average of "five to eight minutes" is what the staff tries to maintain. And quite laudably.
The hotel cashes in on the tourist season for its brisk business. The quality and variety is its USP.
"The customers are often confused with the long list dished out. But our experienced stewards help them in making a choice," says Mr.Ravichandran.
So if you are tired of eating dosas at home and want to give your tastebuds a change, don't miss the delicious dosa delights. The fare is on till March 1.
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